Tuesday, February 20, 2018
February 18, 2018
By Saeed Qureshi
What Imran Khan, Allama Tahirul Qadri and their political associates and cohorts are doing in Pakistan fits into a smaller paradigm of the French Revolution (1789-1799). The French Revolution was initiated because of a debased monarchy and total breakdown of the society for a variety of reasons. However, those times were not even marginally as socially and politically enlightened and bearing democratic stamp as the present times. That revolution resulted in the abolition of the French monarchy. Besides radical social changes based upon liberalism and enlightenment were set in motion.
But imagine the bloodshed, chaos and a reign of turmoil set off by the French Revolution which in those politically and socially unsettled times might have been justified or in order. But in 20th century when there are peaceful and democratic outlets available for transfer of power, the street mobilization and destabilization through violence and disturbance is hardly the right approach to grab political power.
Democratic format whether entirely or partially representative, provides some peaceful and the constitutional modus-operandi to take power from the opponents. Thus, the winning political party gets the right to implement one’s own program and manifesto for progress and prosperity of the people and the state.
In Pakistan, we have a bunch of myopic, violent and foul mouthing rabble-rousers who want to remove a sitting and elected government and derail the democratic bandwagon through street agitations and rounds of sit-ins. Ruining the societal peace and demolishing a democratically elected government via street agitations and disorder may be portrayed as a pseudo, mini French Revolution.
The PTI and Qadri’s group having no hope of winning the 2018 elections, would prefer to see the PMNL government thrown away and its leaders put in jails. They would also want the elections to be postponed or delayed and a kind of army rule or adhoc or provisional civilian set up to be in place with tacit approval from the armed forces.
Even if elections are held, Imran Khan and Allama Qadri would still resist the electoral victory of PMNL or PPP. In that situation too, the army could impose martial law or form a government run by the army in league with the obedient parties which in this scenario could be PTI and Qadri’s religious outfit. That situation would be in accord with the preference of both Qadri and Imran Khan as they would prefer an authoritarian rule rather than seeing PMNL or PPP in power.
If by a sheer miracle, Imran Khan and Qadri win 2018 elections and start ruling Pakistan, they would be exposed to the similar agitations and backlash from PMLN party that presently they and their cohorts are trying to pursue If love begets love then rancor also begets and fosters revenge and retaliation.
Are Imran Khan and Allama Qadri under the myopic impression that during their perceived stint in power there would be all peace and their political adversaries would get themselves confined to their houses and watch them ruling peacefully? As a matter of fact, their political rivals would return the same compliment to them by taking out processions and staging sits-ins. Such retaliations may even be much more fierce and violent than those of Imran Khan and Allama Qadri.
As such the country and its people would plunge into a same spell of violence and agitations that we witness presently. There would be severe setbacks to the business community. The public life would be disturbed as now. There would be pervasive chaos. It is fallacious to believe that once PTI or PPP start ruling then the flowers of peace, unity and prosperity would start blooming in every lane and city of Pakistan.
On the contrary, Pakistan would be plunged into a new cycle of political rivalries, tensions, protests and disturbance. There would be agitations and lockouts in every city and town of the country. As a layman I can visualize such scenario and its ruinous fall-out and so countless people may also nurse similar feelings.
Army will have to intervene in such an environment of perpetual turmoil. Army has taken over power four times in Pakistan because of the failure of the political lot to serve the people in a spirit of tolerance, mutual co-habitation and by abiding the democratic rules.
In the meantime, the superior judiciary has visibly assumed all the powers for political and administrative decisions in its hands. Obviously, we all can witness that the chief justice is trying the focus purely on the fiscal corruption of the Nawaz Sharif and his clan. As a matter of fact, it is the chief justice who is issuing orders for the nomination on the higher posts, locking someone and keeping someone at large no matter how corrupt and rowdy he or she may be. It’s a unilateral and partial justice which is being exhibited by the superior courts and not across the board.
The question should be pondered as to why Allama Qadri who is a Canadian citizen and a non- political religious scholar should come all the way to Pakistan to provoke people through Dharnas(sit-in) to oust Nawaz Sharif and create a political mayhem and societal disorder. Imran Khan has the same mission and both Imran Khan and Qadri joined hands to achieve that unedifying target.
I have no soft corner for Nawaz Sharif but if there is a crusade against culture of corruption then there are many others in power and in high positions in Pakistan who are up to neck in financial and other kinds of corruption, misdoings and scandals. To single out Nawaz Sharif and no other well-known symbols of corruption such as Asif Ali Zardari and Pervez Ashraf and many more, reeks an anti-Sharif mindset lately joined by the judges of the apex court.
Imran Khan and his ilk sought the short route of the judiciary to expel Nawaz Sharif from politics and portray him as a financially corrupt person unfit for the being a political leader to assume power. It would have been much desirable and morally right approach if that right of keeping or expelling him should remain vested in the people of Pakistan and not a group of court officials to take such a huge decision and thus derail the political process that in any case would have ended in a few months because of the 2018 general elections.
Should we say that there was some kind of tacit understanding between anti-Nawaz politicians including Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri on one side and the superior judiciary of Pakistan on the other in ousting Nawaz Sharif from premiership.
Qadri ought to be barred from inciting people of Pakistan against politicians and limit himself to religious injunctions. He should focus on his religious institutions and outlets which is the best service for a religiously enlightened person like him. If he is intent on taking part in Pakistan’s politics then he should forsake his Canadian nationality, come back to Pakistan and justify his participation in the political arena.
Imran Khan’s sleazy tales of sex and wayward life are widespread and even alleged by the female victims. Yet he is not taken to task by the judiciary on such allegations. In Pakistan it is only the king who is naked and no one else.
Imran Khan is certainly eager to grab power to serve the people of Pakistan in right earnest. But he should play a fair game and accept that all the politicians and parties have the right to contest elections and whosever wins should have the right to rule and serve the people of Pakistan.
Irrespective of the tone and tenor of politics in Pakistan, the army should keep away from the enticement of grabbing power through martial law. The army should ignore the political bickering and entirely focus on their professional responsibilities. Enough with military rules and enough with opportunist politicians, dirty game.