Pakistan’s Living Graveyards

Dead and living are not equal, explains the Divine logic of the Holy Qura’an. Dead are those who are forgetful of the memory of God, and livings are those whose hearts glorify Allah all the times. If you wish to gather the statistic of dead bodies and souls, start with Islamabad where Islam does not live as a system of life for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Islam is living in the minds and hearts of the people of Pakistan but not across the institutionalized political governance. The PPP self-maintained governance is composed of people who have not been seen alive and well for quite some time. More so, since the natural floods ravaged the country and made millions and millions of ordinary people homeless. Under the prevalent uncertainties of the functional presence of a government, the people took refuge in graveyards and other locations not normally suitable for living. The foreign media networks showed thousands and thousands women, children and elderly people flocked in high grounds in Sind province. In one case, a graveyards had ten thousand or more affected people only with one medical doctor, not being able to look after hundreds of expectant mothers for delivery of babies and other essential medical help.

After the 2005 earthquake, why did the government not organize an emergency planning department to deal such unusual emergencies and natural disasters? Are the national resources reserved just for the thugs and indicted criminals who claim to be the democratic rulers of Pakistan? Suppose, if there was a responsible governance body in Islamabad, the flood victims would have been looked after in organized camps, not forced to live amongst the dead in graveyards. Perhaps, Pakistan’s rulers have no moral conscience and may be it is dead long before when these people assumed the offices after dead Bhutto. Graveyards are logically meant for dead people without any movement and signs of life but the poor masses – victims of the natural disasters had no choice but to escape to safety amongst the dead. Zardari government is run by dead-ended people or those like Bhuttos already dead populating the graveyards. The living dead of the PPP central government are numerous and many. There is no verifiable data currently available to refer to as Mr. Zardari continues to insist (DAWN, Sep 15, 2010) that “democracy” is working and “nobody can derail it.” Rationally speaking, the majority of the Pakistanis masses do not know where this democracy exists and for whom does it functions? The people of Pakistan are not part of any democratic set up. For almost 50 years, the military Generals ruled the nation, undermined its ideological foundation and incapacitated the institutionalized life-lines of the Pakistani nation to the extent that now a skeleton lives and survives. Fearful of the unknown, the poor people have gone to live in graveyards to avoid the obvious killings and deaths in starvation.

In crises of such huge proportion and human devastation of life and habitats, leaders provide care and intellectual security to the victims. To the Pakistanis, most of it came from the foreign aid agencies and visiting representatives of humanitarian organizations, but nothing from the rulers of Pakistan. The Pakistani armed forces and the air force personnel in particulars have extended excellent services to deliver foods and bring the affected people to safety in large parts of country. But how dead the political rulers could be for being unable to offer any sense of moral support to the masses? Many Pakistani observers have described the ‘missing’ presence of the central government led by PM Gilani and Zardari from the scene of disasters. Simple and hardworking peasants, villagers and impoverished masses were not supposed to be mistreated this way. This appears to be an outrageous performance of behaviors on the part of government claiming to be democratic and legitimate.

Throughout the human history, ruling elite have used clichés and abstract slogans to use the essential wealth of resources and dominate the helpless masses for their own vested interests. The European elite fought many wars including the two World Wars, killings millions and millions just to safeguard their privileged status and governance of the few. The myth of democracy remains a myth after many upheavals across the globe. Pakistanis are no exception. Its elite armed forces are led by the few who were indoctrinated by the British colonial system of administration. The Pakistani Generals were not part of the freedom movement for an independent state for the Muslims. Perhaps, most would not be familiar with the basic norms of Islamic thinking and beliefs. Yet, they occupied the power of helms for almost half a century destroying the creative THINKING and positive energies of the Muslim nation. No General was ever held accountable nor their manufactured so called politicians – the Bhuttos, Zardaris, Sharifs and countless others. After a decade of ruthless authoritarianism in Pakistan, General Musharaf now lives in $1.4 million villa in London. Nobody could question him for the corruption and money laundering activities carried out during his reign. Through the US good offices, Zardari was phased-in to phase-out General Musharaf comfortably to the UK residence. Dead Benzair Bhutto’s image is being used to make reference to the legitimacy of Zardari as the “elected” president of Pakistan. There was never an election conducted in Pakistan for this post that was already arranged and occupied by Musharaf via the previous dead assemblies having continued existence for this very purpose to install a military president who was still wearing army uniform as General to play two self-conflicting role and images.

Wickedness knows no bound. A decade earlier, the Forum of Concerned Pakistanis in Canada wrote to General Musharaf (then the Chief Executive) that “be cautious, a wicked person (kahbis) never harms another wicked person (khabis)” and that to pursue planned political change and reformation goals in Pakistan, we “need God-fearing pious people, enriched with vision, intelligence and leadership to rebuild Pakistan.” General Musharaf was not a leader but a military officer, and he discarded the most needed honest advice and plunged the nation into another spectrum of political disasters and bloodsheds.

The NYT (07/2007), claimed on its front page that Pakistani Generals were paid to do the anti-terrorism job. President Bush once disclosed that Musharaf and his comrades were paid $10. Billion to fight the War on Terror. Whenever there is legal accountability for General Musharaf, his biggest crime against the Pakistani people is that he killed thousands of innocent civilians to gather data for the US war machines and to create an illusion of “terrorism” making ordinary Pakistanis appear as terrorist to the global audience. The Pakistani Generals must be punished for their crimes against the masses. In a latest interview to the BBC (09/2010), Musharaf is gearing up to establish a new political party and to compete for the next elections. It all sounds that as if dead bodies and souls have been reborn originating from the truly dead graveyards. Egoistic and overwhelmingly ignorant and arrogant retired General Musharaf does not think so that he had the opportunity but now he is only good for legal and political accountability in a Pakistani court of law as is the future destiny of Zardari and so many aligned others by-products of the army Generals, glued to his self-centered governance. Most are known thugs and indicted criminals only good for the much needed law and justice process. Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Choudry needs lot of moral and practical collaboration to pave the way for a conducive environment for democracy to take shape in Pakistan.

Floods and the victims are everywhere across the fertile lands of Pakistan but not the political rulers. The members of the so called assemblies are missing and nowhere are to be seen in action to assist the victims. As reports are coming, the members of the National Assembly have multiplied the values of their material and financial assets. No wonder, why the foreign donated aid and material help is not getting through to the deserving folks as they continue to rely on prayers to God for His Mercy and Help.

Pakistan desperately needs CHANGE, a new political system of governance, away from the old and obsolete feudal lord dominated military governed politics of the few. There is no place for General Musharaf, Bhuttos and Zardaris in the living minds and hearts of the Muslim people of Pakistan. The so called leaders are the dead entries of the past who cannot be a HOPE for the FUTURE. Soon, floods will recede, and the victims of the floods taking asylum in graveyards will leave the graveyards and return to their homes and plough their lands, grow in life and re-live as normal and dignified human beings as they have been for centuries. For sure, Allah’s help will come to those who show steadfastness and continue to do good in all human affairs. This appears to be a difficult trial period for the nation and they MUST learn from this tragedy that nation-building is a challenging and responsible task and it is not going to be done by thugs and criminals like Zardari, Bhuttos and Musharaf and so many like them sitting in the assemblies and occupying the political governance in Islamabad.

The rebuilding of the nation will come out of the vision, leadership, commitment and planned thoughts and actions of the young, educated and new generation of intelligent Pakistanis who will show respect and consideration for the people and their well being without selfishness and exploitation. If PM Gilani and Zardari insist to stay in power and complete the term of office, they should consult some able psychiatrist for mental treatment. They must be made aware that the Pakistani masses do not trust them and they have no term of reference from the people to claim any legitimacy for continued political governance. The masses would welcome a non-partisan government of national unity under capable leadership to serve their interests and priorities for the restoration of normalcy and rebuilding of the infrastructures.