Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja
National freedom is a collective phenomenon – an articulation of societal timeless aspirations and foresight to be free form the besieged powers of foreign hegemonic domination and governance. Pakistani nation gained the opportunity on March 23, 1940 to declare a democratic Covenant of its political future called March 23, Pakistan Resolution at Lahore to demand freedom from the imposed British colonial subjugation.
The unanimously approved declaration of the people called for an independent Pakistan to co-exist in peace and harmony with the global nations of the world and be progressive and democratic in its pursuit to serve the interests of the masses and future-building. History spells out the timeline for all actions. Leaders enriched with vision, integrity and support of the people who envisage the political imagination of national freedom use creative strategies and art of leadership to evolve people’s capacity-building and planned actions to make positive things happen out of the planned ideas and ideals, best suited to the expectations and aims of the movement. The comprehensive framework of freedom movement paves ways for countless multiple thought process for actions-reactions to futuristic events, often unknown and unpredictable to any freedom movement. Freedom movement itself is a challenge and competent leaders are always equipped to drive the passion for change and new future. Not so, by those who lacked political vision and imagination and come to grab power through backdoor intrigues, political horse-trading and conspiracies to enrich their individual triviality of political power. This is where the Pakistan nation got entrenched at the crossroads and lost the imperatives of the sense of freedom – the ideas and ideals of the March 23, 1940, Pakistan Resolution and derailed it’s requisites and priorities of capacity-building with new leaders moving the freedom movement to the next stage of contemporary history and embracing the young and educated generation and people of moral and intellectual credence to take the lead and make the future. For more than 50 years, Pakistan is engulfed with political tragedies unknown to other developing nations in supporting the aims and ideals of freedom from the colonial rule. Many Pakistanis living abroad and within the national domain tend to hold enthusiastic celebrations of flag waving, national songs, gatherings of dance and dinners but hardly think what Pakistan meant to its original thinkers, visionary poets, artists, politicians, craftsmen, activists and common folks of the Pakistan Freedom Movement. Do they ever imagine how the common folks and others must have felt the anxiety and inspirational impulse on the night of August 13, 1947 –month of Ramadan- just counting seconds before midnight – the birth of freedom of a nation from the colonial subjugation?
Who undermined the change process of the Pakistan Freedom Movement? Who stalled the future-making political ideal of the freedom from the colonial hegemony?
An impartial analysis will spell out that Pakistani nation is victim of its own spiritual, moral and intellectual stagnation coupled with a terrible sense of helplessness and being unable to see itself in the mirror and to think of the challenging future. Political failure resulted from almost five decade old military take-over generating naïve leadership and catastrophic consequences for the national integration of cultural and intellectually diverse people. Military dominated politics is one of the root causes of democratic blunders. All military rulers were selfish, sadistic and insane people to incapacitate the Muslim nation of its intellectual and political imagination for the future. Time and history point out the embittered egoism of the few. Who derailed the established democratic process in the newly established Muslim nation? Are there any accountable politicians of the Pakistani bewildered feudal-lords oligarchy to answer this question? If reason and rational explanation of facts is the language to reflect on the junk history, it should be understood that few complacent and individually maniac military Generals in collaboration with Bhutto family have stolen almost forty years out of the precious lifeline of the nation?
After half of a century of the military rule, martial laws, broken dreams of democracy and freedom, dismantled public institutions and continued disconnected governance by thugs and crime riddled people like Zardari and his gangsters, how should the world view the Pakistani nation – its moral norms, political culture and integrity? What tragic picture comes out of the widely corrupt social and political imagery of the Muslim nation? (“Pakistan: where corruption and politics are the same.”, 06/2012, by the same author)
Today, Pakistan is at a critical juncture of its history. There are no sustainable political institutions to enlist the people’s increasing tormenting pains and sufferings as the politicians amass wealth and move their stolen treasures to the European and North American markets and real estate investments. They buy splendid palaces in Dubai, France, Spain and UK as did the Bhutto family (Miss Bhutto and Zardari and Nawaz Sharif) with stolen wealth from the public treasury. Indifference to public interests and values and insanity to public accountability goes on without any reality check. Political lies and master of deceptions – the political traitors who rule the helpless nation and overshadow the genius of the Pakistan freedom movement. The onus of the blame cannot be one-sided on the selfish and sadistic politicians. It spells out clearly how the whole nation was embodied and misled by the few without THINKING of the Present and the Future.
Bhutto family enjoined a cancerous ego for power and influence even after the planned surrender of East Pakistan to India. These political monsters in collaboration with the few military Generals turned their maniac ego into absolute perversion to assume power and commit crimes against the people of Pakistan. ZA Bhutto met his ambitions and was hanged for the killing of an opposition politician. In India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi who was passionate to see Pakistan surrender in East Pakistan and to carve-out Bangladesh, also met her ambitions and was killed by a Sikh soldier as a revenge for the killing of a Sikh leader striving for Khalistan- an independent Sikh Homeland in Punjab. There are striking similarities how Liaquat Ali Khan was killed and how the plane crash of General Zia ul Haq happened in August 1988. Most observers believe, it was the Bhutto family who conspired to arrange the killings of General Zia ul Haq, again using some agents from within the Pakistan armed forces. No one was held accountable for this tragedy. General Musharaf, Miss Bhutto, Zardari and Nawaz Sharif were all the by-products of this stagnated political instrumentalism which continues to govern the masses of Pakistan. The dead-conscience people who often glorify their own dead mindset to entrap the present and future of the Muslim nation.
The question is, could dead people make any difference in rebuilding the nation? Is there any cure to the political and intellectual cruelty inflicted on the people of Pakistan? Why the Pakistani nation failed to bring forth new, educated and intellectually credible people to assume the leadership role in politics? Was it pre-determined that Pakistanis should live and breathe in a corrupt and filthy culture of governance dominated by the few? How strange, the people and nations of the 21st century world are fostering change, new ideas and creativity across all the major domains of human affairs but not the Pakistanis? True or false, American policy makers believe that Pakistan is a century behind the norms of modern change and development agenda. Where would the change come from if Pakistanis are living in the dead past – the world of fantasy that cannot appear in the mirror? Sharif lacks vision and integrity to re-emerge in politics. Twice dismissed PM on corruption charges and further he will continue to enlarge the spectrum of institutionalized corruption and backdoor conspiracies. Sharif will have confrontational behavior toward the military hierarchy and other new political activists. It is hard to imagine what else could be new and moving forward under PM Sharif. What is there for the new generations of Pakistanis to imagine political change and future-building? Did the clock stopped for change and transformation process when few Generals occupied the reign of power under false pretexts of nation-building?
Are there any morally and intellectually conscientious Pakistanis who still THINK of change and national development as a national AIM out of the absurd theatre of political manipulations? Military coups and abrupt backdoor conspiracies do not substantiate nor facilitate sustainable change for the good of the people or the nation. Such change is most often linked to a mindset of individualistic absolutism and hidden agendas of the few monsters of history. But Pakistani nation is still enriched with people of live conscience and intellectual vision who can and will imagine a new world beyond the obvious crime-riddled and corrupt political governance. In recent days, retired General Mirza Aslam Beg, former Chief of the Army Staff, (“Dichotomy in Application of Our State Power.” March, 2014), attempts to share views on compelling affairs of the current insurgency: “The endemic obsession- when military gains control over a territory, it starts enjoying power under unbridled authority and does not want to part with it…..dialogue with insurgents…( he recalls and asks)… can’t we maintain this tradition for the good of our people.”
Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Qauid-e-Azam, knew well how to manifest the ideals of the freedom movement and to lead it. Pakistan was created to safeguard the interests of the people and to invest continuous ideas and ideals for change and development into the future-making – the true ideals of the freedom movement. To rethink and imagine the true purpose and meaning of the freedom of people of Pakistan and to rebuild the moral and intellectual capacity of the nation, Pakistan needs a Navigational Change for the future. Such an ideal and real world priority can only be imagined by visionary, educated and intelligent leaders, out of their rational thoughts and strategic plans for societal change and future-building. Would those celebrities enthusiastic about the Pakistan Day celebration listen to voices of Reason and True Reflection on the meaning and purpose of the Pakistan freedom movement? In “Pakistan- political curse needs urgent cure” 2/2012, the author offered this staunch reminder to fellow Pakistanis:
The Pakistani nation must see the mirror – look at itself straight, candidly and with fullest sense of responsibility: who they were, where they are and where they are heading to – or the Nation stands no chance for the recourse or coming out of the deadly political stunts of the few, time killing legal battles and the historical graveyards. If the nation was not complacent in all of these sadistic misfortunes: the Generals, Bhuttos, Zardaris and Sharifs would have never had opportunities to molestation of the moral, intellectual and spiritual culture and values of Islamic Pakistan.
(Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012).