Pakistan: Inventing Doctrines Will Not Solve The Problems

March 27, 2018 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , Pakistan , POLITICS

Usman Malik photo

 

By

Imad Zafar

 

 

It is a season of inventing doctrines and spreading propaganda in Pakistan. Old wines are presented in new bottles and are termed the ‘new doctrines’ and the so called ‘new change’. The judiciary is busy in judicial activism; the military establishment is inventing new doctrines while the political parties are busy undermining each other to get the share of cake in the coming set up. In the capital Islamabad, the traditional opportunist politicians, retired and serving government officers are all busy proving their loyalties to the establishment, trying to get the certificate of “Sadiq” and “Ameen”. The shrewd men operating behind the scenes, who are actually responsible for running the country, are awarding the certificates of honesty and morality to the politicians, industrialists and government officers.

 

After creating a desired “Sadiq” and bringing him in as chairman of the Senate, efforts are now being made to produce an “Ameen” in the aftermath of the next general elections. The Bajwa doctrine is revealed through selected journalists and it is no longer a secret that the “rebellion political forces” will not be given much space in the coming elections. There is an ambiguity about the elections and the high sources in the power corridors are of the view that they will not be held in July.

 

The recently revealed Bajwa doctrine is no more different than the Musharraf doctrine, and according to this, politicians and bureaucracy are the sole reason for corruption in Pakistan and all the failures of State have been caused by them, while every good thing that happened in Pakistan is the credit of the Military.

 

The political parties’ continued failure to learn from past mistakes has paved the way for the military establishment to take the driving seat. The political leadership of Pakistan likes mediocre people in their ranks so the party head and families can easily hold a firm grip on the power structure of the political party. Be it Imran Khan, Zardari or Nawaz Sharif, they are all authoritarians and of course not democratic, in any case you will not find a dissenting voice in these parties in the top tier of leadership.

 

The members of assembly, given a ticket by these parties, are usually the influential who spend millions of rupees to win elections, so after spending a huge amount on elections, it is all about getting that amount back with a profit. The powerful military brass know it and is why it has always been easier for them to break the political parties into factions and exploit their opportunistic members.

 

The system works only for the elite, the elite consisting of politicians, businessmen, civil and military bureaucracy, feudal lords and wealthy faith merchants. For everyone else the only way to survive is to obey the system and hope that a little piece of cake will be given to them. It is easy to exploit millions of uneducated and poor people in the name of patriotism, religion and democracy, something the powerful elite has being doing since the creation of the country. Unfortunately democracy and dictatorship are both two sides of the same coin, both forms of governance in Pakistan only benefiting the elite and powerful sections of society.

 

Since there is no concept of quality of life, to merely exist is a luxury for the millions here, and the powerful elite knows this very well. The vast majority of the population are deprived of basic facilities and lack of true knowledge, being hostage to their own set of rotten beliefs; this a very easy target to be manipulated by the powerful. The tool that has always worked successfully for the political and military elite is the ignorance of the masses. The more you keep them ignorant the more it is easy to rule them. The powerful military has the patriotism and religious card, which it plays smartly, while the political elite has the democracy and victimization card which is equally played well by them.

 

Over the last 70 years it is all about them. It is all about who will grab the greater share of power and who will rule the country. For the masses it is all about choosing a lesser evil, and when it comes to choosing, the political elite is obviously a better choice as they will at least spend a little amount on the masses. While the majority of intellectuals and writers are dancing to the tunes of the emperors and playing the role of devil’s advocate, no one bothers to pay attention to the fact that it is their system that needs to be fixed and both the military establishment and political establishment are the beneficiaries of the system. The military eats up a major chunk of the budget while the political elite is happy to get kickbacks and commission from the projects in the name of the people’s welfare.

 

It is not difficult to think rationally and understand that 70 years are more than enough for both the dictators and the elected representatives to at least provide basic facilities of education, health and clean water to the masses, but since the priority was only about grabbing power and resources, this is why no concrete steps were taken in this regard. The habit of the masses worshipping personalities rather than ideologies makes it easier for the elite to manipulate the masses. People affiliate with political and non-political ideologies on the basis of their egos, set systems of belief or for personal gain.

 

A supporter of the PPP will vote PPP because for him Bhutto gave his life for the poor people. Little will any of these voters or supporters like to see the deteriorating condition of Larkana and the province of Sindh where poverty, corruption and the lack of education and health facilities are the worst among the entire country. The same is the case with Nawaz Sharif’s voters and supporters where they think that Sharif has eliminated poverty and other social and economic issues during his 35 year political tenure. The PTI supporters are not ready to admit that Imran Khan is banking on all the political opportunists to come into power and that his provincial government has failed miserably in providing relief to the masses.

 

The military establishment’s supporters do not like to admit that the direct and indirect military rule has only resulted in a larger military complex, housing societies and other profitable business ventures. It is all about worshiping one’s own self-created heroes and misconceptions. As long as the masses are ready to be used as pawns, they will be manipulated by the democratic and military doctrines every now and then.

 

Only a social state with a doctrine of providing the masses with the basic needs of life can progress and prevail in the modern age. Instead of inventing democratic and undemocratic doctrines and engaging intellectuals in defending these doctrines, the power players need to invent ways to address the socioeconomic issues and counter extremism and polarization in the name of religion, protecting doctrines so our future generations can live in a truly pluralistic and progressive society for years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

Imad Zafar

Imad Zafar

Imad Zafar is a journalist based in Lahore. He is a regular Columnist/Commentator in newspapers. He is associated with TV channels, radio, newspapers, news agencies, political, policies and media related think tanks.

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