Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.
THE FACTS SEARCH FOR MEANINGS
People and nations once colonized by the European Empires remain colonized in thoughts, behavior, and practices forever. Pakistan is no exception in contemporary global affairs. Its systems of political governance, public institutions, legal systems, and delivery of services if any to the public are a replica of the British colonial systems. The concept of national freedom and sovereignty was written on paper with dried ink and the masses were unable to understand why there was a planned movement for nation-building with new public institutions, new systems of political governance, and new and educated leadership to make the future happen out of planned ideas and ideals of the Pakistan Freedom Movement.
Today, the nation is crippled with catastrophic events of floods, insecurity, and socio-economic and political exploitation. The Pakistani ruling elite and the Generals are not open to reason and accountability. They cannot realize the imperatives of hopes and expectations of a new generation of educated and morally and intellectually competent people. The future belongs to the new generation of educated people, not to the naive and obsolete Generals. They view “power” and “Pakistan” as their own property. The authoritarian leaders played with their destiny and future without being questioned. They are the wrong people, with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things. If there was any fair system of accountability, some of the Generals and accomplice politicians could well have faced firing squads for their crimes against the nation. Pakistan is continuously being incapacitated so much so that we lost one of our best neighbor friends – China. We, the People believe in friendly relationships with all nations – America, the EU, Russia and China, and others.
The established forces of evil and destruction are within Pakistan, not outside. Imperial doctrines of governance and control of people led to moral and intellectual decadence, repression, tyranny, conflicts, and socio-economic and political miseries. An elected legitimate government of PM Imran Khan was hurriedly dismissed by military intervention and a hoax legal judgment that violated the constitution. How can you restore normalcy in a rigged and naïve political culture of systematic corruption? The quest for political change lacks the existence of public institutions to sustain reasoned politics, educated and intelligent leaders, and proactive visions for change and adaptability to critical future-making. The dream of a Progressive Pakistan was lost by conspiratorial Generals and accomplices of wealthy landlords dating back to British colonialism. A snapshot of a critical moment in time and history unfolds dark imagery of political governance and military coups. During the 75 years after the British Raj, Pakistan was morally, politically, and intellectually dehumanized by FIVE military coups. All coups were individualistic, and conspiratorial and defied the aims and purposes of the national freedom movement. The Generals and ZA Bhutto conspired to lose East Pakistan, and India was allowed to occupy Kashmir, and we continued to lose more in socio-economic and political domains because of the dishonesty and failed leadership of Bhuttos, Sharifs, and the Generals. These monsters stole billions and billions to own palaces in the UK, France, and Spain. The Thinking People of the New Generation of Pakistanis view the Bhuttos, Zardari, Sharifs, and Musharaf – all in one slot – the most corrupt, crime-riddled people who will never come to terms with reason and honesty to reflect on their own wrongdoings. They never imagined–how the present and future generations will remember them. Military generals do not build the nation or its socio-economic and political infrastructures, principles, values, and standards or anything to do with future-making. Their one-track mental microscope cannot imagine prevalent injustice, corruption, and calamities unleashed by those with whom they collaborated to put into power.
THE NATION NEEDS SOUL-SEARCHING
Pakistan was defeated by India in the 1971 war as a part of a conspiracy by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and General Yahya Khan. Altaf Qureshi (Editor, Urdu Digest) wrote “Skoote –Dahaka Say Purdah Uttha Hey” (1972), in which he described the details of how Bhutto and Yahya Khan betrayed Pakistan and stabbed the nation and deserved firing squads but were not held accountable for their crimes. Are the Pakistanis still living in any rational denials of their own chapter of history? (See “British Colonialism and How India and Pakistan Lost Freedom.” Global Research.org: 1/01/2022). ZA Bhutto sought help from Indira Gandhi (PM of India) and agreed to defeat and surrender of Pakistan at Dhaka to become the next President, Martial Law administrator, and chief minister. Ayub Khan ousted him as a minister because of his conspiracy to defeat Pakistan in 1965. Ms. Benzair Bhutto and her mother Nusrat Bhutto were alleged to be involved in the killing of General Zia ul Haq and 12 Pakistani Generals and 100 of others in a C-130 Bahawalpur plane crash, in August 1988, and when she became PM, they traded-in lists of Sikh and Kashmiri freedom fighters with Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi (Lahore meeting), and thousands of them were targeted and killed by Indian security forces. Ms. Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari were indicted by a Swiss court on $60M money laundering crime but they still returned to political power. Nawaz Sharif hijacked the PIA plane with General Musharraf on board and 265 or so passengers returning from Sri Lanka and wanted it to go to India. He was also involved in money laundering and twice dismissed on corruption charges, still became PM a third time. Sharifs, Ms. Bhutto, and Zardari stole billions of dollars from the national treasury to buy properties in London, Paris, and Spain. Ms. Bhutto and Zardari owned a palace in Dubai worth approximately $10B, and Sharif brothers have several apartment complexes in London valued at $30B to $40B. Why can’t this stolen wealth be recovered to help the flood victims of Pakistan? Why should Pakistan beg foreign masters for$28B flood aid? In a highly corrupt culture of politics, no one dares to ask such rational questions. Pakistanis NEED soul-searching to realize the gravity of political corruption, national security, and how the nation continued to flop in a global context.
PAKISTAN IN SEARCH OF NAVIGATIONAL CHANGE
Young generations are disillusioned and are increasingly leaving Pakistan to Western countries. The brain-drain problem afflicts Pakistan adversely in socio-economic and political future-making as old and former subservient to British legacy run the country. With new generation migration, Pakistan is fast losing its best talents and energies for the present and future. In 2019, this author offered Imran Khan a logical plan for sustainable change (“Pakistan: How to change the political culture of corruption and rebuild the future” Media Monitors Network, USA,2019). Most of his associates were uneducated and former loyalists of the current political opposition parties. None of them had any knowledge or experience in critical thinking, strategic planning, and change or future-making. Why did Khan waste almost four years in the fantasy of New Pakistan and failed to live up to his imagination? What Bruce Riedel, Brooking Institute, USA (“Battle for the Soul of Pakistan” ) former Obama’s advisor said a decade earlier, is now repeated by President Joe Biden, “most dangerous nation in the world.”
The recent floods ravaged Pakistan and devastated millions of poor masses and it was happening frequently but no one took any planned steps to protect life and habitats. There is an irresistible manifestation of new age, educated leadership to safeguard the nation, its freedom, and security. But Pakistan is obsessed with political cynicism and corruption. Reason and revulsion will not restore normalcy, but a moral reformatory revolution could save the future of the beleaguered nation. At the edge of reason, turbulent Pakistan desperately needs new and honest people of educated generation to plan and reconstruct political change. Imran Khan if allowed to contest national elections has the challenge to THINK and plan for a navigational change and sustainable future-making. Pakistan urgently needs a savior, a person of proactive vision, and honesty to pursue a navigational change for future-making; not Shahbaz Sharif, not Bhutto, or the few Generals. The solution must come from the critical thinking hubs of the new educated generation – the intelligent Pakistanis to facilitate hope and optimism for a sustainable future of the beleaguered nation. You may find it relevant to see: “Pakistan- Leaders or Criminals” Uncommon Thought Journal, USA 2014. Under the present chaotic affairs, a new Government of National Unity should be formed under a non-partisan and non-political leader of moral and intellectual integrity for a period of two years; a New Constitution for a Presidential form of government should be framed with new public institutions under the leadership of new generation of educated and honest people, and then a new election could give meaning and clarity to the purpose of democracy and to transform the ideals of a progressive legitimate functional democracy. The Need is desperate for the Pakistani nation to think critically and see the mirror. We ask the retired and conscientious Generals to come out and launch a peaceful march for change and democratic stability. We ask the Ulemas / Islamic scholars to hold protest funerals of the corrupt leaders. What We, the people are rationalizing could be ridiculed by thugs and indicted criminals currently in power. But on the contrary, those enriched with knowledge, the logic of honesty, and planned change for future-making will view it critically and seriously as a genuine and timely narrative negating fanaticism to ensure the national freedom, security, and sovereignty of a stable Pakistan.
[Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international affairs-global security, peace, and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security, and Conflict Resolution. Lambert Academic Publications, Germany, 12/2019.]