Pakistan Day: Strange Celebration

The American based Foreign Policy journal and the Fund for Peace (May 2006), makes startling revelation entitled Failed States Index. It lists Pakistan as number nine from previously 34 and India at 93 in their scheme of things. The embodying reasoning explains how internal conflicts, denial of services to common citizens, legitimacy of the government, measures against corruption, poor management of the nation’s resources and affairs are counted as dysfunction factors to assert the results. Conscientious Pakistanis should take serious notice of these challenging indicators and how they affect the governance and viability of a nation; certainly, the military regime in power would reject the findings. Deprived masses appear tense and uncertain of a promising future. Bleeding hearts and neglected talents could only hold demonstrations and strikes against the regime that does not represent the will of the people. If you want to analyze progress and history under broader perspectives, most pages will go blank for the chapter on Pakistan. Intellectual and moral data ceases to exist because there is no moral or intellectual leadership to generate such vital information.

Comparatively, India could gather data and considerable insights to illustrate its own contemporary progress and ancient history-though mostly contributed by Muslim rulers and Islamic civilization. What freedom meant to India, is not the same to Pakistan. India enjoyed continued political leadership, whereas, Pakistanis with Jinnah’s death, lost what could have been their ideological foundation and viable political values. Secular India developed parliamentary system of government, short and long range planning models for public institutions, sustainable economic and industrial infrastructures, educational development and strong armed forces. It can celebrate what it has achieved so far. Hard to find rational space to have celebration for the Pakistan Day-March 23. With over sixty years of freedom from the colonial British rule, almost 50 years were stolen by the military Generals, who could not think right nor act as Muslim Generals in the interest of Pakistani nation.

The Lahore Resolution of the Muslim League unanimously demanded a separate homeland for the Muslim majority living in the Indian sub-continent, democratic rights, and freedom to establish and practice Islam as a system of life and to be progressive country in a global community of independent nations. None of it reflects from the half leftover squeezed Pakistan, after India carved up Bangladesh, out of what was called East Pakistan. Defeated Generals should have learned a lesson to be shameful and accountable to the nation. Not so, they became the rulers of the militarily weak nation for long time to come. While this historical drama was in progress in concert with the then military dictators and accomplice politicians, the friendly US diplomats were describing Pakistan as ” drowning dog.” They knew well what was happening, not the common Pakistanis. After more than thirty years, what has changed, if any? Nothing at all. Recently, the Washington Post displayed its own freewill journalistic caricature- depicting General Musharaf as “dog” –” a friend of America and active collaborator in its “War on Terrorism” –” in reality, a new form of crusade against Islam and practicing Muslims across the globe. President Bush and General Musharaf working hard to convince the humanity that this war makes any sense. Muslims opposing the war are called “foreigners” and “insurgents”, while Americans are described as advisors. Deception is known to be the art of diplomacy and war. Most Western intellectuals with living conscious, would tell forthright,” it is a lie”, and “this war is a fraud.” Not to the Pakistani Generals, it is a means of survival, and a reason to afloat their unilateral powerhouse. The masses and the national ideology have no role to play in this paradigm. The Generals appear immune from any accountability. Those daring to challenge the absurdity of the military rule, often become ‘insurgents’ and undesirable ‘foreigners’ in their own homeland. No wonder, who is truly Pakistani, the colonial based institution of the Generals, or the freedom loving masses that demanded and created the free homeland?

America and British policy planners are happy, their plans and strategies are effectively in place to break up the integrity of Pakistan. Conflict-making and conflict keeping is the order in Baluchistan and the Northwest Frontier provinces and the adjacent tribal areas. After Ms Bhutto and Sharif, General Musharaf is the best hope for futuristic hegemonic rule both of the US and India. Therefore, to appease the friendly nations, the Generals must celebrate Pakistan Day to forge relationship with the ideology of Muslim homeland. They are stranger to the essence of the Pakistan Day. To an educated Pakistani, it may be an insult to watch the military parade on Pakistan Day. What good the military has done for the common citizens? History tells us, there was no military factor involved, and it was the help of God and will of the people contributing to the emergence of Pakistan Movement and the birth of a free Islamic nation.

What has been destroyed systematically cannot be recovered. Educated Pakistanis used to describe the fertile lands of Sind and the Five Rivers-Punjab, “our culture is agriculture.” Not any more, once home grown foods like sugar, wheat and other commodities are now imported from India. What went wrong with the fertile lands of Pakistan? The Al-Qura’an (Surah Al-Furqhan), mentions, how the deeds of the people affect the environmental growth and natural productivity of human development. Ignorance to the Divine message and man-made corruption spoils the fertility of land and creative energies of humanity. A fact most often unknown to agricultural scientists. Recently, an American scholar remarked on President Bush led war on Iraq: ” we know the enemy, he is in us”, so do most Pakistanis. The military rule has stolen more than forty years of lifetime of the country. The nation’s agriculture lifeline has been endangered by the official neglect and corrupt practices of urbanization. Economy makes no headways under the continued IMF debts of $64 billion dollars, being unable to pay the annual interest without additional borrowing. No national productivity except on bureaucratic papers, political institutions dismantled, only dummy Parliament and the Senate are in session to float the Generals and deceive the masses. Much propagated ambiguous democracy claim includes the same ruling elite as they were with the Bhutto family, Sharif and now General Musharaf, waiting to meet the inescapable conclusion of abrupt change. All the opposition parties are part of it.

India and China are the emerging new superpowers, acknowledged and considered by the Western strategic policy interests and economic development agendas. Nobody wants to invest in a society governed by the military dictators, as they have neither relevance nor value in the contemporary global affairs. India with the blessing of the Western powers, have plans for “dissecting” Pakistan, and ‘slicing’ it into half in its preparation of the war games. Could the Pakistani nation willingly affirm the status of the military rulers as indicator of political and economic stability? Ironically, most will agree, this is not the time and age for the secular military Generals to run a culturally sensitive, Islamic value-based nation of Pakistan. Those fellow Pakistanis with living conscience and Thinking Power, must contemplate, how the corrupt politicians and their accomplice military Generals, devoid of reason and intellectual foresights, could possibly help to reform and rebuild the nation? If agreeable, what are the practical solutions and a way out of the accumulated mess? Another military coup? No. Obviously, that is going to create more problems than resolve any peacefully.

Once Dr. Ali Shariati observed, “when people live in darkness, they lose sense of direction.” Those so-called self-appointed leaders who have been living on stolen wealth and borrowed time, how could they offer any proactive leadership vision to the nation?

There is nothing to celebrate except a time to reflect at our own wrong thinking and incapacitated state of affairs, so helpless that instead of being active reformers, most have succumbed to be pacifist spectators. Pakistan needs change but there is no systematic mechanism to foresee or visualize a democratic plan for political change and nation rebuilding. Some 25 years earlier, I asked late General Zia ul-Haq, what would our history say, why the succeeding generations of Muslims failed to produce leaders like Allama Iqbal, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Qutb, Al-Mushraqi, Moudoodi and Abdul Wahab?” Strangely, he replied without answering the question.

Contemporary history finds no respectable place for the oppressive military rulers in nation building. Ruined agriculture cannot be restored nor lands ploughed by the tanks and guns. Educated people educate others, and build public institutions, not the army. Traders and private investors run economic markets, nobody invests where military dictators control the country. Law and order deteriorates where Martial Law (no law) governs the human affairs -killing, rapes and looting become the order of the day. Whether you like it or not, look at today’s Pakistan where the ruling elite and the masses seem to be living in two different time zones, without meeting of minds, necessities for survival and priorities for security. Tanks, guns and bullets produce nothing, they destroy all living things.

With Musharaf, Pakistan is losing its respect and integrity. Shame to their common sense if India will talk on Kashmir. Shame to Pakistani Generals and their level of intelligence if they expect politically strong Indian leadership to have a genuine dialogue on the settlement of Kashmir. Pakistan under General Musharaf is operating from a position of political weakness, not strength to search for a peaceful resolution of Kashmir. There is an overwhelming sense of political insecurity. Who knows, how soon the Generals could be looking for an exit door?

Hafiz Ibne-Qayam, a distinguished Islamic thinker once observed: “when Muslims will fear from the people and stop inviting the humanity towards goodness and forbid from evil, they will be disgraced to the extent that nobody will pay any attention to their affairs.”