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Bankruptcy of Political Leadership in Pakistan

03 August, 2007

By Ahmer Muzammil


Minions will be minions no matter what the lineage is. There isn’t a better example of this phenomenon than our own Benazir Bhutto. For all his shortcomings - and there were plenty - Zulfikhar Ali Bhutto was a colossal. A dynamic, vibrant and a charismatic man, ZAB knew exactly what the popular sentiment was and that made him the most successful politician to-date, bar-none (Quaid-e-azam doesn’t count since his stint was too short post-Pakistan).

Benazir on the other hand is a very petty, narrow-minded, insecure woman, always willing to sleep with the devil as long as the price is right. Most of the action items on her agenda being personal rather than for the betterment of people of our sorry country. This conundrum compounds further when you throw Asif Ali Zardari in the mix. 

It is a sad and pathetic reality that the conversation that took place between Musharaf & bibi revolved around the personal stakes – and even that of very paltry nature – of these ‘2 gifts of GOD’ to our poor nation. Bibi only cares about the money-laundering cases in Swiss courts and the provision of her becoming the prime-minister for the 3rd time restored. Musharaf wants to make sure that he is elected president for next 5 years, hopefully with his current wardrobe intact.  Accessibility of Clean water, health-care, restoration of constitution, availability of swift-justice, security of life and property of citizens etc. are matters that I am certain weren’t sexy enough to have been discussed in that meeting.

The landmark CJ judgment presented an inimitable opportunity to the political parties of Pakistan to reclaim their justified right to govern Pakistan without interference from Army. It might still happen regardless of maulna Fazloo’s and bibi’s backdoor flirtation with the devil, because I have a feeling that the people of Pakistan are finally sick to their stomachs…baRRI dayr kii mahrabaan aatay aatay.

The judicial fraternity of Pakistan has provided us with a unique opportunity in our not-so-flashy history that must be capitalized. However it was a battle that was won, not the war itself.

My hats off to Khalil Ramday and his full bench that rendered a verdict that will live forever as a bastion of guiding light in our nation’s quest for prosperity. It also reinforces the fact that for every Justice Munir, Justice maulvi mushtaq Hussein, Justice Anwar-ul-Haque, Justice Malik Qayyum, Sharifuddin Peerzada etc., there have been Fakharuddin G. Ibrahim’s and Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui’s and Nasir Aslam Zahid’s etc. ….so there is no reason to be overtly pessimistic. Pakistan is a vibrant country and lets just say that we are no Arabs when it comes to standing up to dictators…I would hate to malign a whole people...but their meekness when it comes to opposing indigenous oppression, is nauseating.

I sincerely believe that Musharaf is probably the best dictator Pakistan has ever had. If you consider the jewels that we have had in form of Ghulam Muhammad, Askandar Mirza, Yahya Khan, Ayub, Zia-ul-haq etc. – he really seems to be an angel with a pearly-hollow over his head. However you can compare these ‘Gentlemen’ with satan and it will be a contest. We are literally setting the bar on the ground itself.

I am under no illusion that all of a sudden Musharaf will have a change of heart and he will do the right thing. Right thing being resigning from both positions & setting up an un-biased, consensus short-term government that will ensure free & fair elections. If he had it in him to deliver such a basic thing, I assure you that his name can still live in the history books of Pakistan as one of the greatest leaders of our country, despite all his failures – but these are human beings who have a hard time looking beyond their nose, so expecting them to do the right thing is really reaching for stars. They have made an art out of reinforcing failures and they are practical manifestation of the phrase “Don’t throw good money after bad”.

The pundits are saying that Musharaf & bibi are idelogical allies. As if these two camps actually have ideologies. The only ideology they are familiar with is the ideology of being in power. Isn’t it obvious that being liberal and “enlightened” is in fashion now days and the trendsetters in Washington would like to make sure that all the political prostitutes are in the same camp, just so the charade looks a little more credible? Otherwise in what kind of a parallel universe Aijaz-ul-Haq, Wasi zafar, Sher Afgan Niazi, Maulana fazloo, Salim Jan Mizari, Peer PagaRA (and hundereds more) be considered as liberals or enlightened? Many of these individuals consider women to be a tiny step up from livestock. Some of them have private-jails and they STILL render verdicts in jirga’s to kill women that are ‘lewd’ enough to marry the guy they actually like, something which is their GOD given right. Many of them truly believe that all men are NOT created equal, why else would it be a cardinal sin for a common man to consensually marry their daughter or sister punishable by even death? If this is liberalism and enlightenment, GOD saves us all!

This hypocrisy emanating from benazir is so sickening that even their ardent supporters such as Aitezaz Ahsan, Raza Rabbani etc. are at a loss of words. And when Aitezaz Ahsan is at a loss of words than there is something seriously wrong. I mean this as a compliment to him. Rumor has it that benazir is so envious of Aitezaz Ahsan’s well-deserved fame & stature that she might even consider not giving him a party ticket. How utterly pathetic!

Problem with Pakistan is not necessarily dictatorship alone. It’s a HUGE part of it but that’s not the sole contributor. Malaysia flourished under mahatir and China is on its way to be a Super-Power under a semblance of a dictatorship, so that’s not it. It’s the sheer incompetence, doesn’t matter how sincere, and I believe that Musharaf really do mean well sometimes but at the end of the day, our Generals are only capable of making a royal mess out of everything. It’s safe to say that we have ‘some’ evidence of that charge. Call me a hopeless romantic but I feel like something is different this time around. People of Pakistan , I reckon want a change, not just of faces but an actual change of the system. If I am right and pray heavens that I am than I say, ‘about damn time yo’ all’.

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