A Political Note on Pakistan Essay
There can nothing be so distant that one cannot reach it eventually or so hidden that one cannot discover, what really required, for such achievements is efforts and determinations to reach one’s goal. We, in the figure of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, have a solid example of a strong determine and intense efforts to carve out ways to reach destination. It is no doubt that Quaid was a great politician, a constitutional pragmatist, who throughout his political tenure took measured steps. He, perhaps, was the only politician, in the sub-continent, who was not sentenced to jail, not even once in his life time. He gave us picture of a legendary politician and so by the tireless efforts of Quaid-e-Azam and others Pakistan came into being .
POLITICAL SCENE, BEFORE INDEPENDENCE.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that United Sates inherited the system which was built by its people roughly three centuries ago, needless to say that it has refused so far but fundamental concepts like “no taxation with representation” and that “all men are created equal” are most cherished slogans of Americans.
Pakistan; in the Same way, inherited its political setup based on Britain legacy, where political conflicts meant an all out war, between the political opponents, of grabbing powers. Historically speaking, the British government adopted the policy of “divide and rule” in order to prolong their stay in the sub-continent and in some respect they succeeded by sowing the seeds of discord between the Hindus and the Muslims (their all out rivals in the struggle of power). Though Quaid-e-Azam first adopted the method of reconciliation, which is reason why he is called as an ambassador of Hindu Muslim unity and the famous Lucknow Pact 1916 is its noted example. But this discord between the two parties, to satisfy their political claims, remained as it is, the Indian National Congress preached “nationalism” and wanted the annulment of Muslim League, while Muslim League professed “Islamic values” and rights of the Muslim minority,which resultantly reduced congress to a Hindu based party than that of a nationalist character. Second trait was religious, though while living together Hindus and Muslim adopted inter-religious values but remained distinct in their concepts. It is noted of all traits in the Pakistan movement that religion has been the most dominant characteristic.
The leadership inherited by Pakistan was honest and determined, those people were true to their cause. They had will and finnity to win their coveted goals people like Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Liaqat Ali Khan, Sir Feroz Khan Noon, and many other influenced the leadership qualities in Pakistan many of them died before Pakistan came into being including Alama Iqbal, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Moulana Zafar Ali Khan and Muhammad Ali Johar. This was the leadership which Pakistan inherited on the eve of Independence.
STATE OF PAKISTAN AFTER ITS ADVENT.
The political process of Pakistan was initiated but received a blow after blow when Quaid-e-Azam died in 1948 and soon after him Liaqat Ali Khan the first Prime Minister of Pakistan was assassinated and than all went wrong. After this an intense struggle of power took place, why? because perhaps these were the only people who were politically mature, they have the capabilities and were well aware of the political tactics along with their capability to manoeuvre the political circumstances. Between 1951 and 1960 there appeared four Prime Ministers and two Presidents, until Martial Law was declared in 1958. Since then, this struggle of power has been the ever present characteristics of Pakistan’s political system. Dictators ruled longer than the elected representatives since the later were usually ousted from power.
PROBLEMS FACED BY THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE (IE) STRUGGLE OF POWER.
Unfortunately Pakistan received too many political problems. Coupled with the emergence of new ones. Among them are :-
2. Instable political parties.
3. Religious dogmatism.
4. Indominatable role of military.
5. Role of landed aristocracy.
The above mentioned problems have created a mess in the politics of Pakistan, the Federal government has little authority to dictate its policies on the provinces unless it has its own government. Instable political parties represents unloyalty to their canes of the development of Pakistan, mostly the elected representative do n hesitate to change their loyalty. Religion has always been another potent force ever present in the political scene, they represents so many sects and creeds that one becomes a sceptic whereas military is in fact the fourth organ of the political structure instead of media. And, lastly, the role of landed aristocracy has always influenced the politicians creed in the assemblies. Our elections represent the black picture of land owning aristocracy than the intelligentsia and people who are true to the cause of the welfare of Pakistan. The seats in the national . and provincial assemblies are won generally on the strength of one’s money.
These anomalies have halted the developmental process of the country. The economy has been ravaged due to this political conflicts, frequent coupdietat by military have done more harm to the country than the good. It were, in fact, these political enticements which led to the secession of East Pakistan. Economically speaking, these political deadlocks have resulted in a mounting inflation rate of 11.39 percent, a population growth rate of 2.9 percent and a unemployment rate of 6.38 percent with less than 35% literacy rate.
5. DICTATORIAL REGIMENS VS. DEMOCRACY.
As stated Pakistan has, more been ruled by Generals of the Army than the representatives of stream of the people with unnecessary laws, the masses have been treated as subordinates of the ruler as were the condition of great Britain in the 17th century before the glorious revolution of 1688 AD.
1. Freedom of press was curtailed to the extent of government pleasure only.
2. Political dissidents were subject to severe penalties.
3. Economy was diverted towards the defence of the country instead of development, though it is, nonetheless,,true that defence should be our foremost requirement but social sector should not be undermined.
Democracy has always been in its embryonical shape. It has never become adult so as to firmly plant its feet in the political battle ground of Pakistan. For the last decade or so, Prime Ministers was appointed by instead of being elected. Political parties were banned by the military junta.
The world politics is turning into a global village politics, International Affairs affects the internal politics of the country. Pakistan has sought active political participation in to international arena, so as to attract foreign investment for Internal Development and but an immediate threat to Pakistan lies in its neighbourhood i.e. India. Our internal politics has greatly effected due to the hostile neighbour. Even the secession of East Pakistan was sponsored by India, because of this immediate threat Pakistan has to keep increasing its defence budget. Secondly, Pakistan occupies a strategic position between India and China and both remained hostile to each other in the recent past and hasaspired to become a regional power in South Asia.
Thirdly is the growing threat of “Islamic fundamentalism” which is the only thorn, in the feet of super power, after the end of cold war. This religious factor is source of great concern for the super powers especially the developed nations of welfare Europe. It is considered to be one of the reasons why our Prime Minister in early 70’s was ousted from power when he .tried to inculcate the concept of “Muslim Ummah”.
RESTORATION OF DEMOCRACY.
In internal politics, democracy finally triumphed in the late 80’s, when party based election were held, but ever since this restoration of democracy, Pakistan has experienced three dissolutions of assemblies, which gave birth to six new Prime Ministers and three Presidents. (including caretakers) what does this depict?, a political immaturity coupled with the hunger of power. The politicians of Pakistan are yet to acquire enough sanity to rule the country successfully.
THE ROLE OF OPPOSITION AND THE GOVERNMENT.
The role of oppositions is pathetic in Pakistan. The opposition is opposing even the issue of national interests, the current Government is yet to have a free hand in matters Like:-
4.Nuclear proliferation issue.
These crucial national issue are not creating trouble in Pakistan like frequent loadshedding due to the non-construction of Kalabagh Dam but also tarnishing the image of Pakistan in the International arena with no national consensus on issue like Kashmir, we are yet to follow a coherent foreign policy. With similar position on Nuclear issue we are suffering from “Pressler Amendment” and no aid package so as to restore our economic position and the worst of all these statements we are yet to attract foreign investment. Instability, in fact, the factor which has denounced the credibility of Pakistan as a profitable place for foreign investment.
AN IMPORTANT ASPECT.
The most amazing aspect is the role of Political parties when they are in power and when they are out of power. While same party is sitting on the treasury bench. It would do its level best to reach at national consensus but while the same party is in opposition, it would oppose the then government with tooth and nails even on national issues.
Presidential powers is another grave issue, due to the presence of 8th amendment, President has become immensely powerful, it is the discretion of the president to dissolve the government. In recent past this power has been utilized for political motives, which played havoc with the political process. Although the Supreme Court ruling, in the year 1992, has curtailed the powers of President, yet still the presence of such article is highly vulnerable and the national leadership should sit together to abolish this dictatorial power so as to restore the parliamentary form of government where the Prime Minster is the most powerful person and is answerable before the parliament.
IS PAKISTAN SUITABLE FOR DEMOCRACY.
The chief defect of democracy is that only the political party out of office knows how to run the government. G.B. SHAW
That Government are enacted to give better life to the people and formed by those who wants to better the life and from the same people, because people should have the right to govern their life whence God has created there free and equal.
Thus Democracy is the only such form which promises to materialize this concept of life. All other forms of Government, for instance communism, Fascism & Nazism result in some form of dictatorships and decrease in the fundamental rights of a Human being. Since democracy is suitable for all, it is suited for Pakistan as well. The crux of the matter is that we’ve had very few years of experience in this sphere, we are yet to educate our people for this civilized form of government.
Secondly, it is mass illiteracy which is an impediment in the promotion of Democracy. Most of us do not think, but on the advice of our leaders. The landed aristocracy is yet to loosen its grip on the politics, once people become literate and they are’ educated in this political setup, there would no more be any dream interest in the politics of Pakistan to deceive the simple people, by selling the dreams of better life.
Democracy is a device that desires that we shall be governed no better than we deserve. G.B.S.
As said the great philosopher Allama Iqbal “democracy is that form of Government, in which peoples are counted and not weighed”,
It is of no doubt that our Representative in the assembles represent’ our choice and they govern us by our (): .ice, It is not to suggest that we should not criticize them, on the ,contrary, if they work against our interest we should replace them with a new choice, Until we reach the best.
But this again is a dream. We always elect those people who have done, to us, all the wrong in the world, why? because we are compelled to do so, because the system is not candid, yet it will be no understatement to say that we are gradually acquiring political maturity. It is a bright visions of Pakistan, which is just around the comer. If democracy is given a free hand to flourish, its future is bright in Pakistan.