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Political Incompetence

By Qaisar Sultan

There are questions and answers that are unpleasant to those who cannot consider any other possibility beyond what prevailed in a country or in a society. What Pakistani military has done or undone seems to be harsh, seemingly unpatriotic and anti-state to talk about; the fear of reprisal is present in the minds of Pakistani journalists. The affairs of heart that get mixed up with hate and love are part of perplexed human existence. Men do not like to see violent death; but have to go to war to survive. If it is not simply a matter of survival, they find faith in resorting to most cruel human conduct. If it is not about faith, to say the least, the scoundrels have to give a purpose for the nationhood in the absence of a true moral campus; the drums of patriotism have to be played over and over again. The enemies have to be found within and outside of the country. The wars have been and still are part of human psyche to preserve the way of life of nations and cultures. The wars were sacred to people where human beings loved to hear the news of massacre of their enemies. The assumption should be that humans do not appreciate the killing and torture; then how they glorify the sordid affairs of war is beyond our moral sense. As a matter of fact hating people of other countries and religions becomes sort of sanctimonious human endeavor; talking among friends of the bloodied affairs is persevered with extreme gratification. The state sponsored propagation of enmity usually transcends higher moral ground and becomes collective self-regard and mutual respect for those who hold the most negative human emotions. But the fact remains that the innocence of our pure emotions for peaceful existence is usually shattered for the doctrine of necessity to slaughter the enemy. There was always higher purpose than the value of life itself; the heroes were portrayed larger than life. William Conrad, Lord Jim, depicted that heroism; where Lord Jim gave his life for what was wrong and unjust. The problem is that who makes that judgment regarding the wrong and injustice. If the human rights that defy wrong and injustice can be seen and understood by someone who does not have any benefit in the outcome, then they are worth dying for. But to settle for a protracted war as a state policy that has no possibility of winning has caused harm to the nation. The idea of war as our national polity has become the most important extension of the state policy. We have lost so much in wars that we cannot live in peace and harmony without worrying about the next threat of war. To say that it is not possible as the enemy likes to see us in the state of war is not ingenuous. Sun Tzu and Clausewitz who wrote about war did not like the concept of militarism; both understood the destruction and death brought in by the wars. One cannot disprove the sense of personal commitment of those men who go to war with lifelong indoctrination about the patriotism. But what bothers me most that how those men could see their countrymen as the true enemies of the state, and killed them with same zeal as they killed a foreign enemy.

Pakistan state policy is an affair between the military and the secondary power broker, including the feudal, political ignorant, but street smart, politicians and religious fanatics; the secondary brokers are corrupt and do not care either way the country may turn. When a state is militarized to a point that every state policy has to be measured based on what the military desires, it ends up in losing the true purpose. WikiLeaks have recently published that general Kayani opposed the Kashmiri agreement agreed by Zardari and Mohan. Once the military has so much power, it gets involved in money and power. This civilian militarism where the nation is fully spirited to a possible war that has to be part of national spirit. The glorification of possible war and at the same fading hope for a clear victory without spending the last penny in that direction puts the country to that civilian militarism. We have seen this phenomenon in African countries, especially in Sierre leon. Does political competence have direct relations with the dominant military institution dictating the state policies?  The hegemonic character of militarism in Pakistan has undermined the growth of civilian institutions. What we see is nothing more than inept and corrupt politicians promoted or allowed by the military. What we have in Pakistan in the name of democracy is a superficial epiphenomenon that has nothing to do with the democracy. The democratization process is not even possible in the presence of such a strong military institution that calls all the shots. A glance at brief history tells us that generals actually ruled the country in most of last fifty years. General Ayub banned all political activities in the country, including those who fought for Pakistani movement. General Zia hanged Bhutto. General Musharraf wanted to get rid of all the civilian politicians. General Kayani wanted to get rid of Zardari, as reported by WikiLeaks. The weak governance is important to the military institution so that they can manipulate the governance and the judiciary in the country. The military promotes and decides the elections. The military generals choose the political leaders to be recognized and take actions against those who even dare to challenge their authority. The control of internal and external security by the military that include the real domestic and foreign affairs in the hands of the military has curbed the political liberalization in Pakistan. Somehow the military has proven in Pakistan that liberal democracy cannot be related with good and honest governance, competitive economy and civil and human rights of all the citizens of the country. At this stage, democracy cannot work in the country. If we had declared the war sixty years ago against illiteracy, hunger and sickness, we could have been victorious. It is not fair to blame every tragedy on the military, though the military is responsible for the corruption and failure of institutions of the country; that includes the corrupt and unprincipled judiciary that allowed the military generals to rule the country; they gave the constitutional cover to the treason of those military men who committed treason by overthrowing the legitimate governments. The judges took personal oath of loyalty to general Musharraf; and we hailed those judges as our national hero-We seem to choose scoundrels as our heroes. The military generals handpicked civilian political leaders such as our great heroes, Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Now we are pondering why democracy does not work in Pakistan; we are wondering why nothing seems to be working, including a very talented cricket team.

1 thought on “Political Incompetence”

  1. Why is everybody complaining? We have done it to ourselves. Our incompetent politicians are elected by us, we finance our armed forces to invade our own country, we dont build schools to educate our own children, we pay the west by buying their products and allow them to insult & bomb … so why are we complaining? History has seen every tyrant, traitor, self serving bureaucrat, politician down the gutter. Every ‘geedar’ (jackal) has his day .. we lucky Pakistanis had 60 years. No need to wake up. Let our leaders sell our country & go to another country. We will follow them there … meantime, chill out … zzzzzzzz …

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