Home / Opinion / Country or system: What do you want? | Humayun Gauhar

Country or system: What do you want? | Humayun Gauhar

In Pakistan it is: “Cometh the hour cometh the Idiot”

People get irritated when I say that Pakistan is going in the right direction, which is towards its logical conclusion: not the destruction of the State but of its iniquitous man-eating status quo and pro-agro-industrial-feudal, pro-obscurant political system that delivers tyrants, Mafiosi and inept corrupt rulers without fail. This would mean massive changes in the Constitution.

What could be better: the destruction of the status quo or the destruction of Pakistan? You decide, for on your decision lies the future of Pakistan.

The destruction of the State is not outside the realm of possibility. If you don’t believe me, just think without emotion of how many States have come and gone on the land you live on. If you are intelligently patriotic you will think of yourself second and Pakistan first and work for its betterment and progress by not supporting and electing bad leaders but learn to recognise who is good for Pakistan and who not. Only those rulers for whom Pakistan comes first will be able to save it from drowning in the current Perfect Storm of historical forces created by hegemons fighting it out globally, mostly through their proxy stooge States and the bands of terrorists and brigands working for them behind the scenes. And please do me a favour: don’t say, “Pakistan can never be destroyed.” If not, where is Jinnah’s Pakistan? Why did it break in 1971? God doesn’t help those whose actions are malicious and stupid. Get real. Don’t live in perpetual denial. I repeat: the time to choose has come: destruction of the system or the destruction of Pakistan? What do you want?

You don’t have to help it along the road towards its logical conclusion: it’s happening by itself anyway, dragged along by inexorable historical forces in the context of the evolution of the Muslims of the subcontinent and South Asia’s search for equilibrium. Unless you understand this you will not be able to get a handle on what looks like turmoil in South Asia.

What looks like irrational turmoil is actually the rational grinding of the juggernaut of historical forces, the convulsions of the Leviathan as it sheds its old skin and acquires a new one, the new status quo.

We are so bereft of moorings in faith and so ideologically directionless that our compass has gone awry, pointing south when it should be pointing north. If rulers are chosen by counting, not weighing, they will only make a mess and regress Pakistan further, even mutate it, so leave well enough alone. Let nature take its course.

The destruction of the State is not outside the realm of possibility. If you don’t believe me, just think without emotion of how many States have come and gone on the land you live on

Recall how excited you were when Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan tried to help the onward march of historical forces and see where they have ended up: a Judicial Commission to investigate electoral fraud that may be dead before birth because it may be unconstitutional. Meanwhile our plunder and rapine will continue apace. The Judicial Commission may just prove to be the face saving Imran Khan needs to pull out of his ‘revolution’ and return to the warm embrace of the man-eating system in parliament. The targets of real revolution, Imran’s feudal-industrial Trojan Horses, in high positions in his party, would cease to exist without being in the Assemblies. Remember Trojan Horse Javed Hashmi masquerading as a ‘rebel’? Imran started out to bring revolution within the system, but see how the system has absorbed our budding Che Guevara. Imran has become a traditional politician within the system, not a revolutionary. Look at all the progressive things he said during the dharna and look at the regressive things he is doing within the system. Doesn’t it reflect classic fascist tendencies: using the most progressive rhetoric to further the most retrogressive ends, not destroying but remaining within the system and haranguing us with his pipedream of changing it from within. How can you enter a gutter to grow a rose without soiling yourself and your clothes?

Imran reminds me of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who wore the mask of revolutionary but when the mask was removed with the illegal acquisition of power after helping rend the country asunder, his real persona of a fascist who had lost the election emerged. Didn’t the slogans of ‘Islamic Socialism’ and ‘Roti, Kapra aur Makan’ – bread, apparel and shelter – sound revolutionary? Contrarily, didn’t he strengthen feudal forces by destroying our nascent industrial base under the guise of ‘nationalisation’ that actually was State theft? Didn’t he throttle the media, arrest journalists, have people murdered and kidnapped and make a concentration camp in Dalai? It has occurred to only a few that the ‘Constitution’ he ‘bestowed’ on us lacks legitimacy because it was made by a rump parliament comprising a minority of those who had been elected in 1970. Bhutto formed our political downward spiral four decades ago and our politics have been rotating around it ever since. For four decades our politics and political identity have been: are you pro-Bhutto or anti-Bhutto?

Hitler used progressive rhetoric, ‘National Socialism’, but turned out to be a classic fascist once he was elected and came to power and did the most regressive things: the Holocaust and the most destructive world war in human history. When the end came, like a coward that Bhutto certainly was not, he committed suicide with his mistress. So Imran better watch it and unscramble his mind because he is essentially a good man and not intrinsically a fascist. He has known only success in his past endeavours and means well for Pakistan but in his confusion he doesn’t know how and cannot tell between the right and the wrong people, the right strategy and the wrong one. Forming the KPK government, for example, was stupid because within this system it showed him and his party up as incompetent. He didn’t understand when to go to the Army Public School in Peshawar and in what style.

However, people trapped in the turmoil of historical forces have to survive, so they will do everything they can to ensure continued existence. So will governments, businesses and agriculturists and all beneficiaries of the system. Survival is in human nature and part of societal evolution as indeed is military intervention after political failure. But Man cannot alter the course of history unless he is a giant like Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Giants like him have been entirely lacking in Pakistan since his demise and we are reaping the harvest. Some, we felt, would be giants but they proved to be midgets. Cometh the hour cometh the man may be true elsewhere but in Pakistan it is “cometh the hour cometh the idiot”.

A corrupt person who collects wealth dishonestly must believe that he will either take it with him for use in the afterlife or it will help his useless progeny. Such a person has to be without faith and genuine belief in the Supreme Creator, a malaise he camouflages in religiosity. Many such people have ruled Pakistan for too long, not just as heads of state and government but their minion ministers too. So there are two ways to look at it to help your thought process, one pessimistic the other optimistic. The pessimistic is: “If we are to be ruled by people without genuine faith, what hope do we have?” The optimistic view is: “If we are to be ruled by people without genuine faith surely it will lead to the destruction of Pakistan’s terrible status quo and its odious political system.” I believe in the second: we are headed towards destruction of the system and some new dispensation that will be better for Pakistan and its people, which is the whole idea.

Imran reminds me of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who wore the mask of revolutionary but when the mask was removed with the illegal acquisition of power after helping rend the country asunder, his real persona of a fascist who had lost the election emerged

The first view prevailed in 1970-71 that led to the destruction of Jinnah’s Pakistan and the advent of a status quo formed by an illegitimate Constitution and a colonial political system most odious that has brought us to this seemingly terminal pass. It’s darkest before dawn, they say, but what guarantee that there will be a dawn at all, a dawn in which the sun rises from the East, not the West as it is doing for us right now?

I haven’t brought another very relevant question into the equation: “Can a State that pompously and hypocritically calls itself Islamic be ruled by people without genuine faith?” Frankly not just any State but all states be they religious or secular cannot be ruled by people most wanting in faith, merit, honesty and competence. Such people are to be abhorred and rejected, for without knowing it they are essentially unpatriotic, not treating power as a God-bestowed duty that is an imperative on them to discharge honestly, with justice, balance, capability, all-round integrity and with good intent. Instead they treat power as a chance to indulge in corruption most foul and create Mafias in the guise of political parties that indulge in robbery, torture, murder, kidnapping for ransom, collateralise their country and dilute its independence and sovereignty to hegemons and their financial lending agencies and commercial banks, all the while spewing untruths and misleading people.

Saving Pakistan has been the permanent question ever since I can remember. My wife found the August 6th 1995 issue of ‘Politics and Business’ in which I had written the cover story entitled ‘Save Pakistan’. Its first paragraph is telling for it is as relevant today as it was then. It opens with a verse from the Holy Quran (2:143): “This is how We ordained you: to be a people most balanced so that you may be a model to others and the Prophet a model to you.”(Translated by Altaf Gauhar).

It continued; “Does the Pakistan of today comprise ‘a people most balanced’? Is it a country that can ‘be a model to others’? TIME magazine’s cover screams: ‘Pakistan in Peril’. ‘Asiaweek’s asks: ‘Can She Save Pakistan?’ The BBC describes Benazir’s as a ‘tottering government’. Today, the question on everyone’s lips is: ‘What does the future hold for Pakistan? Will the country survive?’ ”

Well, the country has survived 20 years since that was written, but the questions remain even more pertinent today as they were then, with greater urgency and intensity. We stand exactly where we were, only worse.

While one lauds the army’s arm’s length approach, it must be careful that it doesn’t go half cock else it will end up with egg on its face. This doesn’t mean that they should go for an outright coup; instead they should abstain from it as much as possible. If a ‘democratic’ façade doesn’t work, at least there must be a meaningful civilian front, if nothing else to not provide grist to the mills of our enemies bent on shoving alien ‘democratic’ systems down our throats to ensure that they are always presented with malleable, pliable rulers that they can use for their own ends. Else they will throttle us with sanctions. Only a revolutionary leadership comprising unusual people immersed in the correct ideology can handle, overcome and succeed against such hegemonic attacks, people who are young, very educated and intelligent, honest and patriotic, not after self-promotion or self-aggrandisement.

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