Poor Pakistan

by Bilal Qureshi

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

We all know that Pakistan’s overall situation has been dedeteriorating for decades and it has entered a critical phase. And, regretfully, it seems that there is nothing that is going to reverse the tide in Pakistan.Therefore, people are asking – can democracy work in Pakistan? I don’t know the answer, but it sure seems that the overall mood in the country is awfully sour and if things didn’t change, which they can’t, people would come out on the streets demanding answers, but in reality, it would be a call for the army to come forward and take over. This is exactly how it has happened in the past and if Pakistan’s past is any guide as how Pakistan is going to move forward, it seems that the history is about to repeat itself.

But, can army change or improve anything? Once again, history tells us, no, army can’t do anything. However, this vicious cycle of democracy and dictatorship in Pakistan has made it possible to dream about ‘help’ and the public has started hearing the boots. And, who can blame the generals? It is very tempting to suggest that Pakistan is in danger of disintegrating; military operations in N.W.F.P and Baluchistan, diminishing water and electricity, stagnant economy, multiplying foreign debt, out of control inflation, lack of jobs for alarmingly naive and unprepared youth for today’s complex business environment and a government that is fighting for its life and survival. Therefore, the stage is set for a savior –

Dieu merci!

By the way, those who think that the West won’t accept or deal with ‘men in uniform’ are about to get a lesson in Cambia priorità because after tough statements and angry press releases, everyone in Washington, London, Berlin, Paris and Riyadh is going to accept the case of intervention and all will back to normal.

Given Pakistan’s history, I don’t entirely blame Zardari and Gilani for their upcoming unceremonious packing from Islamabad. Actually, it is impossible to govern Pakistan and no one has been able to leave gracefully either from the Prime Minister House or from the President’s  House in Pakistan. I hope I am wrong and the current government completes its term, but, it seems highly unlikely.

So, people of Pakistan, be prepared to be saved, again!

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”. – (Julius Ceasar Act III, Scene II)

10 Comments

Filed under Democracy, Pakistan, Politics

10 responses to “Poor Pakistan

  1. yasserlatifhamdani

    No it is not going to happen.

    At most there might be mid-term polls… but nothing else.

  2. Bloody Civilian

    Actually, it is impossible to govern Pakistan

    no one had forced anyone to participate in the elections. to become president and prime minister. i can only hope that this is the writer’s own view… blaming the governed – the electorate, and not of those who hold the sacred trust of their votes.

  3. Junaid

    Thats the problem. Dictatorship is given a complete decade to show its performance.

    Democracy is not even given 5 yrs to show its performance.

    Have patience. The tree of democracy takes time to take root and strengthen itself.

  4. Hayyer

    It is difficult for us across the border to see the logic. Why should the army take over again? Is it to fight better in Waziristan, or to block American inspired policy initiatives. What will happen to the EPPA? What can the Pak Army hope to gain?

  5. Milind Kher

    Given the unstable situation, some leaders are required to sustain the fight against the Taliban. I would assume that even if they be Zardari or Gilani, that would surely be preferable to an anarchy.

    The indications seem to be that ultimately Pakistan will defeat the Taliban. May God grant them a speedy victory

  6. Ali Abbas

    Bilal,

    This elected government will soon be even more undermined by the media and “independant” judiciary tag-team. The security establishment needs to protect its Jihadi assets and will only take out some expendable and second tier leadership and leave the remainder to use when NATO leaves Afghanistan in the near future. Like 1996, PML N is ideologically sympathetic to the Taliban. The Jihadi vitriol and celebration at BB’s execution and the fact that the PPP and ANP are the only parties to have suffered multiple sucide jihadi attacks (with PPP the most) places them at the wrong end of the Jihadi support spectrum and thus the “foreign policy” ventures of the security establishment.

    Similarly, the PPP wants to settle the issue of Balochistan politically and given Zardari’s Baloch origins and the parties general ethos, the security establishment cannot accept a solution of maximum autonomy for Balochistan.

    The MQM has smelt blood and will ditch PPP in a heartbeat under the illusion that PML N will give them even more control in Karachi. Here too, the PPP is out of sync in trying to get some leeway for the ANP that along with PPP represents the 30% of Karachi’s Pushtoon population. The ANP is too battered by the Taliban to put its weight behind the PPP coalition.

    The stage is increasingly being set for mid-term polls where PML N will “win” big. The media, opposition, coalition “allies”, civil society and judiciary clearly displayed their bias during the KLB “debate”. The PPP wants an unequivocal condemnation of the Taliban, a socio-economic reengagement with the world and peace with India. Under these circumstances, the PML N seems a safer bet for the security establishment. The end game was set in motion indirectly before the culmination of the March lawyers “movement” were the parliamentary majority were dictated to by the minority but establishment- supported PML N and the security establishment intervened to have the CJ reinstated. The end was Directly signalled with the ISPR release regarding the security establishment’s reservations with the KLB.

    The PPP goose is cooked and MQM, as evidenced by their stance during the KLB and the NRO, will be the first to jump ship and join the PML N. Some typical horse trading and we will have the no-confidence movement and a mid-term polls that will usher in the third term for Nawaz Sharif. There will be no direct intervention. While the rest of the world is gearing up for 2010’s we are back to the 1990’s.

  7. Hayyer

    That scenario makes more sense but does not augur well does it.

  8. Bloody Civilian

    Ali Abbas

    The PPP wants an unequivocal condemnation of the Taliban

    the ppp could have made two, somewhat innovative but, boldly political moves and who knows… it might have successfully bypassed the media, put the military in a slightly strange position and taken the fight to nawaz sharif;

    1. go directly to the people. to campuses and the man in the street. visit victims of terrorism, swat and even FATA, more visits to the nwfp in general, and to idp’s etc. and not just by the ministers, but the heavy-weights. do the kind of stuff clinton did on her three day visit.

    2. make it a point to attend every funeral of a pak army soldier dying in this war. again, including the president and pm. they’d have created goodwill amongst the rank and file and provided powerful symbolism that would have focussed the civilians’ minds too (and forced the media to put it on screen).

    but this is more the stuff of real political work rather than hiding in the president house, visiting world capitals and deploying ministers to fight useless battles by talking endlessly on an openly biased media.

  9. Bloody Civilian

    …. if you don’t like the media’s agenda, trying to put forth your own agenda through the same media is unlikely to work. it becomes a futile game of chasing and reacting to the media. proper politicians should know how to take their agends directly to the people, and force the media to follow (with their cameras, at least). build consensus. isn’t that the what democratic leadership is all about?

  10. Bloody Civilian

    re. baluchistan

    the establishment might not want many things. that doesn’t mean that the political govt does not have any room to manouvre. what stopped zardari from visiting quetta? a few times, even. and travel further than quetta. what would the establishment have done about it? a military coup? have him assassinated? he started right with a powerfully symbolic apology.. only to turn it into an equally powerful symbolic ‘lie’.

    it’s up to the political govt to take the initiative. through more symbolic steps first. paralysis under a perceived fear is no better than what they fear actually happening. unless they’re not interested in real power, just the perks.