Before Push comes to shove

By: Major General Shujaat Ali Khan  (R)           

(THIS IS A PAKPOTPOURRI EXCLUSIVE)

Events have come to such a pass that the people of Pakistan of all classes and shades of opinion are clamoring for a change. The politicians , media and a section of civil society are advocating  a constitutional change, but frustrations are running high and the common man is  pushing for a revolution, or  even direct military intervention. While the Military does not appear to be so inclined, there are widespread speculations that some kind of indirect action in concert with judicial activism is on the cards. There is no smoke without fire.

The confidence and bravado being displayed by the Prime Minister in the face of mounting pressure is either delusional, or an effort to bolster the morale of his Party and Government. (I remember when I was a young captain in erstwhile East Pakistan, just three days before the ignoble surrender, General Niazi, in an effort to boost our morale, boasted that soon we would be flying our flag on the Indian Command Headquarters inCalcutta! )

Change appears to be inevitable. It is desirable that it should be constitutional. However any change brought about constitutionally is likely to be short lived as it will only be “old wine in a new bottle”. The enormous problems facing the Nation would remain unsolved, and the widespread disillusionment will only be compounded, Consequently, sooner rather than later the combined “Push” of diverse forces will come to “Shove,” and the present dispensation may be thrown into the dust bin of history, Before that happens, the President, Parliament, and the Government along with their “Friends” and “Friendly opposition” in the provinces, should voluntarily do self cleansing and correct course. The correction will have to be drastic, surgical and merciless, where heads will roll and many loyalists incarcerated. Political and personal sacrifices will have to be made in the interest of survival. I suggest following initiatives be taken without loss of time :

  • National Emergency should be imposed immediately under Articles 232 and 233 of the Constitution.  (If the present circumstances do not warrant an Emergency, are we waiting for doomsday?) )
  • The President Should confine himself to the role defined for him in the Constitution and give up his Party Office (he will continue to be its head even without the title of Co Chairperson anyway)
  • All controversial governors and ministers should be changed at the Centre and provinces. The Federal Cabinet should be cut down to fifteen ministers with no ministers of state. Provincial cabinets to be restricted to ten.
  • To formulate policy, there should be an advisory team of non political experts/technocrats with each ministry.
  • The appointment of all heads of state enterprises like Steel mill, PIA, etc should be reviewed afresh and corrupt, unqualified or under qualified loyalists replaced.
  • All parliamentary committees should be temporarily suspended, and through an Act of Parliament a National Truth Commission should be formed. Fifty percent members should be drawn from respected and experienced retired  judges, academicians,  technocrats, beaurocrats  generals and businessmen. Such a Commission at federal as well as provincial level should have wide ranging powers to monitor governance and take corrective measures. Similarly smaller commissions could be formed at division and district level. Corruption should be the first priority of the Truth Commission.
  • Local body elections to be held immediately, or the previous bodies to be restored for at least a year.
  • Responsibility for rehabilitation of flood effected people to be given to the Armed forces, assisted by NDMA, credible NGOs and local bodies.
  • The confidence of the beaurocracy should be restored by rewarding merit, providing security of tenure in appointments, and insulation from politics.
  • Sectarianism and religious extremism to be tackled with firm resolve. Maddressa reforms should be strictly implemented. All non registered madrssas for children over twelve years closed immediately, and the senior hierarchy of all banned organization imprisoned under MPO.
  • In serious cases where the law and order situation is beyond the limited competence of police to tackle (which is frequent) the Army should be called “In aid of civil power.”
  • Revenue to be raised on war footing. Revolutionary taxation measures should be introduced including tax on agriculture. The rich should be forced to pay a one time flood tax. Pay, allowances and perks of all parliamentarians should be halved, and foreign visits banned except where absolutely necessary.  Industrial cartels should be dismantled but due care needs to be exercised in dealing with businessmen so as not to scare them.

The list of suggested measure is by no means exhaustive, and they may not turn around the situation immediately. But their effects would be visible soon, infusing confidence in the Nation, giving it a glimpse of good governance. Foreign donors and investors will be likewise encouraged .

While the suggestions have been directed at the Government and politicians,  there is a  heavy responsibility on the media. It should show greater maturity and keep national interests above commercial ratings and personal prejudices. Sensationalism should give way to objectivity.

Dare I advise the Judiciary? Their lordships in all their omnipotence, should keep the “unintended” consequences of their judgments in mind before pronouncement.

And most important of all, the people of Pakistan should show more patience.

(Shujaat Ali Khan was a Major General in the Pakistan Army, later serving as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Morocco. He was also Director General of ISI’s internal wing).

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Comments

  • Khalid Mahmood  On September 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Salute to the General with brilliant ideas but the voluntary execution is not practical ! Who will oversee the implementation ensuring honesty at all levels ?

    Who is to be trusted all along ? ” Alas ! the enemies of the wicked were not virtuous themselves”

    Regards / KM

    • Laila  On September 28, 2010 at 5:05 pm

      KM
      Certainly not these Jokers!

  • Laila  On September 28, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Dear Sir
    Show patience? You must not be serious! What have the people shown if not patience for 63 years till there is none left?
    I support all measures you have suggested but the corrupt government,corrupt state officials & corrupt bureaucracy is not interested in so doing.The flaw in your write up is an assumption that they want to do good for the country.
    They don’t!
    The change must come.Not only of faces but also policies.
    SC will do well to act on my advice.
    Respects
    L

    • Shahid  On September 28, 2010 at 6:45 pm

      Laila,

      I agree that the people are fedup with this lot but yet having tried
      them over and over again they still elect them. So what method do you
      suggest that would keep the democracy lovers happy and yet keep the
      non performing people out of the mix and bring about the change before
      the term of this government expires?

      Shahid

  • Ghayur Ayub  On September 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    A very good write-up; gen sahib has given promising suggestions, but I couldn’t see anything about dealing with corruption. He is silent on accountability. I believe Pakistan has two major problems; corruption-in different forms and shapes; and terrorism-in different forms and shapes. Both need tackling in any new setup.

    Dr Ghayur Ayub

  • Shahzad Nawaz  On September 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Apt and sensible!

    • Akhtar Bukhari  On September 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      Dear Yasmin

      Please ask this fellow and his community to tell this poor and opressed nation about :
      How many plots they have and thier gallantary services for which they got precious lands all around.
      Places of education, jobs of thier sons, daughters. son in laws, nephews ,brother in laws etc
      How many of thier family members are residing abroad,thier businesses, and thier past positions.

      What difference you saw ong these pseudo wellwishers of Pakistan and the lot they are criticising uopn?

      regards
      AB

  • Idrees  On September 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Valid suggestions, not asking for the moon but where is the will? Removal of superfluous ministers will provide a tool to the disgruntled elements of the parties and another round of bleackmailing will begin. But this is certainly the first solution because nearly everyone is a minister and those who are not demand privileges equal to them and in any case behave as such.
    AUSTERITY IS THE FIRST REQUIREMENT, but who will get the ball rolling?
    No truth commission in the present circumstances can deliver.
    idrees

  • Rashid Inam  On September 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    •Reform of Pakistan’s civilian security forces, particularly the police, would help restore confidence in the government and its ability to protect its people, thereby increasing its political legitimacy.
    •Historically, both civilian and military regimes have used the police as an instrument of repression against opposition groups. Police forces were politicized, and recruited, trained, promoted, and posted without regard to merit.
    •Any assistance to or cooperation with the Pakistani police must be conditioned on regulatory and legislative changes. Pakistan’s government must also guarantee that the forces constituted as a result of U.S. and international assistance will be used for the purpose they were created for.

  • Syed Mustafa Zaidi  On September 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    On the Papers it is an excellant idea. To impliement the idea one has to consider ground realities. I think Dr Ghayur Ayub’s remarks are relevant. Corruption in different forms is the root cause of all the problems in our country. It is a height of corruption, that it is now considered as norms of society. the statement of one of the minister ( I think defence production minister dont remember his name, recently been fired as he had passsed some remarks against Chief Justice & Army. This same minister has also stated that all nationalities should be alloted qouta for corruption, it is on record that he has given same sort of statement about corruption on television also about two or three months back, but that time he was niether reprimanded nor removed from the ministership.) is an ample proof that corruption has become a norm in our society. It is my observation that corruption is not only among those who are at helm of affairs, rather it is at all levels of every public service department from Police to Post office & Aukhaf.

    The tragedy is that the people who are considered highly qualified are giving statement the he has committed contempt of court not a single person has come & said that he has committed contempt of society so he should be for preaching corruption.
    General Sahab, the Problem is that our whole nation is in self denial. Unless a strategy is developed to cope with this dilemma, no proposal & efforts can bring about the desired results.

  • HABIB  On September 29, 2010 at 2:13 am

    There is no mention of America in the write up. Most important part of the equation cannot be ignored in any analysis, going forward. We can do whatever, provided we have Uncle Sam’s nod.
    hh

  • Minhaj  On September 29, 2010 at 2:18 am

    YAA
    Good article. However, who will promulgate emergency? Who will bring the suggested changes? No mention of role of technocrats
    Minhaj Qidwai

  • Khwaja Aftab Ali  On September 29, 2010 at 2:48 am

    FACTS ON THE GROUND IN PAKISTAN. Reference to the Islamic history and Pakistan’s independence period, I want to go a step further and will recommend to select/elect every Chief of Army staff as president after retirement and the present Army chief should be be given extra time for his outstanding services at national and international level and all other Corps. Commanders of the Army and COS of Air force and Navy should be appointed Governors and Deputy Governors of the provinces and regions ( by creating regional governments in all four provinces, 2 in Punjab 1 in each province- these regions already exist based on language, culture and history , such as Saraiki, Potahari, Upper Sind-Sukkar, Dera Ismail Khan in NWFP and Gawadar- Balouch Area. And all additional bureaucrats who love to live in provincial capitals should be transferred to these remote areas of the country. These new regions should invite and attract the foreigner and Pakistani origin people to invest in the area to create jobs and eliminate poverty.) This is the only way we can stop further interruption/ coup in Pakistan . After all armed forces personnel are well disciplined and organized . And above all represent Pakistan’s diversified population. And it’s leadership do not transfer within family but earned by hard work and talents only. Every second family in Pakistan is represented in the army one way or the other and the Pakistan Army is the only ever lasting popular party-yes it’s an important ruling party other than Bhuttos and anti-Bhuttos, Sharif brothers. With this arrangement no one is loser except few feudal and industrialists, who represent non of the masses in Pakistan. We already have a quota system applied for superior services since 30 years and had killed thousands of innocent talented young people, why not try this arrangement for the welfare of the country which will effect none but very few so called politicians who after all deal with generals, behind the curtains. And it’s good to know that supporters of these politician are 500/600 Mafia families who live in 125 districts in Pakistan and provide so called public leadership for national, provincial and local levels. Any restriction to stop them is useless. Recent example of education condition brought their unseen educated women forward in politics. All 8000/9000 candidates in recent elections were from the same mafia group who are the biggest law breakers and around 1000 leading law breakers have been elected as new law makers who will take care of themselves but none. They all are involved in worst kind of crimes on this earth against humanity with the collaboration of junior police officials. An enquiry by a neutral agency may prove my claim. WOULD THE EDITOR PUBLISH THIS LETTER in the larger interest of the nation. KHWAJA AFTAB ALI,(a former Secretary Iranian Embassy, Saudi Arabia,1975-88), first and only post graduate of Intellectual Property Laws on scholarship from USA. Residing in Orlando, Florida.U.S.A. email.pip.law@ hotmail.com phone 4077293983
    Posted by Khwaja Aftab Ali, Advocate & I.P. Attorney, Pakistan.

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 29, 2010 at 8:18 am

      Dear Khawaja Aftab
      The Editor has posted the letter as it is. I do not believe in curtailing views unless language used is abusive. Please continue visiting the forum to post your comments on ongoing issues.
      Best
      YAA

  • Samson Simon Sharaf  On September 29, 2010 at 3:24 am

    The army had a Blank Cheque in 1999 and Musharraf with his well articulated army of Advisors that included MI, ISI, CGS, squandered the opportunity. As Pakistan’s we need to understand the rule of constitutional law, something the Supreme Court is trying to enforce.

    Reforms advocated such as these will never work because as a Nation and Establishment, we hold the begging bowl so dear to our hearts. Beggars cannot afford to thin clearly.

  • Sqn Ldr S. Ausaf Husain (Retd)  On September 29, 2010 at 4:08 am

    I fully agree with the suggestions made by Major General Shujaat Ali Khan in his article ‘ Before Push comes to shove’. However, Sir, allow me to add one more suggestion that before National Emergency is imposed a list of all those who have been looting this country whether in power or not should be placed on Exit Control List (ECL) and should not be allowed to leave the country on self exile. Similarly, United Nations should be requested to pass a bill that no person/politician who leaves his country in self exile should be given given asylum. Experience has shown that in the past persons who have left their country on self exile have immediately formed a secretariat of their party in country which had given asylum to him and started a war against the rulers to get back into power.

  • SHWEBO  On September 29, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Surprised to hear these suggestions coming from someone who has headed the internal wing of ISI?…and remained ambassador to Morocco under all powerful military dictator Mush.

  • Tanvir Ahmed Siddiqui  On September 29, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Irresptive whether the suggestions given are practical or not but most of suggestions as highlighted by bullets by Genl. Shujaat Sb are more or less replica or elaborations of that famous and highly trumpeted 06 points agenda of Genl. Mushurruf . As an ex- subordinate of his ex-boss and as a die -hard commited soldier of his commander the respecatable author must not forget that despite galloping & riding on all those mighty horses of power and preorogatives in this country extensively for almost a decade they all together could not put humpty together again. Now Genl sb (ofcourse out of his personal sincerety, painstaking wisdom and grave concerns) is again trying to make us all see through the same magic eye and lantern to which his ex-boss abusd for almost a decade. Now Genl. Sb is again suggesting the rule of Technocrats without forgeting or ignoring the fact that for almost 10 yrs this country under the KHAKI umbrella was predominently ruled by local & imported Technocrats the one like that Mr. Shakat Aziz and his extensive team of so called and so known highly educated and qualified NGOnised burgers. We must also not forget the commendable services of deserted technocrat like Mr. Shaukat Tareen who been instrumental like mere tool in pledging our generations with nauseating terms of Kerry Luger Bill /IMF & World Bank. We must also keep in mind the proven professional financial management ability of so known technocrat Dr. Hafiz Sheikh who prioritized his working agnenda by freezing the funds of Universities for Education and Research in this country.
    At the same time with due share of respects as a reader i fail to absorb the effect of the concluding remark of Genl. Sb. about Judiciary. I take it as the warnoff kind of advise and alarming suggestion to scare the Judiciary with the consequences of their pronouncements. This wording of remark reflects more or less the same kind of tone and expression conveyed to CJ when he was summoned by his ex-bosses in GHQ.

  • Syed Ataur Rahman  On September 29, 2010 at 7:17 am

    This is an excellent article. At least the writer has spoken about the solutions and that is very welcome. More could be added and some subtracted. Pakistan has no shortage of brilliant and patriotic people who could combine to write a road map for our lovely country. Then it will be the responsibility of the judiciary firmly supported by the Armed Forces to make sure it is implemented. There is no other way but for change for the very survival of the country. General Shujaat has done a yeoman’s service in highlighting the ills and given solutions too. Well done.

  • Akhtar Bukhari  On September 29, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Generals when retired, pose as they were saints but they must not forget Allah Almighty knows each n every act to thier misdeeds.This man was known as ………… while in Quetta, in ISI and sent home as Major General.His ambassadorship was purely ethnic based.He was behaving like God,when was in uniform(Naoozubillah).May Allah Almighty save this nation, this country, this world from such hypocrites.Aameen

  • Tanvir Ahmed Siddiqui  On September 29, 2010 at 10:18 am

    The dilemma of this country is that Most of such brilliant ideas are now coming out from inteligent minds of those who during their stipulated tenures of services always remained mere tools & instruments in hands of usurpers and exploiters. In last sixty three years of our independence this country is now overloaded with all kinds of figureheads so heavily decorated with all kinds and colors of medals, rewards, awards and what not? Considering that huge number in that so long line of awarded and rewarded civil & military beauracrats and commerades , this country should have been no less a piece of heaven on this earth. But the end result shows today that not a single institution of public welfare, service and interest is in place.

    • Laila  On September 29, 2010 at 2:56 pm

      Response/ comment from one of my friends.The respondent is not Iqbal but one of his friends:
      To: iqbal maladwala
      Sent: Wed, September 29, 2010 12:26:45 PM
      Subject: RE: Before Push comes to shove :Major General(R)Shujaat Ali Khan

      Very noble thoughts the writer can begin by returning an amount of over $100,000 he syphoned off while Amb. in Morocco- it is well documented.

      • Yasmeen Ali  On October 1, 2010 at 7:03 am

        I THINK Laila the person so commenting is confusing General Shujaat with some one else.
        YAA

  • H. A. Jafrey  On September 30, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Dear Yasmeen!

    Please ask your subscribers not to be personal. The debate should remain within the limits of decency.

  • Tanvir Ahmed Siddiqui  On September 30, 2010 at 5:27 am

    @H.R JAFFERY SB: THESE LINES OF A FRIEND ON THE FORUM ARE WEL WITHIN THE LIMITS OF DECENCY TO WHICH THE WRITER MUST CLARIFY (UNLESS OFCOURSE HE HAS NOT BEEN NROISED.:
    “Very noble thoughts the writer can begin by returning an amount of over $100,000 he syphoned off while Amb. in Morocco- it is well documented.”

  • Maj Gen (retd) Shujaat Ali Khan  On October 1, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Dear Ms Yasmeen Ali,
    I enjoyed comments on my Article, both positive and negative, and was also amused by some of the remarks directed at the Generals in general and me in particular. But I was taken aback to read a false and malicious accusation from an anonymous sender who has used some one else’s shoulder to fire this malicious offensive. (refer to the email posted on this site, addressed to Iqbal Madawala on 29 September) What can I say in my defence, as it is for the first time I have seen a charge of having “syphoned off 100,000 dollars” when I was ambssador to Morocco. (which the Accuser claims is documented) If this was true, surely the Foreign Office would have hounded me? Need I respond to such a ridiculous charge on your website? And should you have posted such a charge, which is worse than abuse ?

    Can PAKPOTPOURI be used so easily to defame people.?

    I am dissapointed.

    Shujaat Ali Khan

    • pakpotpourri2  On October 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm

      Dear Gen Shujaat
      The SITE is not moderated. Any member posting any comment more than twice can post directly. So posts,unless they are a first time post by an address are not diverted to me for moderation.Any post that uses abusive language is removed(though there never has been such an occasion),however, you may not agree with me,but,if there is a misunderstanding,a mixing of personalities, it is better to correct that error than let the person continue thinking on lines not fact based.
      This,was the reason why the post was not removed. However,I did post my view that there may be a confusion here & if this has happened, it is being confused with you.
      Please also note,when an article is posted on blog, the reaction is immediate,both good and bad,as pointed out by you,unlike publication in a newspaper.
      And yes,I do agree, generally,amongst some civilians,there is a feeling of anger against Generals. Coming from a civilian background myself & married to a General’s son-I come across this often enough.
      Warm Regards
      YAA

      • pakpotpourri2  On October 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm

        Another point: The reader posting this comment will forward to quarters it comes from.Thereby, stemming a misinformation which is why I am glad you responded to it.
        Best
        YAA

    • Laila  On October 1, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      Dear Gen Shujaat
      Since I had posted the forwarded message, let me clarify,there was no purpose to abuse. I can only apologize if it looked like it as I do not know you at all. The mail received pointed out,the writer so suggesting,maybe had been wrong himself once. This kind of statement must be countered & corrected. I had no access to your mail address,thereby it was posted here,in a hope you will respond.Thank you for so doing.
      I share on the Forum, the reply sent:

      Dear Iqbal
      I received a forwarded mail by you charging Gen Shujaat with misuse of funds.
      The Gen has been good enough to reply to it.
      I can only comment,a wrong statement was made without facts supporting it. Your friend is either totally anti Army or has a reason better known to him/her to wrongfully so state.I reproduce his reply & hope it will be forwarded as it is.
      Best
      Laila

      REPLY:
      Dear Ms Yasmeen Ali,
      I enjoyed comments on my Article, both positive and negative, and was also amused by some of the remarks directed at the Generals in general and me in particular. But I was taken aback to read a false and malicious accusation from an anonymous sender who has used some one else’s shoulder to fire this malicious offensive. (refer to the email posted on this site, addressed to Iqbal Madawala on 29 September) What can I say in my defence, as it is for the first time I have seen a charge of having “syphoned off 100,000 dollars” when I was ambssador to Morocco. (which the Accuser claims is documented) If this was true, surely the Foreign Office would have hounded me? Need I respond to such a ridiculous charge on your website? And should you have posted such a charge, which is worse than abuse ?

  • Shahid  On October 1, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Here are my comments:

    General sb’s suggestion:
    National Emergency should be imposed immediately under Articles 232 and 233 of the Constitution. (If the present circumstances do not warrant an Emergency, are we waiting for doomsday?)
    My Comment:
    Present circumstances by no means can be defined as the ones warranting imposition of emergency. Emotional feelings of the writer or the others do not qualify to be considered for taking such extraordinary constitutional measure.
    General sb’s suggestion:
    – The President Should confine himself to the role defined for him in the Constitution and give up his Party Office (he will continue to be its head even without the title of Co Chairperson anyway)
    My Comment:
    Hmmmmm…! Nothing wrong with it, though it won’t serve any purpose. Those who are born to criticize would find another reason.
    General sb’s suggestion:
    – All controversial governors and ministers should be changed at the Centre and provinces. The Federal Cabinet should be cut down to fifteen ministers with no ministers of state. Provincial cabinets to be restricted to ten.
    My Comment:
    Controversial? How to define it? Who is not controversial (each key person of every institution)? … the Chief Ministers, the bureaucrats, the judges, …… If one is not, one can be made within a day. It seems the Governor is only the one of the Punjab.
    Downsizing of cabinets? Yes, a good proposal.
    General sb’s suggestion:
    – To formulate policy, there should be an advisory team of non political experts/technocrats with each ministry.
    My Comment:
    Non political? Well, where and who are they? Name a couple of non political technocrats, who are known for being pro-people; or, at least, not against Bhutto &/or PPP.
    General sb’s suggestion:
    – The appointment of all heads of state enterprises like Steel mill, PIA, etc should be reviewed afresh and corrupt, unqualified or under qualified loyalists replaced.
    My Comment:
    Corrupt and unqualified … sure; remove them. Under-qualified? If it is about mere academic qualification mentioned for these posts, I think all of them would be qualified. If it is something like experience, acumen, vision, integrity, impartiality, then I am afraid one would have to remove everyone at the top of every institution, even the rotten bureaucrats whether civilian or not. You’d have to change the whole systems (alongwith personnel) of induction/ promotion/ elevation/ separation of civil service, judiciary, armed forces & all.
    General sb’s suggestion:
    – All parliamentary committees should be temporarily suspended, and through an Act of Parliament a National Truth Commission should be formed. Fifty percent members should be drawn from respected and experienced retired judges, academicians, technocrats, bureaucrats generals and businessmen. Such a Commission at federal as well as provincial level should have wide ranging powers to monitor governance and take corrective measures. Similarly smaller commissions could be formed at division and district level. Corruption should be the first priority of the Truth Commission.
    My Comment:
    Can anyone find a retired (by the way, does retirement clean everything of everyone?) judge, an academician, a technocrat, a bureaucrat, a general and a businessman who could speak truth about their own careers? As a matter of fact, the country has reached the present stage only because of these “respectables”. Politicians have always been their short-term, ignorant and weak partners, whose partnership was always detested.
    General sb’s suggestion:
    – Local body elections to be held immediately, or the previous bodies to be restored for at least a year.
    My Comment:
    Elections? Alright; but restoration? Wah waa! Usee attaar kay lounday say dawaa laitay hain?
    General sb’s suggestion:
    – Responsibility for rehabilitation of flood effected people to be given to the Armed forces, assisted by NDMA, credible NGOs and local bodies.
    My Comment:
    Hoooonnh, Are you very proud of their job after 2005 earthquake? If yes, I must admire your innocence. Also, in such a case what will the restored or elected local bodies do?
    General sb’s suggestion:
    – The confidence of the bureaucracy should be restored by rewarding merit, providing security of tenure in appointments, and insulation from politics.
    My Comment:
    Beyond understanding: rewarding merit, what does mean by it? Giving them what in excess of their posting, perks and privileges? Tenure of appointment, bureaucrats are not dismissed under political governments; it is always military governments who do it with their opponents. Insulation from politics, hmmmmm, (i) who will provide it? and (ii) why to keep a bureaucrat who is loyal to his job more than that to his duty to the homeland? However, no politician, senior bureaucrat, media person or general should harass an honest bureaucrat. But in such a case one can resort to the honorable judiciary. Isn’t it?
    General sb’s suggestion:
    – Sectarianism and religious extremism to be tackled with firm resolve. Maddressa reforms should be strictly implemented. All non registered madrssas for children over twelve years closed immediately, and the senior hierarchy of all banned organization imprisoned under MPO.
    My Comment:
    Closing of non-registered madrasas for children over 12 is a very good idea.
    But can a person be imprisoned for an unlimited time under MPO? Law & Constitution won’t (and should never) permit it. Why not to strengthen law enforcing agencies and prosecution for effective control? Why not to conduct a thorough operation clean-up for illegal (in many cases legal too) weapons. Moreover, an operation clean-up the agencies itself.
    General sb’s suggestion:
    – In serious cases where the law and order situation is beyond the limited competence of police to tackle (which is frequent) the Army should be called “In aid of civil power.”
    My Comment:
    Why not to enhance competence of police by diverting a part of budget of army for trainings, equipments, weapons etc?
    General sb’s suggestion:
    – Revenue to be raised on war footing. Revolutionary taxation measures should be introduced including tax on agriculture. The rich should be forced to pay a one time flood tax. Pay, allowances and perks of all parliamentarians should be halved, and foreign visits banned except where absolutely necessary. Industrial cartels should be dismantled but due care needs to be exercised in dealing with businessmen so as not to scare them.
    My Comment:
    Only 8% of landholdings belong to the big landowners. Do tax them. By the way, agriculture and industry are already badly neglected. One may tax them after helping them revive. Why not to cleanup taxation machinery. By the way, the whole Inland Revenue Service (Customs, Income Tax, Sales Tax & Excise Duty collectors) comprises of ‘respected and educated’ bureaucracy inducted on merit through Service Commission.
    Why to cut down parliamentarians’ pay only? Why not also to take back the residential plots, flats, agricultural land etc. from civil & military bureaucrats? Why not to shift cantonments from current city centers to suburbs. Why not to cut down the sizes of official residences of civil and military establishment.

    Let me say something more:
    • Why the retired generals, judges and bureaucrats do not leave this country to the people of this land? If they choose bad leaders for themselves, let them suffer. They may suffer for a couple of terms and then will find their way. Why the ‘respectables’ assert to be more patriotic than the down-trodden people of this land? Why do they think themselves more capable for politics of this country, although the principle of ‘qualification & experience’ should require complete banning of respected and experienced retired judges, academicians, technocrats, bureaucrats generals and businessmen from politics. They may put in their efforts in some social development/charity work. Why they always see towards power? The best they could do, if they are so much concerned about politics, is to establish political schools where the youth can be trained as career politicians by inculcating in them the relevant skills and character. It is very unfortunate that these respectables, with the help of media, have created hatred about politics in the minds of the youth to keep them away from this most important field of the collective life of the society. Instead, they themselves, after enjoying safe, powerful and peaceful careers, jump into politics from the higher pedestals, causing disgrace to the practical politicians who spend their whole lives in the service of the people in streets as well as in lockups and jails.

    • It’s very ironical that those who have enjoyed their lives in power; and have failed to address any collective issue of this nation (rather they have contributed to worsen everything) pretend to be more patriotic than the ones living in the mainstream society amidst agonies of their fellow common citizens.

    Can we leave Pakistan to Pakistanis; they do not need any pampering by us, they can take good care of their motherland; if they are not trained enough today they’ll do it tomorrow (let’s let them continue with their training of democracy, no matter how hard it is). But if we bring and insist on implementation of our personal and undemocratic formulae, the nation will remain in the same crisis. DO CRITICIZE CORRUPT AND INCOMPETENT POLITICIAN; BUT DON’T GIVE NON-POLITICAL SOLUTIONS TO WORSEN THE ALREADY DAMAGED DEMOCRACY AND POLITICS OF PAKISTAN.

    • Maj Gen (retd) Shujaat Ali Khan  On October 2, 2010 at 6:18 am

      I thank Mr Shahid for his candid comments on my Article. While I can give many counter arguments to justify my proposals,I will leave it at that, since the debate could go on “ad nauseum.”

      I do wish to, however, correct a perception. Retired personnel of senior rank ( Beaurocrats, generals,judges) are cerainly not more (or less) patriotic than other citizens, But having served in positions of responsibility, they do aquire some understanding of state functions, including politics. AND SOME OF THEM LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES, as I have. And Mr Shahid is right that we are responsibile for bringinging the Country to this sorry state. But this responsibility is shared with the politicians and their gullible constituents who elelect them every time.

      Perhaps this is the reason for my venturing to write this Article.

      Shujaat AK

      • pakpotpourri2  On October 2, 2010 at 9:43 am

        That is true.One cannot, blame, the Army, more so the Generals for this state of affairs.Whenever Army has come to power,it has been owing to failure of the politicians.
        Every time sweet meats were distributed on streets.
        That does not mean, Army coming in power has not made mistakes.It has.
        However, instead of passing on blame either way, we must try correct the wrongs prevailing.
        This article, with some gray areas , is nonetheless, food for thought.
        I share a link here to an article posted by me today,on the blog, that is a reflection of the malaise of corruption we find ourselves in:
        https://pakpotpourri2.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/politics-of-loan-write-offs/
        Best
        YAA

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