Had Pak Been a Model Islamic State!
Had Pakistan been a model Islamic State, South Asia would have been a different region today. What is happening, or is likely to happen in Burma, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal and even in Afghanistan, poses sensitive questions with regard to human rights and stability. Instead of sincerely endeavouring to prove a successful laboratory of…
Had Pakistan been a model Islamic State, South Asia would have been a different region today. What is happening, or is likely to happen in Burma, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal and even in Afghanistan, poses sensitive questions with regard to human rights and stability. Instead of sincerely endeavouring to prove a successful laboratory of Islamic politics, economy, and diplomacy, Pakistan kept itself busy in pursuits inimical to Islam.
This Muslim nation-state was achieved in the name of Islam. But it never had a truly Islamic leadership. Regularly and consistently hijacked by adventurists, opportunists, self-servers and self-seekers, who never allowed Islam to prove its benignity, the tiny country only remained their playground.
The tragedy with Pakistan has been that the representatives of Islamic parties have, exceptions apart, never been in effective majority in its central or state legislatures or its senate. The said hijackers, with the avid support of the United States, have seen to it that Islam remains on the defensive or in the dock. That position continues till date.
A SIMPLE QUESTION
Had Pakistan been a model Islamic state, would have General Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in 1999, ever been able to cut a deal with the socialist-cum-liberal Ms Benazir Bhutto? Deal with a suspect, deal with an accused, deal with an absconder, masquerading as a self-exiled, is not, and has never been in the genes of Islamic ideology. To us, this deal is a crime against State. Just think of the volume of her and her husband’s loot and reaction of their victims, the reaction of the honest taxpayers of Pakistan.
In the words of Mr. Imran Khan, the Tehrik-e-Insaf chief, her ill-gotten money, which she and her spouse got through kickbacks, should be looked into by a civil court.
Leave the Pakistanis. To all and sundry the said indemnity sounds an insult to human intelligence. No thinking mind feels inclined to “reconcile” with the amnesty?
Ms Bhutto, it is fair to recall, has, in the past, been charged with illegally amassing properties and money in bank accounts overseas while in power. She was also convicted of money laundering in Switzerland in July 2003 and ordered to pay $11 million to the Pakistan government.
It is not a mere PPP-specific case of her amnesty alone. It is a case of “Presidential Pardon” to all the politicians facing corruption charges that dated from 1985 to 1999 as part of “national reconciliation”. How is it national reconciliation? For all the intents and purposes, it is reconciliation between the power-hungry Mr. Musharraf and a looter of national wealth Ms Benazir and her cohorts.
For at least the next five years, some guess 10 years in power, ensured by the United States, Mr. Musharraf, who made a public admission to this effect on October 4, is willing to grant pardon to other politicians as well as Mr. Nawaz Sharif, who launched his political career with the help of military and ISI, through another ordinance.
Will, and can, these laborious, often devious essays in perpetuation of power guarantee longevity to and popular support for Mr. Musharraf? What story the crash of his helicopter on October 8 in PoK, in which four people were killed, says in so many words? After a botched attempt to fire the Chief of Justice of his country, he has literally bought peace with the Pakistan People’s Party. His undoing however lies in the ground reality and the ground reality is: his image as a US lackey. Then he has no political base. In addition to this, his military background does not reconcile with the essence of democracy and the various freedoms it guarantees. This is his weakest link. Anticipating the worst he has therefore set up his men in all the key positions.
The successor is Lt. Gen. Ashfaque Kiyani, his loyalist and utterly pro-west. His former Military Secretary, Lt. Gen. Tariq Masood, another Washington favourite, is there to take Kiyani’s ISI position. Mr. Rahul K. Bhonsle, an Indian security expert, sheds light on how Mr. Musharraf’s stamp will remain on the Pakistan security apparatus: Mr. Majid has been nominated as chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC). He thus becomes the highest ranking military official in the country. However, it is commonly known that power lies in the office of the COAS, who along with the coterie of corps commander, presides over a wide network of serving and retired army officers who run policy as well as routine matters in Pakistan. But Mr. Majid has the all-important role of deputy chairman Development Control Committee of the National Command Authority, which controls nuclear development. The Strategic Plans Division will also be under him and he will directly report to Mr. Musharraf. Thus Mr. Musharraf has secured the two key arms of the state, the army and the nuclear arsenal, by nominating known loyalists.
The all important question remains unanswered: will a civilian Prime Minister and Senate reconcile with this semi-military situation?
In the near future, however, he is likely to cross swords with his Prime Minister as Ms. Benazir, who has no second in arrogance. Mr. Shahid Masood, Executive Director of Geo T.V. gives the background: Going by the Pakistani constitution, spy agency chiefs and chiefs of army staff report to the Prime Minister for instructions, briefings and policy directions. But in a situation where the president has risen from the rank and file of the army and then become a “civilian president”, would he let the spy agencies and army wings report to a prime minister?
Whether they in India like it or not, the Al-Qaeda is popular in the ranks of Military and Intelligence in our neighbourhood. Mr. Musharraf was, through sustained pressure compelled to adopt the harshest possible line against Mr. Osama Bin Laden. This fact is likely to make Ms. Bhutto’s job tough and that of Mr. Musharraf tougher.
This unsavoury situation would not have arisen if Pakistan had been established as a Model Islamic State. A model Islamic state shows how its citizenry lives in perfect equilibrium and harmony; how its leadership is considered a trust by those who run it; how are the usurpers and cheats treated; how an efficient Islamic banking and popular philanthropy over-generates wealth; how respectfully women are treated by men; how travellers are treated by the natives; how PoWs are looked after; how women, children and green fields are spared during the war; and how – to cut the long discussion short – peace, progress and prosperity overflow in a model Islamic state.
4 Ws & 1H
In that case, repeated messages to this effect would have gone to South Asia. The LTTE in Srilanka, the Maoists in Nepal and the Communist dictators in Burma would have felt compelled to have a second look at their respected ways of governance. They would have, after a thorough study of Islamic Pakistan, realised how belief in one God’s sovereignty levels the political field; how belief in the Divine prophets (blessings of Allah upon them all) and the last prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be with him) creates communal poise, balance and human solidarity; how belief in the Day of Judgement minimises crimes, particularly crimes against humanity; how the Qur’an and the Sunnah prove a beacon light in the darkness of consumerism, socialism and what not; how discipline in marital ties shuts the doors of promiscuity, how the Shari’ah creates accountable and responsible citizens who guarantee stability of a State.