Monday, September 8, 2014

Wheel of time

History repeats, and it repeats in ways that leave us astounded. It just feels to be a cycle. A vicious cycle. We are all cultured, taught, our thought processes structured to make the history repeat! When disruption is rebellion, history would repeat.

"Somethings need to change, for everything to remain the same"
- Lampadusa                                        

Naivety is to fail while trying - stupidity is to try the same thing again. When frustration, and a strong sense of social injustice is abound, it just needs someone to channel it. We can do wonderful things when hit hard to break the cycle, or we can do just another stupid thing to fall back in the same place. It takes time and effort to come out of poverty for a family. It takes a generation to toil, work hard to earn a better beginning for next generation. It takes decades to toil, work hard for a nation to earn better future.

Anger in our Pakistani society was once channeled to overthrow Bhutto's government because he allegedly and probably yes, rigged '77 elections. Public life in all major cities was brought to a halt. Government was gone. People took to streets, with lawyers, political parties for restoration of Chief Justice in '07 to '09 - and it all succeeded. It was to make judiciary independent, and to make the courts efficient in delivering justice to masses.

My question is, Did rigging stop after 1977? Did they fix the system so that once and for all, rigging can stop? I think, no. Is justice getting delivered since Chief Justice's restoration in March, 2009 to masses as swiftly? Apparently, no.

Each public uprising gets impetus from frustration of the defunct system of state which is designed to loot people's hard work and bless the aristocracy. But they were taken for a ride every time. Social injustice is far more than ever before. Basic life, two meals a day, decent education, affordable healthcare are much more out of reach of masses than ever before ... So, one may ask what was the change that the public uprisings brought?

Every public uprising brings one change. It adds one more class in aristocracy at the expense of others. In '77, it was the mullahs; latest addition is legal fraternity which has a license to break law, just because they are the custodians. Every Inqilaab or uprising to put it in a milder way, has added one more leech in the club of blood suckers i.e. aristocracy or ruling elite. One more deity to the house of gods that republic protects or is designed to protect.

My solution is to channel your energies and frustration to stand behind ones who are not there for their own ends. Would an aristocrat fight another aristocrat for social justice? Did they do it in '77? Did they do it in '07? History says no. History says it is always another mask on the same characters with a different name, and a different charm, and a distinct outlook to blind us of facts. There is no easy way out of big problems. Its easier to promise moon when the sky is cloudy. But it is difficult, when you can see moon, you know the way, the means it requires to get there, and then someone promises you that - That makes sense. 

It is only possible if our convictions are in ideas, principles based upon information, data which is dispassionate like black or white i.e. not tainted. We need to become dispassionate. We need to follow convictions, we need to STOP following personalities, we need to have 'reasonable' foundations of our convictions and an unshakable desire to achieve what we need to achieve, and not be part of a fight of aristocracy.

So ... let us see ... Will history repeat one more time?

Hum dekhain ge! 
Jab Arz-e-Khuda k ka'abay se
Sab but uthwaye jayein ge
Lazim hai k hum bhi dekhain ge!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pakistan People Party's defeat: Observations

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) is perhaps the oldest political party in Pakistan. Reason why I am discounting Pakistan Muslim League is that it has served more of a trademark than anything else. Pakistan Muslim League was born out of need felt by some british bureaucrat to bring all muslim leaders in the political spectrum, and to give them due representation in colonial politics.

However, Pakistan Muslim League has perhaps never worked as a political party, it was always a forum hijacked by the most powerful.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto formed PPP, and the reason it still lives on is because of its initial appeal to the masses. The poor haris, labourers who would toil and get nothing. In ZAB, they found a leader who would speak for them. He was an ideological man, and a shrewd politician. He knew that politics is nothing but people, people and people. He would always come in public wearing traditional clothes just like his followers, that added to his appeal. And the romance with Bhutto's legacy hasn't died out. People still love him, adore him, anything about Bhutto is prophetic, if no more than that just because of the connection that masses feel with the name.

However, PPP's last government has undone this thing. PPP's leadersihp was hardly ever seen in public, hardly ever interacted, hardly ever was there a televised speech, nothing. It was as if bureaucracy was running the show. This amounted to the impression of them being aloof, and as if they don't care. Though PPP has done great legislations, but poor governance backed by poor politics has literally hurt many of jyalas.

This policy of reconciliation calls for compromise, and ingenuine democracy where everything is worked around outside the parliament and behind closed doors, it filled steam in the pressure cooker and elections were just in time otherwise there would have been a big blast shattering everything to pieces. Thankfully, the beauty of democracy came to resuce: people voted them out.

I am very saddened that even after having simple majority in Sindh Assembly, PPP is all out to form a coalition government again. People need performance, and especially in Sindh where development is so rare, people demand performance and governance otherwise I am very sorry, PPP which has already gotten confined to Sindh, might even have to face dire consequences in next general elections.

My request to PPP's leadership is to form a government with as few as possible ministries. Make sure that law and order is restored in Karachi and other parts of Sindh, and please invest in education, industry, make Thar Coal a hallmark of Sindh. There is so much that you can do, please focus on that.

In center, PPP should let Imran Khan become opposition leader so that he gives a tough time to treasury benches. Even now, Bilawal should have called Imran Khan and consoled with him, and also a greeting call to Nawaz Sharif would have left a good impression.

PPP, please, don't die! I love you, Pakistan loves you, you're part of our heritage, the romance of bhutto fighting against the ruling classes and mindset for the people of Pakistan - this should continue!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jinnah's interview with Doon Campbell

Doon Campbell: What sort of relationship do you envisage between Pakistan and Hindustan?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Friendly and reciprocal in the mutual interest of both. That is why I have been urging: let us separate in a friendly way and remain friends thereafter.

Doon Campbell: How would you divide the armed forces? Do you envisage a defence pact or any other kind of military alliance between Pakistan and Hindustan?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah: All the armed forces must be divided completely, but I do envisage an alliance, pact or treaty between Pakistan and Hindustan again in the mutual interest of both and against any aggressive outsider.

Doon Campbell: Do you favour a federation of Pakistan states even if there is to be partition of Punjab and Bengal?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah: The new clamour for partition that is stated is by the vocal section of the caste Hindus in Bengal and the Sikhs in particular in the Punjab will have disastrous results if those two provinces are partitioned and the Sikhs in the Punjab will be the greatest sufferers; and Muslims under contemplated Western Punjab will no doubt be hit, but it certainly will deal the greatest blow to those, particularly the Sikhs, for whose benefit the new stunt has been started. Similarly in Western Bengal, caste Hindus will suffer the most and so will the caste Hindus in Eastern Punjab.

This idea of partition is not only thoughtless and reckless, but if unfortunately His Majesty’s Government favour it, in my opinion it will be a grave error and will prove dangerous immediately and far more so in the future. Immediately it will lead to bitterness and unfriendly attitude between Eastern Bengal and Western Bengal and same will the case with torn Punjab, between Western Punjab and Eastern Punjab.

Partition of Punjab and Bengal, if effected, will no doubt weaken Pakistan to a certain extent. Weak Pakistan and a strong Hindustan will be a temptation the strong Hindustan to try to dictate. I have always said that Pakistan must be sufficiently strong as a balance vis-à-vis Hindustan. I am therefore, deadly against the partition of Bengal and the Punjab and we shall fight every inch against it.

Doon Campbell: Will you demand a corridor through Hindustan connecting the Eastern and Western Pakistan States?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Yes.

Doon Campbell: Do you envisage the formation of a Pan-Islamic state stretching from the Far and Middle East to the Far East after the establishment of Pakistan?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah: The theory of Pan-Islamism has long ago exploded, but we shall certainly establish friendly relations and cooperate for mutual good and world peace and we shall always stretch our hand of friendship to the near and Middle East and Far East after the establishment of Pakistan.

Doon Campbell: On what basis will the central administration of Pakistan be set up? What will be the attitude of this Government to the Indian States?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah: The basis of the central administration of Pakistan and that of the units to be set up will be decided no doubt, by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. But the Government of Pakistan can only be a popular representative and democratic form of Government. Its Parliament and Cabinet responsible to the Parliament will both be finally responsible to the electorate and the people in general without any distinction of caste, creed or sect, which will the final deciding factor with regard to the policy and programme of the Government that may be adopted from time to time.

As regards our attitude towards Indian States I may make it clear once more that the policy of the Muslim League has been and is not to interfere with the Indian States with regard to their internal affairs. But while we expect as rapid a progress as possible in the various states towards the establishment of full responsible government, it is primarily the concern of the ruler and his people.

As regards the position of the states in the light of the announcement made by His Majesty’s Government embodied in the White Paper of the 20th of February, I wish to make it clear that the states are at liberty to form a confederation as one solid group or confederate into more than one groups, or stand as individual states. It is a matter entirely for them to decide. And it is clear, as I can understand, that paramountcy is going to terminate and, therefore, they are completely independent and free. It is for them to adjust such a matter as there may be by virtue of their treaties and agreements with the paramount power. They must consider as completely independent and free states, free from any paramountcy, as to what is best in their interest and it will be open to them to decide whether they should join the Pakistan Constituent Assembly or the Hindustan Constituent Assembly – Constituent Assemblies must be and will be two sovereign Constituent Assemblies of Pakistan and Hindustan.

Doon Campbell: In general terms what will be the foreign policy of Pakistan? Will it apply for membership of the United Nations?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah: The foreign policy of Pakistan can only be for peace and friendly relations with all other nations and we shall certainly play our part in the membership of the United Nations.

Doon Campbell: On which major power is Pakistan most likely to lean?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah: The one that will be in our best interests. It will not be a case of leaning to any power, but we shall certainly establish friendship and alliances which will be for the benefit of all those who may enter into such an alliance.

Doon Campbell: What sort of relationship do you envisage between Pakistan and Britain?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah: The question can only be decided by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan and as I understand the situation, a relationship between Pakistan and British can be established which will be really beneficial for both. Pakistan cannot live in isolation, nor can any other nation do so today. We shall have choose our friends and I trust, wisely.

Doon Campbell: What are your views in regard to the protection of minorities in Pakistan territories?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah: There is only one answer: The minorities must be protected and safeguarded. The minorities in Pakistan will be the citizens of Pakistan and enjoy all the rights, privileges and obligations of citizenship without any distinction of caste creed or sect.

They will be treated justly and fairly. The Government will run the administration and control the legislative measures by its Parliament, and the collective conscience of the Parliament itself will be a guarantee that the minorities need not have any apprehension of any injustice being done to them. Over and above that there will be provisions for the protection and safeguard of the minorities which in my opinion must be embodied in the constitution itself. And this will leave no doubt as to the fundamental rights of the citizens, protection of religion and faith of every section, freedom of thought and protection of their cultural and social life. - API

Date : May 21st, 1947

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A country of gods

Pakistani society is plagued with corruption at all levels be it moral, ethical, religious, financial or anything – it has become the basic ingredient of the society’s fabric. It runs in our blood. Country is plagued with so many crises on different levels, but there is one section of populace which is completely insulated from any untoward happening. There is another section which runs on making crises, and there is a list of sections who all hold distinctive positions in this complex polygonal structure of Pakistani state and social fabric.
I have always been told that Pakistan came into being in Aug, 1947 but if we take the current geographical boundaries, our history does extend back to December, 1970 at least. Since the amputation of East Pakistan, we’ve been relatively more or less with same geography leaving aside some adventures that we did on our western borders.

However, recently historians have come up with a new date i.e. 9th of March, 2007 – the day when a member of corrupt ‘ruling elite’ embraced Islam and stood by the constitution by being defiant to a military dictator (the same guy who elevated converted to highest pedestal and showered his all blessings on the individual in return for giving him the legal cover to be the army chief and president at the same time) . On the following days, the prestigious institution of press, started pressing and impressing on our minds the wonders Iftikhar Chaudry did during his term as Chief Justice that started in 2005. All of a sudden, he became a Mujahid against aamriyat! He took his oath on PCO and not Pakistani constitution which was okay, he got his son special favors in civil service, misuse public money – but that was okay because he said no to Musharraf.

Media started pumping air in the balloon, earning millions and billions of rupees by making it the most discussed topics in drawing rooms, verandas, tea stalls, public transports and even among the segment of population who didn’t know even why was it wrong to move a reference against chief justice in a perfectly legal way. Thanks to our prestigious, honest, intellectual journalists, Iftikhar Chaudry was given a ticket to the ‘House of gods’.

The reason I am calling this special group ‘House of gods’ is because they never make a mistake. They are the only custodians of civil rights, law, Pakistan’s sovereignty and principles of morality. People who already were in the ‘House of gods’ of Pakistan are Chiefs of Armed forces, and yes most importantly chief of army staff, Pakistani patriotic generals, media. Since the judicial movement, there has been an addition of two new classes to the ‘House of gods’ which are higher judiciary and lawyers. Whatever they do, we’ve to know that it is in the national interest. Only these people know law. They are mini-gods. We needed these gods because it adds value. And yes, how can I forget – Pakistani nuclear scientists are also now making a back-door entry into this group. They seriously deserve our appreciation on Made In China defense technologies, and now one of them is testing his luck with Thar Coal using a technology which is not suitable according to the poor scientists, but who knows – it’s the pir of Pakistani atomic bomb who is trying his luck so a couple of hundred million dollars here and there is not a big gamble keeping in view the fact that it’s the god himself who is doing it. We got to give god a chance with Thar coal even without his knowledge in minerals, because its his country, not ours – you know?

There is a hierarchy of this very auspicious house I am talking about. On top is our sipah salaar i.e. Saladin of our times – oh yes, I am talking of Army Chief – god of national sovereignty. He is the god of another god, who is the god of justice commonly known as chief justice. Then there are mini-gods or deities. They are in different sizes, shapes and colors. They have to be in favor with the top two gods to enjoy the perks. Islamabad is the Athens of modern times. Those rocky, stony gods of Greeks have now been improvised upon and a new 'House of gods' is ready.

Therefore, my fellow countrymen, if you want to lead a good, peaceful, conscience-less life – please follow ‘House of gods’ in Pakistan.

Sheikh Usman