Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pakistan Needs a Bloody Class War or a Third Political Force

Upright Opinion
Pakistan Needs a Bloody Class War or a Third Political Force
By Saeed Qureshi
September 8, 2010
Pakistan’s salvation and rescue lie in a bloody class upheaval or through the induction of a third political force. That political force or party should be essentially nationalistic, patriotic and people friendly. It should consist of the liberal intellectuals and enlightened professionals. Such a regime should replace the anti-people paradigm of governance imposed on Pakistan from its inception. Pakistan has remained bedeviled by corrupt and inefficient establishments, murderous Islamic insurgency, military despotism, and extreme lingering socio-economic backwardness
Pakistani intelligentsia and common people have been hoping against hope that one fine morning the bewitched country would come out of the persistent spell of doom and despondency. It did not happen and if happened it was for brief periods. These periods were the Initial three years after inception, followed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s five and half years of nation-building and repairing period. Finally, there are the two times prematurely cut short stints each of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto. Presently it is again a civilian government with least credibility. In between the eras of ZA Bhutto and that of Benazir starting in 1988, Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo’s 3 years (March 1985- May 1988) in office, look like forlon candle in the eerie desert like darkness of Gen. Ziaul Haq’s ruthless military dictatorship. I am mentioning these periods in terms of their being semi or complete democratic dispensations.
Since these period looked like oasises in the political wilderness, these lack continuity, and consistency. As such, their time bound luster and efficacy vanished with their termination. The nation building is a continuous and perpetual process with inputs, of a dedicated leadership, the unbroken culture of democracy and zealous mobilization of the people towards that most coveted goal. Unfortunately, most of the time there has reigned in the country political anarchy that prevented the institution building and their consolidation via accountably, hard work, transparent utilization of funds or far-reaching strategies to keep the country on the tracks of economic vibrancy, political stability, and the creation of a civil society.
At the root of this national malady has always been unwillingness of the ruling classes to subordinate their personal interests to the supreme national goals. The sordid institutions of fiefdoms and feudalism have kept the society in two halves: those who were and are local lords and those who were and are teeming millions leading a miserable pattern of life that with the time passage, instead of improving, further deteriorated. The middle class considered to be the backbone of the economic strength of a society has been either diminishing or remained static.
In the absence of an accountable political system, hijacked by powerful pressure groups like big landlords, cut throat mercantile class, cocooned yet powerful bureaucracy, prying army generals, and unprincipled, lecherous politicians, this country has remained, for most part of its existence, under the lurking fear and oft-hurled label of a failed state.
Pakistan is in the dire need of a stout and sterling leadership that believes in self denial; a leadership that does not consist of cronies, puppets and rubber stamps of the foreign masters who have always used Pakistan for their own pound of flesh. It should not be a leadership that is driven by clannish, tribal, regional, or racial persuasions. It should be imbued with an undying spirit of sacrifice and dedication to serve the people.
While India with an enlightened constitution from the beginning and with a selfless leadership and stable democratic tradition is touching the benchmark of an excellent economy, Pakistan is mired in huge foreign debts. Pakistan’s predominant population is caught up into cobwebs of starvation, hunger, poverty, lawlessness, and bleak future. The floods have aggravated the intensity and scale of their miseries.
The prevailing political set up has surpassed all the previous governments into a totality of miserable failures for ushering Pakistan into a truly representative, and an efficacious system of governance. The government has tended to be perpetrator, abettor, supporter, and defender of mischiefs, blunders, and crimes and shielding those who indulge in such wrong doings. Leaving aside the life-size charges of corruption and making ill-gotten money, the sitting government has chosen to remain at loggerhead with media, judiciary, and civil society. It would defy courts orders, buy lawyers, engages in petty intrigues, will not accept its follies, shelter criminals including even the shady cricketers. All criticism whether well-meaning or otherwise becomes a challenge for the government to defend and fight out.
It is apparent that the pressing issue such as making long term development plans for the future, curbing target killings, reforming police, transforming education, health and police; boosting industries and agriculture; building wide roads and highways and forging unity between provinces are not in the SOS book of the government.
Therefore, the country needs a bloody class war as the people yearn for a change in the appalling state of affairs. The soft revolution has failed to work in this country. People cannot wait until the fruits of democracy ripen and ready to be eaten. There is a trenchant fear that the civil war raging in various parts of Pakistan may lead to its fragmentation like the cessation of East Pakistan. The democratic government having no intention, nor will to change the moribund status quo and halt the speeding deterioration cannot produce miracles, which is what the country needs. A surgical operation is called for but not by the army alone because army is not manned by angles, ascetics, or saints.
The social atmosphere has even more turned excessively bizarre and murky after religious militants have become a potent and lethal force in the society. The Swat saga is self-manifesting as to how they held their sway on a vast territory within a state that looked crippled in overpowering these agents of fanaticism and degeneracy. It was only the army that restored the writ of the state. The tribal regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan are now the battlefields between the religious insurgents and the Pakistan armed forces. The tenacity of the Taliban and other retrogressive militants is proven by their dogged resistance to the military onslaught against them.
The religious militant outfits have been active for three decades and are poised to turn this country into a religious monastery of the Middle Ages. Their pseudo brand of Islam with its lethal sectarianism should be forcefully rooted like what Mongols did to the assassins in 1258.
So these ferocious religious factions have to be subdued for the normal Muslims within the polity to live in peace. The army alone cannot accomplish this task. People of Pakistan have to be galvanized and motivated to root out these obscurantist forces of backwardness and bloodthirsty sectarianism. The problem with the religious lot is that they have neither mercy nor any tolerance for peace and coexistence with liberal and secular sections of society. Their beliefs either hinge upon the total elimination of anti Islamic individuals or force them to live as unequal by accepting certain conditions. They do not believe in a civil society with values of equality, justice, and freedom. Moreover, they are split in various sects professing different creeds and beliefs. The existence of rival school of faith or jurisprudence is anathema to them. Hence constant warfare and incessant revenge killing between various sects.
The decade long French Revolution (1789-1799) ended the monarchy in France, routed the rapacious nobility, and liberated the state from the overbearing influence of the church. Roughly, 400,000 people perished in this upheaval including 40,000 killed during the period known as the reign of terror. Urban laborers, rural peasants, and the middle classes such as small traders launched it .The Revolution is, seen as marking the dawn of the modern era, liberalism, and enlightenment.
The other example of bloody class revolution is the Russian Communist Revolution that brought the proletariat or the common people into power against the privileged classes and monarchy. In a way American Revolution was more in the nature of a civil war against the British colonialism that also heralded liberalism and freedom. All these three revolutions were bloody that entailed countless deaths.
A replay of the French Revolution is the call of the time and an inevitable urgency to bridle the fast degenerating state of affairs. Before the wealthy, the elite, the nobles, and the aristocrats flee the country, they should be nabbed, and dealt with as the peasants of France did to their privileged classes in a bloody revolution starting from the storming of Bastille in 1789. The bloodsuckers, the local rulers like Khans, Sardars, fiefdom owners, the foreign agents and all those forces and groups and cartels that cut across the national fabric of harmony, progressiveness, tolerance, equality of opportunities, fair distribution of wealth, socio-economic justice, accountability and fair-play, must be dealt with maximum severity.
The entire leadership whether of the past or the present, in power or in opposition, should be exiled or incarcerated. Those with serious track record of crimes and misdeeds should be punished with varying sentences. It is a class war; the army should side with the revolutionaries to turn the tide against the landed aristocracy and public enemies in various grabs. it should be the privileged who should be eliminated. This is a decisive moment, a turning point, a milestone, and a new beginning to turn Pakistan into a modern state.
(The writer is a freelance journalist writing mostly on International Affairs with specific focus on Pakistan)

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1 comment:

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