By Syed Atiq ul Hassan
Some readers might be upset and thinking what am I talking about preferring an army dictator over the civilian leaders. Well I am sick of hearing these beautiful principles of democratic society which don’t apply to Pakistan.
I totally understand the benefits of democracy in any society as it provides freedom of speech, supremacy of law, equal justice to everyone, respect of everyone’s thoughts & beliefs, and equal opportunity to every citizen. I believe on all these as I am living in a democratic environment and have been receiving the benefits of democracy in a society where people from 150 nationalities live (in Australia) and are treated equally.
But, what people refer to the democratic system in Pakistan is not a democracy instead an abuse to the democratic system. As in the last five years, this operators of this system have made people fools on the name of democracy and followed what Mr. Zardari says that ‘democracy is the best revenge’, so they have taken the revenge from the people. Today, they left nothing for the people of Pakistan except, no power, no energy, no clean water, no safety, no jobs and no respect of the demands of the people. On the name of democracy, the rulers promoted corruption, bribery and favouritism. They put the State in enormous debt which may take decades to pay back to international creditors. After 5 years of rule on the name of democracy they are leaving behind an uncontrollable
terrorism and target killings across the country. They transformed a commercial hub of Pakistan, city of Karachi, a city of gangsters, looters and killers. Dozens of citizens in Karachi are being killed every day, yet these political actors are busy in making deals with each other how to win the next election and continue to fulfil their desires and vested interest.
Country’s reserves are reaching at their lowest level and these political actors are praising themselves as the deliverer of the gift of democracy to the country. The two top political actors, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif and their companions are proud of this type of democracy of 5 years. And the dilemma has been that in this 5 year era of devastation, the two top most institutions of Pakistan army and judiciary praised this democracy to finish its term. If this devastation process continues and Pakistan is declared as a defaulter and a failed state by the international creditors then who will be responsible for letting all this to happen.
In today’s situation of Pakistan, I don’t care whatever type of system – army or civil government – run by civilian or army as long as it benefits to the common people, it can provide safety and security of the people and provide them basic necessities to live in the country peacefully.
These political actors who are smart enough to continue to make people fools on the name of democracy. Their top priority is the election but least priority is to announce their manifestos for the next five years.
However, today the people of Pakistan are remembering the time of Musharraf’s government. It was an army dictator, Pervez Musharraf, who opened the way for political and media environment in Pakistan. It was Pervez Musharraf who brought revolution in electronic media and delivered the freedom to all satellite channels. It is shame that today the same media companies have opened the front against Musharraf who received satellite TV licenses in Musharraf’s government. Pakistan was among the top 11 fastest developing nation. Musharraf established local bodies system in the country. Pakistan’s GDP was elevating, the Pakistani Rupee was stronger in the international market, investors were coming Pakistan to invest on mega projects and so on. For me, this system brings equal opportunities for the common people; provide security and safety to everyone indiscriminately.
Political actors of Pakistan, like Chaudhary brothers who were beneficiaries of General Pervez Musharraf are now expressing rubbish against Musharraf. They abused Benazir Bhutto when Musharraf brought them into power by establishing and flourishing their Muslim League (Q). It’s a shame that who were praising and pleasing Musharraf every morning and evening during Musharraf’s rule are now appearing on satellite channels and blaming Musharraf like he belongs to an anti-Pakistan state. The wrong deeds of anyone cannot be justified by wrong doings of others.
I don’t want to fill up pages writing about the stories of President Zardari in this article as he and his deeds have been exposed, time and again, in the world’s reputed magazines. If Musharraf had seized the civilian government and breach the constitution of Pakistan then what were the reasons?
The People should remember that it was Nawaz Sharif who dismissed the Chief of Staff, General Parvez Musharraf while he was on an official mission in Sri Lanka. It was Nawaz Sharif who a week earlier extended General Musharraf’s term as Chief of Staff until 6 October, 2001. The reality is that the Nawaz Sharif government was thrown out by General Musharraf as the country was going towards economical disaster. Mr. Sharif was involved in kickbacks. He was involved protecting Osama Bin Laden. A former inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officer Khalid Khawaja alleged that he arranged meetings between Nawaz Sharif and Osama Bin Laden three times. In 2009, Pakistan’s Supreme Court announced that they would hear petitions seeking the prosecution of Nawaz Sharif for the murder of Major Khalid Saeed Orakzai. Sharif is alleged to have ordered the 1997 murder of Major Khalid Saeed Orakzai to prevent his brother Shahid Orakzai from exposing Sharif’s involvement in political kickbacks.
Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, who are the creation of the longest serving army dictator – General Zia ul Haque – made a deal with Musharraf when they left the country with their baggage full of Pakistan’s wealth. If they are holding a business empire today and running billions’ dollar industry in Saudi Arabia then this is because of Musharraf who gave them safe passage to escape and left their follower behind to be ruled by army.
And I agree with many that this was the sin Musharraf had committed. Otherwise, Musharraf should have punished them badly instead of given them safe passage to come back and do the same dirty politics. Today, for Nawaz Sharif the freedom of Courts and Judges are everything. On the other hand, the fact of the matter is that, sacking and appointing judging of own choices have been a common practice of Nawaz Sharif. On November 28, 1997, the Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah of the Supreme Court was dismissed against the revolt of other judges orchestrated by Nawaz Sharif’s younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, who was the Chief Minister of Punjab at that time. Similarly, Lahore High Court was attacked when he was in power.
It has been reported by western media and also once disclosed by Mushahid Hussain on Pakistani Television that Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari had made a deal, in Dubai, with Musharraf in the presence of former Vice President of United States, Mr. Dick Cheney, to allow them to come to Pakistan and make way for them to come to the power in return they would provide a safe passage with Guard of Honour to Pervez Musharraf to leave the country.
Today, whatever charges are labelling on Musharraf can anyone prove that these things were never done by any other dictator or so-called political leaders in the past.
The fact is that by using the threat to the state’s sovereignty, the western powers compelled Musharraf to make free way for these political actors to achieve their goals on the cost of disintegration of the State and the Nation. The worst kind of lawlessness, economic crises, terrorism, target killings, high rate of corruption, cases of briberies and bungling, high rate of kidnapping, rape, suicide, shortage of energy, water, jobs, in a nutshell the entire country is on the verge of total anarchy clearly prove what the anti-Pakistani powers wanted to achieve, and have achieved, in this 5 years of government.
Pervez Musharraf must be realising now what mistakes he has made. Unfortunately, since the departure of Pervez Musharraf, on the name of civil rule and democracy, Pakistan has been controlled by those history-sheeters who have looted the country’s wealth time & again in the past.
Democracy is a beautiful word; it delivers equal opportunities, freedom of speech, rule of law, justice and maintains a civilised society, yet implementation of democracy is a process and it requires prerequisites. Democracy cannot be implemented in a society where the power of the state is confined with the corrupt and incapable so-called political leaders. Therefore, in Pakistan real democracy cannot be implemented until the country is not cleaned with these political actors and corrupt people running the country.
Musharraf must understand that these are the same people who murdered the closest companion of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and the first Prime Minister of Pakistan – Liaqat Ali Khan. Even they are now found systematically degrading image of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Liaqat Ali Khan, Fatima Jinnah and replacing with Bhutto dynasty – real destroyer of Pakistan’s ideology.
Musharraf must understand there is no justice system in Pakistan. As Musharraf has finally decided to return to Pakistan, he must understand he will be a threat to all these political actors who are sitting either in the ruling coalition or in opposition waiting for their turn therefore, he will not be safe in Pakistan. If Musharraf feels that he is so brave to come to Pakistan and face the charges in the court then he is living in the fantasy world and he is thinking by emotions not by acknowledging unfortunate realities. These evil powers of Pakistan will be united to put Musharraf behind the bars without wasting time.
Pakistan is now completely in the hands of those who don’t want to see Pakistan stable. They want to disintegrate Pakistan like they did in 1971 so that their tribal and feudal system can flourish once forever in the independent Sind, independent Baluchistan, independent Punjab and independent Pukhtoon Khuwa. I believe that their western masters will be happy to support them in the same way as they did in Middle East after crashing the rule of the Ottoman Empire. (The writer is Sydney-based Journalist and an educationist, his personal website is www.sahassan.com ).