October 24, 2010

Return of the dictatorship – Response to the criticism

The friendly or hostile opposition is just a farce; they're all
in cahoots. (Photo: Dawn.com)
A lot of controversy has been generated by my last post, in which I quite clearly declared that the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was nothing more than a return to the dictatorial ways of these so called ‘democratic’ politicians. Article 63’s amendments in ways that have virtually made political parties a family heirloom, and have distorted the very foundations of a democratic culture are obvious for all to see. Those who disagree with me, please visit www.na.gov.pk to read the Amendment yourself.

The general hype around the article I wrote stems from the fact that I criticized all the stakeholders involved in this debauchery. Apparently, while it is ok for us to lambast the PPP, it is tantamount to blasphemy to say anything against the Holy Grail aka PML – N. When I mention facts that are authenticated and are doubt proof, people start calling me a Musharraf lover. Let me clarify something here. I compare two eras, not two people. I do not believe in individuals, I believe in institutions. Therefore Musharraf means nothing to me, just like Zardari; but the institution of political acumen that they both represent is something that I admire.

There was one particularly sordid gentleman who commented on my article that democracy was the worst thing that ever happened to Pakistan. The point to ponder is did we really achieve democracy? Or did we instead, end up voting for self seeking ego-maniacs who have passed laws that declare them demigods? I think the latter is true, but of course we all agree to disagree. The thing is though, Pakistan never had a proper democracy; democracy in the true sense of the word.

Just today for example, 36 ‘Islamic scholars’ declared Musharraf Wajib-ul-Qatal at the behest of Talal Bugti. It’s actually quite pathetic that the Islamic laws are now used to gain self serving interests rather than churning out justice for those in need. I can bet that these 36 Molvis will change their statement in an instant if Musharraf offered them riches or promised ultimate power to them. As far as Talal Bugti is concerned, he’s proved himself to be a coward. It was three years after his father died in a raid by the army that Musharraf left this country. If he had the balls, why did he not declare Rs 1 billion bounty on Musharraf’s head when he was in power? Now he talks about going to the Supreme Court, but we all know that’s just rhetoric. The selfish mentality of rich and influential landlords can be seen by the statements of Talal Bugti.

Musharraf’s a used cartridge, to use his own euphemism so it’s best to let him be. This is precisely why the PML – N supporters ought to hold their horses, and not lose their cool when they see someone praising the quality of governance in Musharraf’s era. Granted we had mismanagement, and I’m sure a lot of grievances but how do you explain that to people who continue to lose their family members everyday in Karachi? Or who have to pay Rs 80 a kilo for sugar? Or to those who understand the consequence of the mounting IMF debt on Pakistan’s increasingly fragile economy?

It’s shameful that leaders of the West have to ask, neigh demand us to do what is right and appropriate for our country; increasing the tax base, bringing the hence undocumented black sheep into the tax net, taxing the elite and the billionaire agriculturists. On the other hand, our leaders fidget over the insertion of clauses into the constitution that makes it mandatory for the Head of State to be a Muslim. Would someone be gracious enough to explain to me as to what exactly was the fault of all those non-Muslims who were born in this citadel of Islam? While we continue unabated with our demands that India treat its Muslim population on a principle of equality and justice, and the West stop negating and maligning the good name of Muslims and Pakistanis, in the Motherland we are ever ready to flaunt the basic rules that apply to our population. It reminds me once again of Prem Chand and the injustice he had to face even in death.

The fact remains that the current National Assembly of Pakistan has proved to be anything but democratic. But that does not cause me despair, because I believe that if this process of democracy is allowed to continue, grow and flourish, people will realize the power of their vote and will force these scumbags to either correct themselves, or get lost in the murky depths of history.