Our present and past rulers destroyed us completely as a Nation. We are now objects of ridicule all over the world. We, therefore, must throw these people and their agents out of our country and we must get our honour back. We are a great nation; we will either live with honour or will die. I request all my countrymen, let’s forget all our differences and emerge as a great united Nation, and don’t forget, hard work is the key to success and “Unity”, “Faith” and “Discipline” will take us above all other nations.
United we stand and divided we fall; people who believe in province or language-based nationalism must consider changing their beliefs, ideologies and positions since this is making this Nation-State, Pakistan, weaker and its not in the best interest of any of us. Those people are in fact digging their own graves and cutting the tree on which they are sitting. I’m, however, not suggesting that people should not love or promote their native languages or cultures.
For a moment, I’ll take you to the history of middle-east. Once upon a time Muslim Arabs at the instigation of Arabic-speaking Syrian and Lebanese Christians believed in this type of nationalism and that blinded them. In fact UK and France were behind that conspiracy and their agents provoked Arabs to fight against the Turks (Ottoman Empire). That’s how they broke up the Muslim Ottoman Empire in the First World War. Those same Arabic-speaking Christians then killed thousands of Arabic-speaking Palestinian Arabs in Sabra and Shateela and suddenly the Arab nationalism based on language died.
At the time when Arabs were fighting against the Ottoman Empire, France and UK had secretly been dividing the Arab territories among themselves. After the First World War, the Turkish Ottoman Empire was broken up by France and UK. By the early 1920s, Arab land was split into a number of smaller states. Among the Arab states under UK control were Palestine, Trans Jordan and Iraq. Iraq had been ruled by Ottoman Empire as a single province with Kuwait. Syria and Lebanon were put under the control of France. In Pakistan nationalisms, similar to the Arab nationalism, are in the making. Most Pakistanis are not realizing how dangerous it could be for this Nation-State, it may disintegrate the country and it could push us back to the slavery from the status of an independent sovereign nuclear nation.
Presently Pakistan is at a crossroad, and I think we all know this in our hearts. We travel abroad on a business trip and switch on CNN, or pick up a copy of Time magazine, or listen to the BBC, all over, message is the same: that Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries. West is spending billions of dollars to defame us, why? Because we are Muslims and we have nuclear weapons.
Images full of violence, anger, conflict. It hurts, and of course there’s a little bit of truth in it too, which is painful to acknowledge but it isn’t the truth about Pakistan. Why are we allowing others to define who we are? Where are the voices that say no, this isn’t us? And if it is not us, then who are we? Who we want to be? The concept of Pakistan is 70 years old this year, 70 years since the architects of the Lahore Resolution set out their vision for this country; old in human terms but young as a nation, and we are entitled to ask that question again.
We are very lucky that for the very first time in the history of Pakistan we have an independent judiciary. It’s a blessing of Almighty Allah on us at this point of time, our judiciary is definitely better than judiciary of UK and USA. We must respect our honest judges and must help them. Why Pakistan does not has honest people all around? Because we always accuse our honest people and prove them wrong and we don’t respect those adorable people. Why someone should be honest and forgo millions of dollars in bribes when at the end of the day we are not going to believe them. We, therefore, must take care of our honest people.
Now the question is, should we throw our current rulers out when they supposedly are elected representatives of people of Pakistan?
In the same context, few more questions arise:
1. Does it give a political party or its head a license to destroy the Nation if his party has the highest number of seats in the parliament?
2. If a political party gets 30% votes in the general elections, which means 70% people didn’t vote for them, does it give that party a license to destroy the lives of 70% people who didn’t vote for them; and should we allow the rulers to continuously make the life of people “a hell” for a continuous period of five years, the term of their government?
3. If the people of a country mandated a political party to rule and to make their country a better place to live, and make their lives better. However, if that party instead destroys the country, makes lives of people worse, and makes their country the worst place to live. Does that party still carry the mandate of the people?
4. If rulers are ruling a nation according to a certain specific clause of the constitution which empowers them to rule, however they are not functioning according to all other clauses of the constitution and everybody in the nation curse them and people are sick of them. Should they still have the right to rule? If not, how people of that nation should get rid of that democratically elected government?
To answer some of these questions, I’ll take you to the period after 1977 elections and before the military coup of 5th July 1977. At that time, People of Pakistan declined to accept the results of March ’77 elections and as a result a movement called “Tehreek-e-Nizam-e-Mustafa” (movement for Islamic system) was started against the government of Prime Minister ZA Bhutto’s. This movement was of the people of Pakistan against a constitutionally elected government.
The constitution failed to provide a solution to the problem and people in the government and in the opposition failed to listen to their consciences and as a result a non-constitutional way to remove the government was adopted, a military coup. A large number of people welcomed that coup. Therefore, it’s the people and their lives which are important and no rule or constitution can save any government.
It’s entirely wrong that Bhutto was gunned down. It was the power of people on the streets who expelled that government out, for right or wrong reasons. During that movement, the things were so bad that there was almost 24 hours curfew for many months in major cities of Pakistan. Our armed forces refused to kill innocent Pakistanis on the streets. A government minister, Aitzaz Ahsan, resigned from PPP and joined an opposition party, Tehreek-e-Istaqlal, when the government opened fire on the innocent civilians.
We must learn lessons from our own history to find solutions of our present and future problems. What we learned from this part of history is that though Bhutto was a people’s man and the most popular leader (after Quaid-e-Azam) in the history of Pakistan, still he failed to understand the psychology of the people. He failed to understand that he is in power because of people on the streets and not because of military or civil bureaucracy or feudal lords. He relied on the feudal lords and bureaucrats to save his government and could not listen to what the people wanted that time. The result was disastrous; Bhutto lost his life and Pakistanis were forced to live under a military dictatorship backed by USA for 10 long years.
The politicians, therefore, should not ignore what people want, and must listen to them; if people choose to come on the streets the rulers will be washed away, “Aey Hukmarano, Tumhari Dastan Tak Bhee Na Hogi Dastanon Mein”.
Now, let’s talk about the politics and electing the democratic governments in Pakistan.
In Punjab, politics is the real business of the big land owners and religious saints’ families (“peers”, descendants of religious saints). They make tons of money from the business of politics, and they have to do a lot of efforts to win their seats in the parliaments. Moreover, their brothers, sons, or relatives are either in the army or in civil service, or doing some sort of business; so they have a complete network of mafia working for them to increase their influence and power.
In Sindh and Southern Punjab, feudal lords have accumulated big pieces of land again. In remote areas, big landlords have armed “Dakoo” and “Rassagirs” (robber bands, Dacoits, outlaws) and police either is part of that mafia or is helpless, so they have their own small small “Rajwaray” (states within the state) to enjoy the power and enjoy good standard of life while their children study in USA and Europe. In Sindh, people have no second option in politics, they have been brainwashed to vote only for a Sindhi party (PPP) because according to them non-Sindhis killed their beloved Bhuttos.
Karachites are very educated and suppose to have a lot of political awareness, but unfortunately they always vote for a party which is accused of killing a lot of people and is accused to be a terrorist organization. Why? Because they vote on the basis of ethnic background, they will not vote anybody other than a party of Urdu speaking people and same is true for Sindhis and others Pakistanis.
Now we have Zardari league (PPP) in power, from the same clan of Bhuttos, gained power with the votes of poor people, ironically their choice of Prime Minister and the foreign minister is from the feudal class. If we want a change in the country, we need to get rid of Bhuttos and Zardaris and have to bring the right leadership.
The moral of the story is that until and unless we will stop voting on the basis of language, province, caste, tribe, sect etc, we can’t choose the right leadership.
You can’t bury feudal system and curb their powers until you have the right leadership, and you can’t have the right leadership until you bury provincialism. We must bury our history to make our future bright, it’s a trade off; are you willing to do that?
The Solution: A strong leadership elected by people of Pakistan on the basis of merit is the solution; a leadership which invests in the education and training of common people and which spends money to build large networks of infrastructures all over Pakistan to promote trade, commerce and logistics, and which works hard to cut down the slavery in remote areas and which brings the real equality and justice in the society.