by .. Mir Wazir Khan
Ever since the independence of Pakistan,? all types of governments–all those in power?have been unanimous about one thing: that one thing has been ?the warning? and the ?exhortation? to the already deprived people that ?the country is passing through the most difficult and critical period of its history? and that ?the people should tighten their belts and wait for the good days to come?.? Even after seventy two years of its existence and having experimented with many forms of governments, the condition of the country and it’s 80% population is still deplorable. They are still deprived of their basic rights and necessities of life. Safety and security of life, self-esteem, and genuine socioeconomic and political opportunities are not yet available to them. In the age of globalization and in the fast-changing world of the 21st century, basic education and healthcare and minimum safety and security are still dreams and privileges for them. The people still suffer from hunger and malnutrition and live in such dirty and squalid conditions which are against the dignity of man. A person with a semblance of an attachment to a religion or with a rudiment of a conscience will find it hard to tolerate as to what is happening to millions in our country.
Those who were our leaders and who were responsible to improve the lot of the people always warned them about ?critical periods? in the history of their country. Gradually, instead of going from bad conditions to good; thanks to the warnings of our leaders, we went from bad to worse. What are simply not tolerable outside of Pakistan are just a routine and a standard practice in our country.? The people rose in protests in the Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Chile and several other countries against bad governance of corrupt ruling elites, against poverty and economic inequalities and against unemployment and price-hike. But here in our country the people even lack the spirit and stamina to agitate about their rights. It is surmised that the reason behind the apathy of the people is that they have lost all hope in the prevalent system and in the leadership. They think and they are right in their thinking that against whom they should stage ?protests and on whom to trust for their deliverance as they have been deceived all the time? by all those in the governments and in diverse leadership of the country.
The prophecy of our leadership is coming true. The country is facing one difficult situation after the other.? The people had great expectations from the sitting government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf. The party had promised a lot during election campaign and while it was in opposition. However, after coming to power it has not been able to give a gleam of hope to the people.? Unemployment, inflation, price-hike are on the increase. Poverty is on the rise and the overall condition of the people is in bad shape. Since the country has been subjected to one crisis after another and lack of rule of law, bad governance and corruption have struck the very roots of the country. The country is under huge internal and external debts of around $ 80 billion. Set aside the repayment of the principle amount of the loan, the repayment of the interest is a huge challenge for the country. ?In a situation like this it is unwise to expect the PTI to solve all problems in just one year.? Had it been so easy and practical then why the previous government didn?t solve some of the burning problems of the country when they were alternating in power for several decades?
In a situation like this it is strange to see the Opposition Parties forming a ?Rahber Committee? for agitation and for the overthrow of a government which has been in power hardly for one year. ?And the strangest thing is that why the opposition parties not formed? ?Rahber Committees? when they were in government to resolve burning political, economic and social issues of the country?? Why ?Rahber Committees? were not formed when loans ad debts against the country were piling up? Why ?Rahber Committees? are not constituted to fight poverty and underdevelopment?? The biggest problem of the country is that her people are illiterate and innocent. They are always cheated in the camouflage of caste, creed, color and language and in different disguises of political parties. They fail to understand their tormentors and exploiters and return them to power in our farcical democratic dispensation. ?In Pakistan a dangerous struggle is going on among different contenders for power to hold and expand power. Though, mostly the power contenders belong to the same privileged and corrupt class with same mentality; but they have divided themselves in different groups and factions to grab power in cycle and rotation. Since the country is becoming poorer day by day and there is serious resource-crunch. Therefore the struggle for the available crumbs is getting hotter and hotter among different stakeholders and elites in the power structure as they have to please and satisfy their own clientele and constituencies from the spoils they grab.
Pakistan, perhaps, is the most powerful country in the Muslim world because of her territorial size and fertility, professional military and nuclear assets. The ruling elites of the country, after assuming power, traveled to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, China, Turkey, USA, IMF and the World Bank and could hardly collect around $ 30 to 35 billion for running the day-to-day administration of the state. While 55-year old American billionaire Jeff Bezus– the owner of the Amazon and Blue Origin— with a net worth of $ 156 billion paid $ 40 billion to Mackenzie Tuttle, his wife of 26-years as final settlement after divorcing her in June 2019. Two different pictures of scarcity and abundance on the face of the same planet!? We live in an age of globalization where transnational corporations have established borderless empires of their own. The idea of independence in the midst of raging poverty and poor economy is a myth pure and simple. The entire IMF economic package for Pakistan was in the range of $ 6 billion. Unfortunately, Pakistan has been subjected to a payment and penalty of more than $ 6 billion in the Reko Dique mining dispute litigation
. Seek loans and pay penalty!!! In a situation like this it is only through our holistic adherence to the principles of Islam?both in form and spirit?and by genuinely adhering to the foundational principles of Democracy and Constitutionalism can we properly respond to the challenges of our times!!!? Islam?s continuous living tradition and its immense powers of juvenescence have always endeavored for the realization of highest ideals in life not through passive renunciation but through active struggle and these struggles have been all-encompassing, holistic and universal.
The universalistic principles of the religion of Islam, Democracy and Constitutionalism have always stood for dignity of man and have always strived for the welfare of the people. However, in Pakistan all these founding principles have been used for personal aggrandizement and for accumulation of more wealth and power at the cost of the deprived majority.? What are the benefits of Democracy and Constitutionalism to the people if it couldn?t ensure security, dignity, progress and prosperity for the people? National struggles and Long and Short Marches should be for the emancipation of the people. Any struggle that is not for the general welfare of the vast majority can only be regarded as a fight for crumbs among the elites of the power structure. .. Mir Wazir Khan, Awi Chitral 02 Nov 2019