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Unending Travails of Pakistan

| by N.S.Venkataraman

( September 9, 2014, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Pakistan has all the potentials to emerge as an industrially and economically strong country , due to its natural wealth and reasonably well talented human resource with considerable traditional skill. Unfortunately, ever since Pakistan was created as a separate country after the British rule, the country has been suffering from political instability that is retarding its growth .

Thousands of Pakistanis living abroad as well the intelligentia in Pakistan feel sad and helpless that the country has become a victim of weak governance.

While the neighbouring India , which also attained freedom at the same time as Pakistan, has been able to maintain a system of democracy and stable governance with self correcting mechanism inspite of several issues and problems ,the story of Pakistan is different.

Today, Pakistan suffers from two issues , namely the excessive influence of religious extremists in governance and an army that is not willing to confine itself only as fighting force without being involved in policy making.

The religious groups think that Pakistan has to function as a country solely to protect and promote Islam and anything else should be secondary in the priority of the governance. This attitude has caused the country dearly , as people with independent and progressive outlook and without excessive commitment to religious sentiments , cannot have decision making authority in the government. To this extent, the talent available to the government has become restricted.

The army suffers from self inflated ego that it is the be all and end all as far as Pakistan’s governance is concerned and it strongly thinks that the government of Pakistan cannot and should not do anything that is contradictory to the views and priorities of top brass of the Pakistan army. Pakistan army leadership appears to think that the government should be accountable to it, particularly in matters relating to relations with India. Unlike other countries like India and western democracies, the dividing line between army and Government of Pakistan has become very thin.

The grim fact is that political governance , without being controlled directly or indirectly by the religious extremists and army , have become impossible in Pakistan . This has created a situation that any government in Pakistan that toe an independent line of policies gets dislodged sooner or later .

Pakistan suffers from multiple problems today due to its own making. The independent and forward looking politicians in Pakistan are unable to organise themselves as an effective alternative , that can stand up to army and religious groups and take the country forward.

Some people thought that Ms. Bhutto can slowly bring a semblance of order and dynamism in Pakistan government after her return from her exile , with more matured outlook, if she were to win the election. Unfortunately, this was not to be and she was murdered.

It was then thought that Imran Khan, the former test cricketer ,can bring a refreshing change in the polity of Pakistan with a modern outlook. Unfortunately, he also appears to have succumbed and has only added to the confusion by demanding the sacking of Nawaz Shariff , which is widely viewed as undemocratic and immatured act.

The millions of Pakistanis living in Pakistan and abroad yearn for a politically stable government under matured leadership that will have the courage of conviction and can move forward to solve several issues facing Pakistan including in Kashmir and Baluchistan. They pray Almighty that a towering personality like Mohamed Ali Jinnah with statesmanship qualities, who can command the respect everywhere and show the army and religious extremists their due place , would emerge.

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