Pakistan: Good People and Evil Politics

| by Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja

To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions, and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man. …a law of nature to govern it, which obliges everyone: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions (John Locke, Two Treatises on Government, ed. Peter Laslett. Cambridge University Press, 2000).

( April 30, 2013, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) All progressive nations view critically their present and past and set plans and priorities for future-building. In Pakistan everything that can go wrong has surpassed the limits of reason and logic. The blunt logic tells that masses are simple and honest people being driven to unusual trends and ends of political manipulation by the few societal feudal lords traditionally occupying positions of affluence and gangesterism to determine political change and future of the nation. Over the decades, violence is both a means and recipe for change and dictatorial disasters. No political change has happened without violence, either through political conspiracies or via direct military coups. Combined these historical factors have shaped the institutionalized corruption. In a BBC interview (4/28/2013), Imran Khan (PTI), made it known that “80% of the political rulers and governance are criminals in Pakistan.” Other political actors with the exception of Jamait-e-Islami, would not dare to talk on corruption or against it because they are the most hated leaders of political corruption that nation has ever experienced who have crippled its social fabric namely the Bhutto family, Zardari, Sharifs, Musharaf and so many others. They stole millions from the nation to buy valuable real estates in London, Paris, Spain and Dubai. They enjoy upper-hands in all mafia type activities including bombing, killings of civilians, social-economic disruption and selling the interests of the nation to foreign masters. Because of political corruption, Pakistan is at crossroads for its hope to have life-sustaining new system of change and governance and the institutionalized corruption maintained system of political governance.

Politicians are part of the problems and cannot be part of any rational solutions. Over half of a century of continued military rule has incapacitated the body politics of the nation by dismantling all of its public institutions. The only institution that works is the corruption and corruption across the board.
Corruption could be synonymous to human activities and is essentially outcome of ignorance, greed and mismanagement. However, under the influence of global news media communications, there is an emerging impulse of awareness of the changing realities of the landscape – masses are coming out of the slumber and questioning the incompetent and corrupt politicians. But politicians are part of the problems and cannot
be part of any rational solutions. Over half of a century of continued military rule has incapacitated the body politics of the nation by dismantling all of its public institutions. The only institution that works is the corruption and corruption across the board. One wonders, who is not corrupt in Pakistani politics? Could the institutions of corruption be terminated by the judgments of the Supreme Court alone? The people of Pakistan need to understand the problems as they are without political illusions. Pakistan faces manifold problems within and outside for its survival. The immediate one is to disconnect its affiliation with the US led bogus “war on terrorism” and to restore a sense of normalcy by facilitating a new non-partisan government under new leadership. Zardari and his gangstersim have ruined the honor and dignity of the Muslim nation. Intellectually and morally, this is the worst experience that Pakistani nation is enduring to see PPP-MQM-Sharif’s PML-N in the political powerhouse. It is as if Pakistani nation is devoid of any rational THINKING and sense of direction for its future. As if public good is not known to public thinking.

Evil is often framed in good-looking illusions. The dichotomy goes by many interpretations. The opposite of the good would be political aims that are evil. Truth becomes lies, justice becomes injustice, freedom becomes slavery, and peace becomes war. This is the overwhelmingly culture of Pakistani politics. Niebuhr, Reinhold (“The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness,” The American Intellectual Tradition, vol. 2 eds. David A. Hollinger and Charles Capper. Oxford University Press, 1997) offers a rational explanation of how good and evil operate in public life - the belief that there is “no law beyond the self. This is in fact, the most basic quality of evil. What is not often realized is that almost everyone claims the Good as their political ends, even when they are up to their eyeballs in the blood of innocents. The difficulty comes in separating the facts from the claims.”

Pakistan’s political-governance problems have originated from the self-centered military coups and dictatorial policies dehumanizing the politics and essentially incapacitating the nation of its creative thinking positive energies for future-making. Andrew Gavin Marshall “Imperial Eye on Pakistan- Pakistan in Pieces, Part 1 (Global Research: 5/30/2011) states:

“The war in Afghanistan is inherently related to the situation in Pakistan……… In September of 2008, the editor of Indian Defence Review wrote an article explaining that a stable Pakistan is not in India’s
interests: “With Pakistan on the brink of collapse due to massive internal as well as international contradictions, it is matter of time before it ceases to exist.” He explained that Pakistan’s collapse would
bring “multiple benefits” to India, including preventing China from gaining a major port in the Indian Ocean, which is in the mutual interest of the United States. The author explained that this would be a
“severe jolt” to China’s expansionist aims, and further, “India’s access to Central Asian energy routes will open up.”

Andrew Gavin Marshall points out that David Kilcullen advisor to “President Obama warned in April of 2009, that Pakistan could collapse within months, and that, “We have to face the fact that if Pakistan collapses it will dwarf anything we have seen so far in whatever we're calling the war on terror now.” The adviser explained that this would be unlike the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, which each had a population of over 30 million, whereas “Pakistan has [187] million people and 100 nuclear weapons, an army which is bigger than the American army, and the headquarters of al-Qaeda sitting in two-thirds of the country which the Government does not control.”

In global context, Pakistan’s relations with America assume the top most importance. Most Pakistani political-military minds have ingrained American orientation one way or another. Some openly have sold to follow the US dictum as did Musharaf and Zardari and others indirectly for personal survival. Currently there appears to be a mutual trust deficit as America keeps on sending daily killer drones on Pakistani civilians and interference in domestic politics. Bruce Riedel, One of Obama’s advisors on Pakistan and the War on Terrorism (“Battle for the Soul of Pakistan” 1/4/2013, Brookings Institute and Centre for Middle East Policy) calls it “2013 could be a transformative year for the country, indeed it will be the battle for the soul of Pakistan.” Bruce Riedel thinks that ‘Pakistan will be a failed state by 2030.’ He dose not spell out the truth that selfish and incompetent Pakistani Generals have degenerated the thinking culture of the nation where according to Riedel “One measure of Pakistan's instability is that the country now has between 300 and 500 private security firms, employing 3,00,000 armed guards, most run by ex-generals.” What makes the ex-Generals to create a culture of fear and insecurity? Is it the ex-Generals or the bogus War on Terror they have perpetuated? Is it that they draw their after service gratuities from such crime-riddled adventures? He adds that , “So, it is no wonder that the generals prefer to have the civilians responsible for managing the unmanageable, while they guard their prerogatives and decide national security issues. As important as the coming elections will be, the far more important issue is who will be the next Chief of Army Staff.”

Bruce Riedel warns; “The changes in Pakistan are unlikely to come peacefully and will have major implications for India and America. The stakes are huge in the most dangerous country in the world.”

Come what may, Pakistanis are a morally and intellectually conscientious people. At public conscience level, evil is known evil and good is good. If most politicians are indifferent to the prevalent public culture and believe in exploitation of the amasses, the political Change must be viewed as a vital aim and priority for the election process. To envisage ANEW Future out of the planned ideas and ideals, it is important that General Musharaf, Zardari, Sharifs, Chaudaris and so many other collaborative monsters must be held accountable in a public court of law. If this does not happen, it will be unthinkable to foresee a new beginning or a promising future. The Election Commission appears too weak or perhaps politically indoctrinated by the affluent classes not to take proper actions against the corrupt politicians. There were 248 previous MNA’s and other provincial parliamentarians with bogus educational degrees, why they were not charged with willful deceptions and considered misfit to stand for another election? Does the Election Commission needs democratic education and orientations? Looking at the current events, the dead politicians are again raising slogans to serve the interests of the people of Pakistan. There are multiple political stunts being staged by the politicians. Could the dead Bhuttos-Zardaris - Sharifs and the Generals be a reference point or a changing force for the making of the future? Those educated and intelligent Pakistanis enriched with knowledge, global visions, wisdom and passion for anew and truly democratic Pakistan, could make positive things happen and make the difference with courage and imagination in devising new system of governance suitable to the Muslim nation, share expertise in problem solving and workable solutions and change management of the old neo-colonialism and obsolete system of governance maintained by the few blood suckers. Is this not what the Pakistani people should organize themselves to strive as a worthy aim and achieve it? The people of Pakistan must THINK and be prepared to struggle to chose politicians who are educated, honest and do not have criminal records, otherwise, the election will be an exercise in futility and it will be politics as usual of Evil, not Good for the common folks.

(Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012).