Now or never for Pakistan
Establishment of Pakistan was thought to be impossible during the times, when Muslim League kept demanding a separate home land for the Muslims of India. However, from the point of views of intellectuals and politicians from all across the spectrum - demand for a separate home land was never going be fulfilled given the historical intricacies of all sorts. However, it eventually did, but one wonders; have Pakistan been able to achieve its true meaning and objectives for its inhabitants?
Later half of the 20th century was wasted, and no significant progress was done, and it would not be wrong to conclude that 21st century has not been different either. So far, it is still stuck in the past and dreams of the millions of Pakistanis for a decent life are yet to realized, and their future is in limbo. The nation yet to realize its 'True Destiny', for which it was carved out from India becoming a separate country.
First decade of history of Pakistan was filled with all kinds of turmoil; taking it 9 years to formulate first constitution in 1956. But two years after framing the constitution: rule of martial law was imposed by the then martial administrators – General Ayub Khan, who went on to become President of the country with the help of constitution of 1962.
So far, people of Pakistan have witnessed all kinds of paradoxes – it was General Ayub Khan who wanted to teach them democracy by introducing the a concept of ‘basic democracy’. As He maintained that western-styled democracy can not function as desired in a country such as Pakistan, therefore, they ought to be taught first as to what democracy is. To supposedly teach the country of democracy - he introduced the system of basic democracy.
By the same token, he remarked in any interview that basic democrats would be transformed in to becoming more democrats with the passage of time.
First five years of his rule brought immense economic success to the extent that many of the present day countries of East Asia lagged behind Pakistan in those time as for as economic indicators were considered. And Pakistan’s economic model was envy to those countries and it was something to be emulated.
Ayub’s rule ended in failure, which many of the intellectuals and political commentators attribute mainly to the war of 1965. However, it was a partial truth of the jigsaw puzzle, as one of reasons of end of his reign was ever growing rift between East and West Pakistan. The relationships between the two wings became sour to the point of dismemberment of the country n 1971.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto tried to steer the country to the path of prosperity, but he too had his problems, and his autocratic tendencies brought his downfall eventually. So was the case with the Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif during the decade of a controlled democracy in 1990s. Musharraf had his own problems as well, and he was forced to resign in the end owing to the pressure from military brass and the intelligentsia.
But what is the road ahead now as after the departure of Pervez Musharraf – Zardari regime was the most corrupt in the history of the country. And Nawaz Sharif has not been able to show commendable economic progress, notwithstanding the signing of MOUs with China over China-Pakistan economic corridor.
It is the country of 200 million people and according to statistics more than 60 million of its population is less than 30 years of age. Pakistan has 18th largest middle class population in the world, that consist of more than 6.27 million people; that data was shared by Credit Suisse, which happens to be a financial service company, and is known globally.
The country faces many problems, it seems like no regime ever bothered to resolve those crisis that have impeded economic and social progress of Pakistan. One of the most dire-some problems which are choking economic progress is shortfall of electricity and one is completely baffled at the sinister ignorance of such a vital problem for son long, without it resolution, it is not possible to prosper.
Similarly, no significant budget is allocated for social sectors, such as health, education and no unemployment and old age allowances are given to people. Furthermore, corruption, lack of accountability and issues of good governance are so chronic that the state apparently is incapacitated to take remedial steps to restore some sense of normality.
Democracy in Pakistan is not for benefiting ordinary people, rather, it is put in place to safeguard and protect status quo. Which is heavily in favor of establishment, which is consist of civil and military bureaucracy. However, military forms the essential core of the establishment. One of the reasons of failure of democracy to not take roots in the country is collusion for power between establishment and politicians. Only plutocracy was possible with such a power and social structure, and unfortunately this power structure is protected, and nothing has been done to weaken and somewhat supplant this power and social structure.
Besides abundance of structural issues; the country has also suffered from sectarian, ethnic strife over the years. That aggravated as a consequence of war in Afghanistan, which has been going on ever since Soviets invaded the country in 1979. And Pakistan being its neighbor had to bear the brunt of this war; one wonders when would this vicious cycle end?
Owing to this war; terrorists and insurgents from across central Asia, Middle East took refuge in northern areas of Pakistan. It was shocking that Bin Laden was found and killed by Americans in a raid inside the territory of Pakistan. The raid ironically was kept secret from Pakistan, over the fear of leak of information.
This raid inside the territory still holds a dangerous precedence that might prompt any other country to invade and kill its target. Pakistan's neighbor: India has shown its willingness to carryout this if it feels. Soon after the announcement of death of OBL - TTP (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) vowed to avenge OBL’S death saying: that Pakistan was going to be its target. While, USA understandably was adamant at finding out Bin Laden inside the territory of Pakistan.
This incident should be used as blessing in disguise by holding the military and intelligence agencies responsible for the failure to spot the abode of the world’s most wanted man in a city such as abbot bad, which is home to the military academy of the Kakul.
Ever since the killing of OBL, the relationship between USA and Pakistan has not normalized, in fact they worsened as a result of shooting by NATO at Salala check post, killing 24 Pakistani security personnel.
Army of Pakistan has always acted independent of accountability; by controlling and formulating foreign policy of the country; a policy that made the matters worse over the years. It is just recently that Army has won the hearts and minds of people of Pakistan, after the success of Zarb-e-Azb.
There is little doubt that foreign policy pursued by the military did harm to the stability and prosperity of Pakistan. Therefore it’s vital now for Nawaz regime to craft out a policy to get the country out of this quagmire. And in this regard, such foreign and domestic policies be framed to which people repose their trust and confidence.