| by Mahboob A. Khawaja
Leaders with No accountability and No Shame
( November 7, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Pakistan is in ruins. The nation and its imagery, law and justice, commerce, thinking hubs, political governance all appear dysfunctional and self-contradictory. Eroding freedom of thoughts and action speaks of missing accountability of political elite. The nation is fast becoming victim of a US planned blue-print being used in Iraq. Vengeful sectarian killings and dismantling of economic, political and moral infrastructures to incapacitate the nation by its own sadistic rulers. All fighting against all to end the very existence by collective madness. The paid Pakistani political and security agents are instrumental in carrying out heinous crimes. Increasingly and without any logical redress, common citizens are the targeted aim of the political cruelty. No wonder, once conditions favorable to cruelty are established, it spreads like frightening wildfire. The governance demonstrates dead-ended political conscience of the interest of the people. After decade-old American entrapment in the bogus war on terrorism, the country has lost the energies and capacity to deal with any major problems of security and national unity. The foreign agenda is focused on breaking the moral and spiritual lifelines of the Pakistani nation by its own agents of influence. There are no brave and proactive politicians to stop the continuing political stagnation. The nation faces colossal disaster day in and day out but nobody is held accountable for the crimes. The Generals are convenient spectators and Nawaz Sharif is happy, the herd is politically manageable to complete his inherently fraudulent term of office as prime minister.
Daily blood baths of civilians go unabated adding to statistical record for lack of adequate security. The latest cold blooded murder of 55 innocent people at Wagha border and 100 or so injured adds nothing new to grieving citizens belief that Pakistan is governed by most inept, incompetent and corrupt people ever witnessed by an informed nation. No politicians assume responsibility for the protection and safeguard of life and property of ordinary Pakistanis. There is obvious disconnect between the people and the political rulers constantly hated and feared by the masses. The conflicting time zones are widening in which ordinary people suffer versus the ruling elite breathe as daily civilian casualties continued to rise because of the Taliban attacks and targeted massacres of the ordinary citizens. Who is a failure and who should be held accountability? Is the Pakistani security apparatus so incompetent and ill equipped that it cannot ensure public safety? Given the lack of accountability and lack of shame, there is nothing to prevent these political criminals from repeating their crimes. So the killings of the innocent civilians go unabated. Strange as is, opposition activists raising voices against the Sharif regime are conveniently arrested and jailed but not the Sharif brethren who kill the citizens at random and implement planned massacres. Those facilitating crimes against the people occupy positions of political leadership and even law and justice cannot question them - abetted by the political class, committed the greatest heist in history.
Assuming political power in Pakistan means king’s men of oligarchy. Nobody could dare to challenge their supremacy in the annals of public affairs. For almost three months thousands of people across wide spectrum of Pakistani society, were raising voices of REASON in Islamabad to imagine political change and to have the Sharif brothers held accountable for politically geared killings and death squads against peaceful demonstrators. The inaction contributes to the downfall of the country to obscurity and insanity often irreversible in time and space. This week, at Wagah international border, 55 civilians were cold blooded massacred by a group of Taliban. Reportedly 100 or more were critically injured. Sharif and military security officials have proven to be a failure to console the people in situation of emergencies and moments of pain and anguish.
A ‘Failed State’ or Quagmire of Political Insanity
Pakistan lives in self-inflicted turmoil of political and military intrigues - all deceiving all - all trying to gain their foothold in power either by attracting foreign interventions or creating catastrophic political up hazards to dismantle the fabric of the originally Muslim nation. The stage actors want power and use it as a divine right of absolutism against the interests of the coerced masses. This set the stage for the gradual decadence of the meaning and purpose of the Pakistan Freedom Movement. The worst emerged when ZA Bhutto and General Yahya Khan refused to transfer power to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the majority East Pakistani leader after the 1971 national elections. They managed to kill several thousands of Pakistanis on both sides to retain power and ended up in humiliating surrender to India. Both betrayed the nation and both escaped the accountability. ZA Bhutto emerged as an absolute illegitimate leader of defeated Pakistan assuming the role of Martial Law administrator, President and later Prime Minister. Another military coup by General Zia ul-Haq got the US-other Western nation involved in military intervention to oust the Communist USSR from occupying neighboring Afghanistan and evolution of jihadist - Taliban struggle. In August 1988, Ms. Bhutto and her mother were reportedly responsible for the plane crash of General Zia ul Haq and Killings of 12 Generals and hundreds of others civilians including foreign diplomats. Subsequently, Ms. Bhutto and her mother were not charged with killings of so many precious lives but embraced as the first female PM. She was dismissed twice as corruption that knew no bound. Ms. Bhutto and Asif Zardari stole millions of dollars from Pakistan and were indicted by Swiss court on money laundering schemes. The $60. Million were never recovered by the national treasury. A crime-riddled political culture flourished in which these monsters floated freely. Nawaz Sharif was also dismissed twice on corruption charges. In 1999, he conspired to hijack a PIA incoming flight from SriLanka to Karachi in which the then COAS General Pervez Musharaf and 250 or more civilian passengers were traveling. Sharif had the plan to send the plane to India or to get it crashed. A military coup ousted Sharif and was tried on terrorism charges in a court law and exiled. General Musharaf and his colleagues traded-in Pakistan’s national interest including the nuclear program, and hundreds of innocent Pakistanis sold to populate infamous Guantanmo Bay terror prison in return for cash payments by George W. Bush. Musharaf lived in a $1.4 million newly bought mansion in London under British police 24/7 protection before returning to Pakistan. “Do Pakistanis have any sense of honor?” asked one British journalist of the Daily Telegraph. Would any honorable nation or country allow such criminals to reemerge as political leaders?
Pakistan Needs Educated and Intelligent Leaders to Cure the Political Curse
To imagine a progressive country, educated Pakistanis living abroad could be resourceful to transfer their knowledge and experiences for the good of the country and to strive for a Navigational Change. But how? Hold your breath! An American neurologist of Pakistani origin goes back passionately to serve the people. His clinic in Satellite town- Rawalpindi offers highly specialized systematic health care services to fellow Pakistanis. Even treats those who cannot pay the fee or medication bill. Thousands line up and day and night go to this clinic. The doctor starts getting warning messages from local ‘ghundas’ (rascals) asking for protection money. The doctor continues to work and informs the police. They too want their share of the protection money and do nothing. He complains to higher civic authorities upon getting death threats but nobody listens and does anything to ensure the safety of the doctor and clinic. One day hundred of patients get big surprise when they see the rampaged clinic and the doctor is nowhere to be seen. Lufhtansa Germany Airline flies to Lahore but does not change its crew over there. The fear of kidnappers demanding money haunts them all the time. What a Shame…. What a Shame … What a DISGRACE to a conscientious Pakistani that leaders of Pakistan’s Government cannot extend sense of security to a reputable international airline. No sensible person or global citizen will ever invest or travel to a country at the crossroads of daily bloodbaths, corruption and political gangsterism. Is this prevalent fact hard to grasp to any responsible person in Pakistan?
Tourism is a lifeline to any developing nation like Pakistan. During the summer of 2013 under PM Sharif, 10 international tourists were cold blooded murdered by Taliban group near the K2 mountainous region. Is Pakistan that naïve and hopeless in security that it cannot protect the international tourists? Farzana Parveen would have liked to know why she was stoned to death right where law and justice were supposedly administered to have protected her at the Lahore High Court compound. Police were watching the horrifying killing. “Farzana Parveen Stoning Shames Pakistan.” (Asia Times: 6/2/2014). The terrifying scene portrayed in the global news media showed hundreds of spectators witnessing the most horrifying crime to human nature, not in darkness but in broad daylight, and right where freedom, human dignity, and honor of the citizens should have been protected - the Lahore High Court compound with police in attendance. It is incredibly shameful to be a Pakistani and to watch this inhuman atrocity out of the nowhere. Why the police did not offer protection to Farzana? Farzana's soul must be wondering, why did society not protect her against this draconian act of violence? Where are the concerned citizens who claim to be believers - the Muslims who day and night talk about Islam as being the faith and value of their society? The Sharif brother’s investigation revealed nothing to hold the criminal responsible. In June, Karachi International Airport (“Pakistan in Quest of Political Change.” Uncommon Thought Journal, USA: 6/18/2014), was on flame under Talibans attacks. It was a devastating blow to the international image and security of Pakistan. Nobody resigned or was held responsible for failing to protect the airport. Could Sharif and the few complacent Generals assure the global community that Pakistan is a safe place to travel, study, visit and do business? If not, why not? The bogus assemblies, time killing discussions, Sharif and the few Generals are the people embedded with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things. They are part of the problem, not solution and have NO SENSE of the freedom, honor and dignity of the nation. There was no "peace process” between Pakistan and Taliban and there is no peace. Only the absence of peace, and the gnawing want for it, the desperation of the vanquished clearly visible on the mindset of public horizon.
There is a frightening trend of crime explosion across the nation. Daily killings of the civilians go unabated and unchecked by the security agencies. The blame game is centered on Talibans - the creation of the Bhutto family and the Generals. For almost two decades, Pakistan’s capacity for change has been badly fractured and its moral, intellectual and political consciousness derailed and undermined by the few. Bruce Riedel, one of President 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), recently described the Pakistani rulers-both civilian and military: “Pakistanis cannot be trusted as they play dubious role, cheat and become double agents in War on Terror” and warns that: "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."
Pakistan’s worst enemies are those who are unable to listen to voices of reason and peaceful activism for political change. The ruling elite and the people live in a conflicting time zone being unable to understand the meaning and essence of the Pakistan’s Freedom Movement. Pakistan faces multiple chronic problems which could undermine its future. To all concerned and thinking Pakistanis, the country needs a Navigational Change or we could end up losing our national freedom. What is the cure to the current problems? There is no magic pill to deal with all critical situations except a comprehensive new systematic approach for ‘Anew Pakistan.’ Few decades earlier, in “Pakistan: Enigma of Change” (Media Monitor Network, USA) and “Revisiting Pakistan Enigma of Change”, this author offered proactive vision for planned political change to evolve new institutions and new-age educated leadership for a sustainable future. For too long, the masses have experienced tormenting pains and political cruelty. Nawaz Sharif and his brother must be tried in a court of law for the killings of 14 civilians and injuring 80 peaceful activists at Minhaj al Quran Academy Lahore and stolen wealth. Despite evidence, the FIR against Sharif was not registered by police. Nawaz Sharif has no political integrity and must step down or take leave of absence. There is substantial evidence for the 2013 election rigging by the election commission members. Sharif would need a powerful jolt as criminals do not exit voluntarily from powerhouses. It will provide a logical breathing space for a planned and workable remedy to a highly critical political crisis and to enhance a sustainable Change goal. A new Government of National Unity should be formed under a non-partisan and non political leader of moral and intellectual integrity for a period of two years; a New Constitution should be framed with new public institutions under leadership of new generation of educated people; and then a new election could give meaning and clarity to the purpose of democracy and to transform the ideals of a progressive legitimate functional democracy. The Need is desperate for the Pakistani nation to think critically and see the Mirror and stand firm in raising voices of reason for accountability and political change. The people must ponder at past misconceptions and errors of judgments and to bring 21st century’s educated, proactive and intelligent young people into political leadership role and to safeguard the national interest, freedom of the nation and its future.
( 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.)