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Politics of Deception and Betrayal

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Politics of Deception and Betrayal

There is a stunning, embarrassing silence as to why the army generals would become a part of the violent assumption for change and plague the extravagant idea of leadership change in the country. The so-called PDM does not appear to have any rational agenda for the present or the futuristic socioeconomic and political challenges and hard times facing the besieged nation. Most Pakistanis wonder as to who unleashed the unwarranted and sudden political change to appease the few and to undermine the stability of the country? Was it a military-sponsored coup against an elected civilian administration?

Imran Khan – a new generation sportsman-turned-politician and the supremo of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (“Movement for Justice”) – had, along with moral and intellectual integrity, many weaknesses and strengths but unlike the opposition leaders, he has no criminal past, he did not rob any bank nor killed any fellow citizens and did not loot any public treasury to buy palaces in UK, France, Dubai and elsewhere. Is Pakistani politics reserved for the thugs, criminals and killers, and not for any intelligent proactive person standing for a fair and just society to be evolved in a systematic manner?

A rational sceptic in an irrational Pakistani political culture would imagine a wide gulf between the opinions of the few and the truth of the majority. Pakistani politics is infested with corruption from top to bottom and those in the governance lost sense of rationality to distinguish between the right and the wrong.

This means, the nation will pay with pains, tormenting worries and insane rages of the few egomaniac and perverted rulers who could not think right or lead the nation – the political gangsters and the laughing stalk of the wounded nation, perpetrators of violence and the typical “Right Men” syndrome in its most naked form. For several decades, Pakistan’s capacity for change has been badly fractured and its moral, intellectual and political consciousness and values derailed and undermined by the few. As this author noted in “Pakistan: More Things Change, More They Remain the Same” (MMN, USA, 2013), there are three major contending forces escalating conflicts to degenerate the future and cripple the freedom and integrity of Pakistan:
(1) the Generals, who have ruled the country for almost four decades and are not willing to relinquish their own strategic-political powerhouse, militarization of the nation;
(2) Feudal landlords, the systematic by-products of the military generals are the selected few families – Bhuttos- Zardaris, Sharifs and Chaudhris of Gujrat acting as accomplices to support the military-based indoctrination as and when required for all seasons; and
(3) the People, the besieged masses of Pakistan – the net participatory victims and reactionaries to all of the tragedies for over fifty years.

To Comprehend the Prevalent Political Reality
The current chaotic politics deserves critical understanding of the prevalent reality. The scenario of “foreign interference,” according to now-former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, is an irrational excuse. Khan knew well how Pakistan politicians are corrupt and enjoin a history of selling the national interest.
The United States is a big game player in Pakistan and its security apparatus. Two of the nation’s former Prime Ministers (Moeen Qureshi and Shaukat Aziz) were appointed by the IMF – a US-dominated global lender. The aid gimmick has kept Pakistan dependent on the policymaking of the US administration and a nation being viewed more as a liability than an asset to the American geopolitical interests in that region.

The US leaders allege Pakistani rulers (civilians and military) as “double dealers” who are paid and bribed but act contrary to the American dictates. The imagery that floats across the globe is that Pakistani generals and politicians are in the paid US basket and survive only on its active support to rule Pakistan. A New York Times headline on May 18, 2008, read: “Pakistani generals are paid to do the job.” That job was war in Afghanistan and under Gen. Musharraf, Pakistan became a beggar nation that continues to live at the mercy of the so-called USAID money and food. All that can go wrong has gone wrong with the system of Pakistani governance – everyone selling others, everyone minting dollars by trading in the interests of the nation. It is a “business as usual” and nobody seems to raise eyebrows anymore in a culture of nuisance, filthy corruption and non-Islamic governance in the country that claims to be the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Nobody knows where Islam exists or is operative within Pakistan.

Imran Khan should have known his strengths and weaknesses while aligning his relationship with the MQM (Muttahida [previously Mohajir] Qaumi Movement). He should have faced the “no-confidence motion” in the National Assembly with courage and confidence, and should have made navigational change for the best of Pakistan. There are no ‘Mohajirs” (refugees) in Pakistan; this is just a political gimmick being used to deceive the masses. It is a hilarious impersonation that the opposition alliance PDM could do anything good for the people. They have record of robbing the nation in all mainstreams of life. They violated all norms of rational thoughts, honesty and expectations – what else could be expected from them now?
At the edge of reason, Khan should have listed educated and intelligent people of new generation to foster any change in the country. In 2019, this author offered Khan a logical plan for a sustainable change in a piece “Pakistan: How to change political culture of corruption and rebuild the future” (Media Monitors Network, USA, 2019). Most of his associates were feudal lords, 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 profile. Why did Khan waste almost four years in fantasy of New Pakistan and failed to live up to his imagination? He was supposed to implement a Plan for Change.

Pakistani political culture has its psychology of self-interest and trading-in the individualistic interest in exchange for national interest. Pakistan’s system of law and justice is impotent and questionable as most verdicts are influenced by political motivation. If the Constitution were a reference point, the Supreme Court, according to the clause 6, would have stayed out of this political chaos and not interfered. It should have asked the politicians to work out political remedies within the parliament. Not so, perhaps dictates came from above from the mighty establishment to oust Imran Khan. He should have stopped the blame game and faced the ‘no-confidence vote’ with leadership courage. Will Khan learn from the failure of his mission, ideals and expectations and lead a movement for rational and sustainable political change in Pakistan? Will he make a navigational change to ensure a true system of law and justice in the country? Will he evolve a fair and honest Assembly of people representing the nation?

The Enemies are WITHIN
Pakistan’s worst enemies are those who are unable to listen to voices of reason and peaceful activism for political change. The ruling elite and the people live in a conflicting time zone being unable to understand the meaning and essence of Pakistan’s freedom movement. Pakistan faces multiple, chronic problems which could undermine its future. To all concerned and thinking Pakistanis, the country needs a NAVIGATIONAL CHANGE or we could end up losing our national freedom.

What, then, is the cure to the current problems?

There is no magic pill to deal with the critical situation except a comprehensive new systematic approach for ‘A New Pakistan.’ Few years ago, in “Pakistan: Enigma of Change” and “Revisiting Pakistan Enigma of Change”, this author offered proactive vision for planned political change to evolve new institutions and new-age, educated leadership for a sustainable future. For too long, the masses have experienced tormenting pains and political cruelty. Shahbaz Sharif – the currently elected 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan – and his brother Mian Nawaz Sharif should have been tried in a court of law for the killing of 14 civilians and injuring 80 peaceful activists at Minhaj-ul-Quran, Lahore, as well as for stealing the wealth of the nation.

It will provide a logical breathing space for a planned and workable remedy to a highly critical political crisis and to enhance a sustainable change goal. 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 at least two years; a new constitution envisaging a presidential form of government should also be framed with new public institutions under the leadership of a new generation of educated 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 and stand firm in raising voice of reason for accountability and political change. The people must ponder at past misconceptions and errors of judgement and to bring the 21st century’s educated, proactive and intelligent young people into leadership role and to safeguard the national interest and freedom of the nation, as well as its future.

Dr. Mahboob 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.

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