This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive
Political and religious personalities in Pakistan become all-powerful because of the support of state terrorism. They do not reach that exalted stage overnight. Some political leaders have reached the superior position thru a systematic encashment of their acquired status and thus consider themselves as invincible. Revolutionary poet Habib Jalib very aptly said:
Is Se Pehlay Wo Jo Ik Shaks Yahan Takht Nashin Tha
Usko Bhi Apnay Khuda Honay Pe Itna Hi Yaqeen Tha
If an ethno-political party or an off-shoot of an organized party is branded as “terrorists”, then one can rightly state that they have full support of bureaucracy, political hierarchy, law-enforcing agencies, external financiers, and roguish elements of society to reach that plateau.
The fact is that all the political parties have an unwritten pact. As in the game of Bridge, they are “us” and the citizens are “they”. The establishment, the media, and the feudal and industrial aristocracies are all hand in gloves with them. They go to extremes to protect their self-interests while political polarization or verbal attacks or threats to quit government or organize long marches are just to divert people’s attention from contentious issues like the shattered economy, foreign affairs failure, endemic corruption, or misuse of constitutional powers.
None of them want National Accounting Bureau; none of them want a government to fall; none of them want to be on the wrong side of the Armed Forces; none of them want to alienate Uncle Sam. All of them are covertly and unabashedly together in this macabre plot from Day One. The recent events on the political horizon vividly prove this nauseating set-up.
Meray Watan Ki Siyasat Ka Haal Mut Poocho
Ghiri Hui Hai Tawaif Tamaash Beeno Mein
Why does MQM keep coming back to the Cabinet? Why is PML-N tip-toeing instead of an organized onslaught against PPP? What made major leaders of PML-Q join the government? Why is Maulana Fazlur Rehman silent over the activities of the present government? Why is Jamaat-e-Islami not serious about its opposition? Where are people like Mahmood Achakzai, Asghar Khan, Maulana Sami ul Haq? Why does Pir Pagaro play both sides of the net? When people like Zulfiqar Mirza have a beef against MQM, why as Home Minister he allowed all facilities to 90? Altaf Hussain routinely addresses his followers fromUK. Why were phone lines not jammed to prevent people from listening to demagoguery from Edgeware?
The answers are not that difficult. Sway the boat but do not rock it. The judiciary will be given a defined space to operate under a “controlled” freedom of justice scenario. The officialdom will have to work in “on-your-mark, get-set, go” environment. The police would as usual be the hand maidens while the industrial and business leadership will be subtly “advised” to behave. All in all, the political top leadership will “manage” in a keep-everyone happy system. The Armed Forces obey the Constitution and will impress upon the citizens that their duty is to defend the country and not indulging in petty politicking or rattling the democratic order. But, behind closed doors, they will “guide” as the actual rulers and every politician accepts this stark reality. The citizens, as always, are the lambs.
Ameer-e-Shehr Ne Kaghaz Ki Kishhtiaan De Kar
Khulay Samandaron Ke Safar Per Kya Rawaanah Humain
When the going gets rough and tough for the government, or the economy is in dire straits, or leaders start developing megalomania or getting too big for their britches, or try to trespass into forbidden territory, then the brass has no option but to pack up the “democratic” set up and take charge. The citizens joyously welcome this and a new musical chairs game commences albeit with music from a marching band. However, in a few years time, the “Administrator” is labeled as usurper, dictator, and Caesar while the band starts playing the new song of freedom and liberty.
*The writer Former President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.