Pakistani Politicians! Please Pause and Ponder, Ship of State is Wobbling


Zahid Malik
A perception is fast developing that the country is being trapped and derailed. My interaction, on almost a
regular basis, with a cross-section of people, including political leadership and some of the top policy-makers in Islamabad-Rawalpindi, makes me concerned about the deteriorating situation. But I never feared that the State is, in fact, crumbling down. It was during my 10-day off in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for performing Umrah, along with my family, that the pilgrims from various Muslim States made me worried about Pakistan. Whosoever met me in the holy land appeared to be concerned about Pakistan. Almost everyone enquired: “Is Pakistan safe”? And then by raising their hands and looking towards the Arabian sky said let us pray: “May Almighty Allah keep Pakistan intact”.
When I left for Jeddah on June 11, after having a 70-minute meeting with President Pervez Musharraf, I noticed that the President too was extremely worried about the deteriorating security situation in Balochistan and in some parts of NWFP. “We had kept the lid tight”, the President explained and warned, “The situation may become worse if corrective steps were not taken urgently and boldly——-”.
Almost everybody whom I met was under the perception that Pakistan is crumbling down. Even the elder Imam-e-Ka’aba, Shaikh Muhammed bin Abdullah Al-Subayal, who is a friend of mine, also prayed for Pakistan.
In short, the prevalent situation in Pakistan has become quite worrisome and uneasy. What is even more flabbergasting is that our political leadership appears to be totally oblivious of all the dangers that threaten the whole system and even the Federation itself. The Government seems to be non-existent and the conduct of politicians is shameful to say the least as the truncated Cabinet has no time to address the crucial issues facing the country. The international community is describing Pakistan as a “dysfunctional” State. The security situation is becoming extremely grim as militants of all sorts have plans to cross the Attock Bridge. Any operation against them is bound to give rise to another wave of suicide bombings. Consequently the country, under the siege of lawlessness, may become even more insecure and the “civilized world” may raise the slogan of international control over our nuclear assets.
It is in view of this depressing scenario, that some analysts have already started seeing a Bangladesh-like situation developing in Pakistan, demanding a non-partisan civilian government of technocrats backed by strong Army. I too visualize such an arrangement in the days to come if politicians do not listen to the alarm bells so loudly ringing around.
It is high time that all the stakeholders, particularly the media, foster an atmosphere which makes the politicians realize the heavy responsibility lying on their shoulders. Particularly the media should shun the practice of glorifying some flamboyant individuals and some retired self-styled rhetoric-ridden saviours of the country who have virtually made the people, their hostage. These individuals are churning out frivolous emotional statements every day causing offence to the minds and souls of the people. All the stakeholders should come forward, apply brakes to the leaders who are engaged in settling down personal scores at the cost of security of the Federation. Similarly, as Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani warned that if a harmonious adjustment and working relationship is not developed among the State institutions and the present abhorable practice of targeting some State institutions is not stopped, “nothing will be left”. Therefore, I would appeal to the politicians to please rise above their personal likes and dislikes and in the larger interest of the State of Pakistan and hard-earned democracy bring the countrymen out of the killing State of helplessness and depression. We, as a nation, have to tell to the world that Pakistan is NOT a “dysfunctional” State and as Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan, said “Pakistan is there to stay for ever”.
Zahid Malik

A perception is fast developing that the country is being trapped and derailed. My interaction, on almost a
regular basis, with a cross-section of people, including political leadership and some of the top policy-makers in Islamabad-Rawalpindi, makes me concerned about the deteriorating situation. But I never feared that the State is, in fact, crumbling down. It was during my 10-day off in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for performing Umrah, along with my family, that the pilgrims from various Muslim States made me worried about Pakistan. Whosoever met me in the holy land appeared to be concerned about Pakistan. Almost everyone enquired: “Is Pakistan safe”? And then by raising their hands and looking towards the Arabian sky said let us pray: “May Almighty Allah keep Pakistan intact”. When I left for Jeddah on June 11, after having a 70-minute meeting with President Pervez Musharraf, I noticed that the President too was extremely worried about the deteriorating security situation in Balochistan and in some parts of NWFP. “We had kept the lid tight”, the President explained and warned, “The situation may become worse if corrective steps were not taken urgently and boldly——-”.

Almost everybody whom I met was under the perception that Pakistan is crumbling down. Even the elder Imam-e-Ka’aba, Shaikh Muhammed bin Abdullah Al-Subayal, who is a friend of mine, also prayed for Pakistan. In short, the prevalent situation in Pakistan has become quite worrisome and uneasy. What is even more flabbergasting is that our political leadership appears to be totally oblivious of all the dangers that threaten the whole system and even the Federation itself. The Government seems to be non-existent and the conduct of politicians is shameful to say the least as the truncated Cabinet has no time to address the crucial issues facing the country. The international community is describing Pakistan as a “dysfunctional” State. The security situation is becoming extremely grim as militants of all sorts have plans to cross the Attock Bridge. Any operation against them is bound to give rise to another wave of suicide bombings. Consequently the country, under the siege of lawlessness, may become even more insecure and the “civilized world” may raise the slogan of international control over our nuclear assets. It is in view of this depressing scenario, that some analysts have already started seeing a Bangladesh-like situation developing in Pakistan, demanding a non-partisan civilian government of technocrats backed by strong Army. I too visualize such an arrangement in the days to come if politicians do not listen to the alarm bells so loudly ringing around.
It is high time that all the stakeholders, particularly the media, foster an atmosphere which makes the politicians realize the heavy responsibility lying on their shoulders. Particularly the media should shun the practice of glorifying some flamboyant individuals and some retired self-styled rhetoric-ridden saviours of the country who have virtually made the people, their hostage. These individuals are churning out frivolous emotional statements every day causing offence to the minds and souls of the people. All the stakeholders should come forward, apply brakes to the leaders who are engaged in settling down personal scores at the cost of security of the Federation. Similarly, as Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani warned that if a harmonious adjustment and working relationship is not developed among the State institutions and the present abhorable practice of targeting some State institutions is not stopped, “nothing will be left”. Therefore, I would appeal to the politicians to please rise above their personal likes and dislikes and in the larger interest of the State of Pakistan and hard-earned democracy bring the countrymen out of the killing State of helplessness and depression. We, as a nation, have to tell to the world that Pakistan is NOT a “dysfunctional” State and as Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan, said “Pakistan is there to stay for ever”.

Source: Pakistan Observer, 28/6/2008

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