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Ten years for each, the generals and the Taliban

17 April, 2007

By Muhammad Ahsan Yatu


Since the past sixty years we have been experimenting mainly with two governing systems — the democracy and the martial laws. However, we did not use these systems in their entirety.  We mixed them with each other and also added to them a bit of the Sharia (Islamic law). The amalgam did not work; rather it did the reverse, and added to the political, economic and social uncertainties. Time has come to turn to ‘purity’, to give all three systems the democracy, the martial law and the Sharia a fair and absolute chance, time and action wise, separately — without mixing them with each other. Ten years for each should suffice. Whichever among them succeeds should stay for all times to come or till such times we survive!

With which one of these systems should we take a start? It must not be democracy. If we do so we will stall or fall at the gates. We will fail before we begin. Our constitution does not allow man made laws; whereas the democracy is by definition and by dynamics people centric and secular. Democracy is not an election activity only. It is a process through which people make their own laws and change them if they fail to deliver. No one and no party can dare act democratically while following the present constitution. If some one thinks it can be done, he or she is either innocent or befooling the nation. Moreover we do not have effective secular political parties around. The nationalists of Balochistan, Sindh and the NWFP are no doubt the secularists and perhaps the only available real political stuff, but they have no nationwide support. They are rather taken as anti-Pakistan, and as such are on the hit list.

The PPP the most popular political party is thoroughly religious due to its affluent feudal leadership, though at peoples’ level the reason for its strength is its liberal and socialist image. Its leaders did use to wear a liberal-leftist mask, but that is a thing of the past.  Today they repeatedly pronounce that they are not secular and will make laws in accordance with the Sharia. The second most popular party the PML (N) is led by the undisciplined affluent sections of the nation.  It is openly in favour of an Islamic rule based society. However, its popularity has major reason in the sanctity of the ‘Punjabi pug’. The ruling party the PML (Q) and its allies are flexible in all areas. Most of its leaders are rich stalwarts. They will side sincerely with a thoroughly secular system provided they get a share in power. The MQM in its outlook is a liberal and non-religious party. Factually it is sitting on the other extremity. It is so far a race based pressure group that pressurises the rich and the middle income groups alike, and also the state when needed. It will remain by composition anti-democratic. However, if its present efforts to expand its support base through out Pakistan succeed, and if it is supported by a tiny disciplined rich class that we have, it may emerge as a democratic force. So in the absence of strong democratic political parties, it is better to give the army or the politico-religious parties a chance first. It is also necessary because no political party can dare to divert national wealth from defence to development and change policies on Kashmir and Afghanistan. The army and the religious parties will allow no one to do so.

Given the numerical, material, technical, disciplinary and dynamic skills that the military claims it has, it would be best if we give first ten years to the army. No doubt the Islamists too are equally loaded with all types of skills, but they are not still as powerful and rich as the army is. They do have resources; the Pakistani, the Arab and the American rich and the agencies and the mafias do support them financially, but not to that extent that would help them match the wealth of the corporate army of Pakistan. So if they are given a chance first, the powerful army will not let them ‘succeed’. For another experiment with the destiny of Pakistan, they are the second option.

During the test period of ten years, the army should begin with the law of necessity. It should be declared as the mother of all laws. Next it should concentrate on taking over total control of the state machine. The joint chief of staff should act as the president, the chief of army staff as the prime minister, the chief of naval staff as the chief minister of the NWFP, the chief of air force as the chief minister of Punjab, and the corps commander in Quetta as the chief minister of Balochistan. The rest of the top political and bureaucratic and managerial posts in the secretariat and other national organisations should be distributed among the remaining corps commanders, lieutenant generals, major generals, the brigadiers and the colonels. Even for many tasks the suitable persons from the retired military cadre can be engaged.

The lieutenant colonels, the majors, the captains and the lieutenants can replace the deputy secretaries, the directors and the section officers. The rest of the posts can be taken over by the other ranks and the jawans. The military accounts directorate can run the financial institutions including the CBR, State Bank etc. The NAB has already replaced most of the FIA. It can take over the entire control. The police services should not be touched. The people out there are the brothers in uniform.  Moreover, if removed they will do much more than what they are doing now, and that will create a situation which even the all-powerful army would watch helplessly. Having acquired control on every thing that matters in Pakistan, there will be no hindrance to the military in implementing its reformative agendas. It can do any thing it likes.  It may even go through a metamorphosis and change its image of the army in business to the army in barracks; and revise its policies on Kashmir and Afghanistan, and also on defence allocations. It would be in the interest of the political leaders — or whatever they are and wherever they are — to sit quietly and watch the grand military show from outside.

Let us hope the military would succeed. We the people of Pakistan should support wholeheartedly whatever the military would do. What else the wretched ones can do. If the army succeeds, the experiment would stop. Onwards the army will rule smoothly and the people will live happily. The politico-religious leaders would return to the mosques, and the democrats would join their leaders in exile. If army does not succeed, which is likely, then the next is the Taliban’s turn — to do the rest. The Taliban have every thing, the divine laws and the will to implement them, their own army of male and female soldiers and hundreds of thousands of ulema who can take charge of every thing from the on ground secretariat to the planes flying in the skies. They would deliver. Even if they would not deliver anything else, they would certainly deliver the ‘peace’. They did it in Afghanistan, and this is what our army, intellectuals, political leaders and the media tell us. If peace comes to Pakistan, no matter what kind of peace, the political certainty will follow. What else will follow is anybody’s guess.

Should the political parties be given a chance after the Taliban’s ten-year test rule over Pakistan?  No, if they remain without meaningful, well-defined and workable manifestoes. No, if they are not ready to change the fiscal equation in favour of the people. No, if they are not able to give financial autonomy to the provinces. No, if they are not powerful enough to change Pakistan’s disastrous policies on Kashmir and Afghanistan. No, if they are not ready to turn to social democracy — to provide food, shelter, healthcare, education and an intellect enhancing environment to every Pakistani. No, if they are not able to secularise the constitution. No, if they are not capable of saying ‘no’ to America on the matters of peoples’ interests. No, because not much of any worth would be left to renovate after the twenty-year test rule of the army and the Taliban. If the Quaid’s Pakistan is destined to decay and degenerate, why should it happen through the peoples’ votes?

Reader Comments:

Reality

If any country is measured by it's laws, economic progress, governing systems and right for minority then Pakistan as an Idea and all the ideals behind it have failed miserably. Few options you have:

Democratic reforms
Breakup
Go way of other "non relevant" countries.

I hope it's first one....


Realist, Pakistan - 17 April, 2007

Salad(political) Dressing!

Yatu Sahib, Do not forget to
replace the national dress in
khaki and khaki currency,with
khaki flag and GHQ symbol.The
national anthem must include
praise of martial law.

Khalid Rahim, Canada - 18 April, 2007

well ur rite

it was really interesting what u said, but its so cunfusing that at the end u thing wats gona happen to ur country

jazz, United Arab Emirates - 18 April, 2007

Truth

Since the born of Pakistan there have been some kind of martial law regime or military control. Like Afghanistan never given a chance or choice to the grass roots people to decide their own future.

Mohammad Azimi, Afghanistan - 18 April, 2007

10 yr each military security or MadarisTaliban(students)

10 yr each to military or Islamist or Security guards ..
1. Military of Pakistan Bangladesh with 300 million UMMA need mobility employment food accommodation jobs industries family development social religious life sports and recreation drinking water factories new housing. If Military can provide who cares about democracy?
2. Islamist Taliban and less trained UMMA trying to keep balance Can they build and run factories build tunnel bridges steel mill car mfg design building Create drinking water create employment .If they can do it then who needs Military or some kind of democracy
3. Amalgam of military democracy semi functional democracy amid semi functional educational system with Islamists mullahs If jointly they can keep balance build factories bridges homes provide drinking water economic own homes to purchase who need US EU democracy Or foreign peace keepers or their enclavement.
Evils of Licensing...
Then there is Psychotic behaviour of the teachers Media justifying Democracy of “ENCLAVE” via Security forces of the west amid daily Killing of Iraqis in hundreds a day tens of thousands or million /year ie.4 million missing in 4 years
The world is littered with soldiers security guards Security Forces and LLP.
Soldiers Psychiatrists Psychotic behaviour pattern plotters themselves are running around in cars jeeps armoured vehicles with guns ammunition Cars everywhere who need Petrol of shell BP chevron Cortex Hindustan oil Pak oil petro Canada Kuwait oil Iraq oil Saudi oil gas station.
Security guards and several Million soldiers while earning hefty wages high paid job are globe trotting.
Peacekeeping, the BBC joined French troops from the Kosovo Force (K-For) as they patrol isolated Serb and Muslim communities in the north. They defined “what is enclave”?
An enclave can range from thousands of people to several hundred, and there are times when it means just one family or one individual. An ageing farmer, his spouse and their dogs, barking blue murder as the jeeps come jolting up a rutted back road to their house on the hillside. "We call it the Kosovo alarm system," .UN Nat has 16000 peacekeepers in Kosovo. Then in Cyprus Bosnia Iraq Afghanistan Philippines Timor Muslim Islands everywhere in fast east Somali Criteria Sudan Palestine around OIC.
According to definition of enclavment Virginia High Tech Cho Seung-hui or Canadian school shooter kimveer gill or individual family or community enclave religion enclave makes me wonder where highly disturbed psychotic behaviour Problem need addressing.


Z.Billo, Pakistan - 19 April, 2007

Exceelent Article...all of us should support the military leadership and Musharraf for the success of Pakistan

Asfar Siddiqui, Pakistan - 19 April, 2007

The Islamic Theology and Government

A few days ago The Chief Saint or 'Gaddi Nasheen Peer' of Ajmeir Shareef was called on the Geo-News and while commenting on Islam he could not pronounce the commonly read prayer "Rabbana aatina Fiddunya". He was the owner of the throne of the tomb and for 800 years are claiming to be preaching Islam. These people are called Barelvis who have gradually started not paying to the Islamic theology and teachings and on the other hand are the Deobandies who consider the stick or baton to be the only cause of Islamic theology. They even mark learning of any type of knowledge other than that of the meanings and types of speech of Quran and Hadis as non Islamic activity. These people not deny getting benifit from any source by deny getting and achieving the source. The Barelvi faction is not against any knowledge and are more open minded but they remain much aloof of the basic principles of Islam and have brought considerable change in the theology of praying to one God and are seen bowing before such fatty Seyyeds and tombs which is strictly denied rather contrary to the Islamic teaching and basic 'Kalima'.
Actually both these parties have fell a prey to luxuries gained by the wealth in the shape of aids and charity. Most of them get where they are sitting and if the Deobandy Mullahs guide others to have modern knowledge and education then there will be no one left to attend their gatherings and schools which may stop their diet so they see it easy to say 'Kufr' to any other type of education. And if these 'Gaddi Nasheen' or self enthroned saints 'Peers' did not say to one that one is now purified of his or her sins by paying some to the tomb may do not earn for their living and luxuries.
There is no drawback in the system of Islamic thesis but the system is getting wrong day by day. Dars-e Nizami is the best form of religious knowledge for a religious student which is comprised on eight years course and contains mostly learnings of human behaviour in society and besides teaching the types and vocabulary of Arabic and Islamic teachings in the course is included Arabic poetry form and Islamic socialogy personal manners and morality. No other book can be compared to the two written by Sheikh Sa'di Gulistan and Bustan in teaching manners and social behaviour of a Muslim that also include in this Ders-e Nizami. May be these mullahs who get through all these studies either give no attention to the teachings or just have the degree without learning who behave like this and misguiding people. Dars-e Nizami is named after the Chief Minister Nizam-ul-mulk Tusi of the Turkish Sultan Malik Shah Saljuq who laid the foundation and basic principles of this religious education in 11th century A.D. Even the high class Muftis do not know that why is this school named as Dars-e Nizami also that that minister himself was a good scholar in many a fields of learning.
It is essential to regularise the teachings of Dars-e Nizaami and modern knowledge of geography, science and arts be included in it. That will be not good for the Peers and Mullahs in comfort but will be better for the common people. Sometimes even a known religious scholar not knowing a minor thing of general knowledge seriously becomes a joke.
That what is going on in Islamabad is the outcome of the agitation against the Government which is encouraging desirous women to come out from homes and be free from the bond of society. That was promised by Mr. Musharraf with Mr. Bush to unleash leashed women in Pakistan with support of the government. Now when the free minded women have been let to do anything then the Deobandis will be compelled to do anything in retaliation. To please America one of the Madrassas was occupied by the government by night to be demolished for making some building or road which created the situation.


Mohammad Ilyas, Pakistan - 21 April, 2007

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