Nations under abnormal spell
16 January, 2007
By Muhammad Ahsan Yatu
Should a politician be highly educated? Educated yes, but highly educated necessarily only for the countries that have an abnormal environment. However, being a part of political process is also a kind of learning and it should be taken as one of the most important political qualifications. Why our graduate assembly did not prove any different from our previous assemblies is because of the fact that most of its members are not linked to any political process. They are creation of circumstances and speaking frankly choice of the fixed organs of the state and not the people. Despite, what is happening in Pakistan, the importance of knowledge in any sphere of human activity is an established phenomenon. However, for a politician, the level and type of formal education would vary from country to country and it would depend also on the role he is to be prepared for by his political attachments or other connections.
In Europe where nations and the institutions have attained maturity, for the top leadership initiative rather than higher education would be a better qualification. In China cadre of communist party is educated, and the party runs its own institutions to that effect. In India where institutions have been developed on the European model and have also attained reasonable stability, initiative would remain the most relevant qualification
The US, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran are under an abnormal spell since many decades. The challenge before the US is how to keep its economy, presently $ 12 trillion, moving. Saudi Arabia is struggling hard to preserve its tribal systems. Iraq and Afghanistan are looking for a new direction while battling with the old one. Poor and illiterate Pakistan and Iran are on a mission to make themselves and Ummah strong through high tech weaponry borrowed and bought from the ‘enemies’ of Ummah.
The social scientists of the US think that only an agitated environment outside and frustrated populace inside, can help maintain the US’s economic momentum. Thus keeping class based differences intact inside, and creating destabilisation outside are their opted for strategies. They will not shed their fixed perceptions. It is the religion of the US establishment. The world cannot change the US, the US presidents can. The US and the world would become smooth, if the US president is a social scientist, a think tank by himself. Given the commitment of the common Americans with their elected leaders, if the US president chooses to act rationally and nicely, he can confront the proponents of the fixed perceptions, if not wholly, to a reasonable extent certainly.
President Bush has been a student of history. His highest academic achievement is an MBA degree. It is sufficient to run oil business but not a country like US. Had he been a social scientist, he would have done almost the same that he did in Afghanistan and Iraq but with a difference. Social science would have taught him how to win or leave the East. The fact that ultimate success in Iraq would depend on how Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia would react to post war situation was ignored. If it was a planned affair that Iraq should remain difficult as usual, then ignoring Iraq’s neighbours had logic. Bush Senior could have easily removed Saddam in first Gulf war. He didn’t. And that only meant that the turbulence in the region was in the US interests.
After the second Gulf war if there was a real policy change and the US needed a stable and democratic Iraq, it could have been achieved only through the cooperation of the neighbouring countries. Had Bush been a social scientist he would have known that none of Iraq’s neighbours would have liked Iraq to become democratic. Can theocrats, monarchs and autocrats tolerate democrats as their neighbours so easily? So, the best way was another UN resolution on Iraq, immediately after the war. The UN take over of Iraq might have worked. And even if it would have failed, the US would have escaped the blame.
Had Bush been a social scientist he would have opted for the UN forces also in Afghanistan immediately after the removal of Taliban regime. Here, too, the situation was no different from that of Iraq. Emergence of a democratic Afghanistan does not appeal its eastern and southern neighbours. Could a theocratic Iran and a military led Pakistan change their age old perceptions because of 9/11? The US too was soft and it looks as if it wanted to give only a temporary jolt to Afghanistan, only to return to its pre-9/11 perceptions later. That is why regrouping of the Taliban that had started a few moths after the war in and around Afghanistan was ignored. There are reasons to believe that the president of USA and the US establishment are two different entities in many ways. Only a president with a real background of social sciences could confront the real US authorities to do something different in post-war Afghanistan and Iraq.
Pakistan where state is in the making and the state power is a one man show, the ruler should be a social scientist as well as a basic scientist. Pakistan is not the USA in any sense of the world. Here emotions and vested interests, not the rationality and national interest, shape the psyche of the ruling elite. Pakistan has its own dreams. It is not possible to ascertain whether the dreams are achievable or not unless the leader is aware of the scientific potential of nation. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a social scientist but he was emotional and had an extremely narrow world vision. It was because he was not aware of a 700 hundred year long knowledge gap that existed between the West and the Ummah. His ideology of Islamic banking and unity of Ummah were fantasies. Had he been aware of the poverty of science in Pakistan, he would not have launched nuclear weapon programme. However, he was sure about its colossal cost. That was why he said that we would make the Islamic bomb even if we had to eat grass. Had Bhutto been a natural scientist, Pakistan would have spent $ 12 billion on education and not on nuclear programme.
His daughter Benazir Bhutto was equally ignorant about the scientific side of weapon making business. She was also unaware of its financial impact. She approved missile programme out of sheer ignorance. General Pervez Musharraf is not man of science. He is not a man of social science either. He too boasts, too often, of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile capabilities. He is not ignorant of nation’s poverty. He knew about it right from the start, the day he imposed his set-up on Pakistan. Yet, ignoring the social needs of nation, he too emulated the Bhuttos and is adamant on continuing with the weapon making business.
Before Bhuttos, General Ayub Khan had entered the arms race with the US support. The other rulers too did not remain far behind. They allocated funds to army as no nation has done in modern history, save in periods of wars. Allocations referred here are in proportion to GDP and in comparison to social sector receipts. That all the rulers added to poverty, illiteracy and ignorance of people is a crime against the nation. Acquisition of weapons of mass destruction through borrowed skills and technology is a farce and it factually added nothing to our defence capabilities. What actually happened is that the American and the Chinese businessmen have been befooling us through our so called scientists. We started our nuclear programme in 1975 and according to Musharraf till 1999 we had nothing but enriched uranium. The same is true about our missile making business, which is in fact money making business. Time ahead or another ruler with book would reveal that we have nothing but stupidities in our weapon account. Only a leadership well educated in social and basic sciences can undo wrongs of our present and past rulers. Let us hope it emerges before the Day of Judgment does.
In Iran and Saudi Arabia religious education or even no education would have worked in the past. Presently the rulers of these two countries must equip themselves with the knowledge of modern statecraft. The worrying news is that Iran too is acting like Pakistan. In spite of its huge oil reserves, Iran is a poor country. It has no technological base either. Only God knows why do not the rulers of poor countries act wisely? What is happening is that a gift endowed by nature, the fossil fuel, is being wasted. Even if the poor countries would acquire weapons of mass destruction, what would they gain from it? Can Iran compete with Israel? Is nuclear bomb to be used against the Arabs; if not, then why indulge in a futile exercise? Ahmedinejad is a highly educated civil engineer. To distinguish between fantasies and reality he needs some lessons in social sciences as well.
Saudi Arabia has been acting wisely and did not involve itself in weapons making business. It is not interested in nuclear absurdities either. Its dilemma is that it is confused. It cannot become democratic, because that would mean end of monarchy. It is soft on liberalism in the U.A.E, but cannot tolerate it elsewhere. It is practicing capitalism, but it cannot endorse it openly. Recent edicts of Saudi clerics against capitalism, socialism and liberalism reflect the gravity of anxiety that has gripped the house of Saudis. Only wisdom of social and natural sciences can show them a way out. They must turn to it, if they have not already planned to return to the age of tents.
Nations under abnormal spell
The writer has touched a very interesting topic which do need lot of views from the readers. Comments in this regards and views will certainly vary and be taken just as an excercise. Parliamentary system is always questionable in developing countries where food and shelter plus living is a problem. All educated parliamentarians in Pakistan behaved not very responsibly and most of them never bothered to attend the parliament sessions but did drew their salaries and benefits from the State. That is surely wrong for a graduate assembly to behave in that manner. While comparing with the west there is always a difference and that can take ages to explain but I must say if one system suits Uk might not suit the other though its a parliamentary system in practice over a few decades. If we go back and see what was England like or America like when they started their process of parliamentary system one man one vote. There are ugly seens to be viewed where members attacked viciously each other inside the parliament. Go to South Korea where I saw an ugly display of fight insdie the parliament. Go to India recently in one of its states where furniture in the parliament was smashed and it was a voilent act. Let us say its all humans who make mistakes. To err is human. No one is perfect. As Pakistani system is questionable but if you look at this at the moment the first time in the history of Pakistan parliament completed its term though there is no way to compare with others in the neighbourhood where more than 75 of its member were charged with corruption and also seen money changing hands inside the parliament. In Pakistan we got to come up with an honest view and that is a lack of understanding about parliamentary system. If you look at the previous terms of BB and Nawaz Sharif we all deplore their actions especially taken the wealth out of the country. As they were at liberty to do whatever they wanted no checks and balances they made the best out of it but left the country paralised financially. No one would like to see the repetition of that very set up. God might forgive them but the nation of Pakistan will never. At the present there are problems inside the system but will be improved gradually when got some experience and concious is pricked. Honesty is needed to handle and give service to the nation and that is lacking in all departments of Pakistan, from Gas supplies, electric connection and other areas where one can make money illegally is busy in malpractices. Nation do need to come out and work for the country not for themselves. They must not fill their pockets. They should give honest service to the country and nation. That can be achieved with education available for all and teaching in madrassas, schools, colleges and universities. No doubt kids learn from their homes and parents contributions are essential to built an honest nation. There is no demoracy in China, Russia and Cuba but they have done much better than Pakistan. Why? They are patriotic and hardworking. They devote their time for the country and get legal money. Pakistan is number two corrupt country on the list and the most honest country is Finland. There is no way Pakistan will ever catch up with Finland but if corruption is cut down, law and order is made to work, courts are given total authority to work, Police is taught not to accept bribes, that will help in achieving a system which is free and can be called parliamentary and that is long way to go yet. One can only have a hope. There is always room for improvement.For the information of all Iran has got 98% education and 68% graduates. They do have a successful parliamentary system as seen in recent polls. Iran has got the highest education in the world and not like Pakistan in the field of education. Let us hope what comes out in elections in Pakistan.
mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 16 January, 2007
Islam as Leadership:"If you let them They will claim your share too by Hook or Crook".
USA is huge Economy with GDP $7.5 Trillion with
Industries account 25%.Budget revenue is $1.5 Trillion
Expenditure $1.75 Trillion and Defence 5% of GDP
Export $700Billion and Import $900 Billion with
Public Debt in Trillions.
Mullahs Go to Mosques while USA goes to Mullah
Land to fetch economy in vicious cycle.Incompetency
Of Mullah seeking help of Allah in warding off evil
Is futile and illicit.
There is no witch spell when it comes to education
Degree and Specialists. There are thousands of universities
And thousands of PhDs developing specific products and
Invention and Patent Right. Thousands of doctors died
Without book writing or honour of Salman Rushdie Taslima
Nasreen .In old days People sacrificed witches or human
To ward off storms or to ward off Shark attack.
Thousands worked sincerely researching Cancer Cure
Injection and died without wealth or honour. There are
Millions of specialist engineers technicians doctors and
Social Scientists. Only Almighty Allah has power. Human
Govern by Consensus and Council. Pigeons can count
Few numbers. Human is distracted by whisper and fear
From Satan and Allied Army.
One best advertisement is currently on display which
Came just now with asking “would like to give me
Knowledge without vagueness to provide free
Drinking water to mankind Tax detectable”? It went on
2 million dying every few days due to polluted water
Then the advertiser published finest water technology
Collection with all Refining process source with list of
Machines and process available in the world market. He
Even quoted Islamic Book of knowledge. That reminded
The days when I worked in this field and offered one specific
Knowledge worth many water scientists working
Specializing under a R&D manager supervising
multi brand Products.
World competition comes based on specialists .One employed
Tens of thousands PhDs and engineers scientist researching
Company specific items to be competitive all under spell
Bound to achieve success. There is no money in theory ideas
Or bank cards without money to use. Jack of all knowledge and
Trade is handy with handyman’s wage and honour. PhD is a
Specific thesis based upon specific (worthless otherwise).MBA
Is curriculum in exchanging stocks for wealth genuinely or by
Fraud or invasion (something for nothing to boast
growing economy) There is not much difference in this and armed
robbery for a living by intellectuals.
benz m Ispahani, India - 16 January, 2007
Is national interest a consideration for Pakistan's military leadersip?
This is a good article.Also another quality that is needed in a good leader of Pakistan is dedication to its reason of creation,sincerity and respect towards the nation and its needs,preferring national and Islamic interest above of other countries.Unfortunately Military leaders have all along behaved as salesmen of Wests arm industry and their goods and culture.When a person is selected in army.One statement that is used so often is that they don't need oversmart.To me either you are smart or stupid there is no such thing as over smart or overstupid.Yet when this cadet over decades become CNC and then becomes president on the stimulation and encouragement of arms supplier country in this case USA then suddenly he discovers he is the "smartest man " in the whole nation ,likes to keep more than one portfolios.This psychotic behaviour you don't see in any country where there is respect of the nation and their aspirations and needs are taken into account by its leadership may be because the concept of accountability is present.
It would have been better if article would have contained some account of the exploitation and rape that nation is going under because of such imposed leadership free from all accountability.
Dr.Khan, United Kingdom - 16 January, 2007
Musharraf vs Bhutto
If Musharraf knew that the country is poor he would not have gone for privitizing and cutting jobs of people. Bhutto sahib initiated an atomic bomb with a world vision that we will have strong defence system,he did not went for mujahideen camps like the writer's favourite leaders have gone for.
Ali, Aruba - 17 January, 2007
There is always a difference of opinion on any issue. Bhutto did what? The biggest mistake he made was to divide Pakistan. East gone to Bangladesh and West on its own. He was a successionist just for holding on to PM chair. He was a civilian dictator who used to abuse his ministers and always thought he was indispensible and super human being. He was educated but not fit to govern a growing country like Pakistan. He should have stayed outside and perhaps it would have been better for Pakistan. By creating PPP he damaged the thinking of people. Its pitty he ended in such a way and I do deplore what was done to him. Facts remain there that he was not a good PM. He told Mujiburehman to go to East Pakistan be Prime Mininster there and he will take over West Pakistn and become PM here. What a shame leaving your one hand just for top job. Making of an atom bomb or procuring technology is not that difficult there are around 48 countries with this technology and in this world everything is saleable if you got the money.
Mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 18 January, 2007