By : Mahnoor Mansoor & Rana Eijaz Ahmad
The ongoing conditions in Pakistan exposed that oligarchs sitting in top institutions of Pakistan are unwilling to liberate Pakistanis from their socio-political and economic crises. Judiciary, at the top, is siding with the corrupt elite and desires to accumulate as many resources as they can at the behest of Pakistanis. Historically military, bureaucracy, and parliamentarians monopolize most institutions of Pakistan and influence them through their nuisance value as per their needs. Resultantly, the people of Pakistan remain under an unstable political system owing to their non-participant behavior. They remain usually silent on any injustice that prevails in society. This silence is criminal. The people of Pakistan believe perhaps any angel or god would liberate them from slavery. It assists the oligarchs in Pakistan. The people need to participate in the political process. Imran Khan (IK) is trying to transform the bloody civilians into responsible and participant civilians.
Pakistan has been evolving for the last 75 years, first Bengalis were deprived of their rights, and the bureaucracy tried to convince Bengalis, to accept Urdu as a national language. Quaid-i-Azam was addressed in Dhaka in 1948 and declared Urdu as the national discourse. Bengalis repudiated it immediately.
Afterward, incapable civilian bureaucracy and anti-Ahmadi riots allowed military interventions time and again. The political dealers in Pakistan usually preferred the military instead of being people’s representatives. It obliges the military elite to intervene in four basic ways in the political system; blackmailing, influence, supplant, and displacement. From 1958 to 2008 military exploited all the first three methods intermittently. From 2016 to date Qamar Javed Bajwa (QJB) as the COAS introduced the worst form of military interventions; displacement, influence, blackmailing, and supplanting ‘DIBS.’ Pakistan needs change however Bajwa doctrine first needs dibs on it. This makes the worst-ever political and economic conditions in Pakistan.
Initially, IK appreciated QJB for its apolitical character in August 2018. As soon as the PTI government started denouncing Bajwa’s ‘DIBS,’ he supplanted parliamentary supremacy. IK claims, QJB influenced the courts, bureaucracy, establishment, and media for displacing his government. IK furthermore accused the international establishment’s role in regime change quoting a diplomatic cipher warning to change IK otherwise face the music. Let’s analyze his claim. First, in April 2022, the IK regime was changed because of inflation making people’s life difficult in Pakistan. It was around 18% during the IK regime. Now it is hovering around 30%, the highest in Pakistan’s history. Second, the Economic Survey of Pakistan’s annual report 2021 exposes, the economic growth rate was around 6% during the IK regime despite Covid-19 but it was less than 3% at present and insolvency may be the outcome. Third, IMF conditionality is making the conditions worst. Fourth, the common person is suffering instead of any political or nonpolitical elite. Oligarchs are enjoying their investments, businesses, and children abroad. Therefore, their stakes are outside Pakistan.
The Pakistani people failed to understand what to do against the powerful but corrupt non-political, and political elite to make Pakistan viable for the common person. The ongoing political and economic conditions are damaging the poor and middle class in Pakistan. We all are responsible for our difficulties. Rulers are from us not from outside.
We are free to join any services in Pakistan. no one is forced to join the police, military, judiciary, or bureaucracy. Therefore, special pay and allowances for these services are injustice. There is no justice, peace, security, or rule of law in the country. We opt for the services of police, military, judiciary, custom, media, or excise for their nuisance value not for serving the people of Pakistan. Therefore, the country would be of the same kind where nuisance values would overcome moral values. These services only produce incapable and unreliable oligarchs. Their focus is on plundering the country and investing abroad for their offspring.
Pakistan is only facing leadership crises. Hunger, greed, and lust are predominant among the oligarchs. we are evolving with time. Our eternal vigilance is a prerequisite to making Pakistan a livable place for the common person. Here are the suggestions for making Pakistan sustainable:
We need to focus on our duties instead of our rights. We need to denounce personality cults and institutional cults. We need to uphold merit and transparency. In the upcoming General Elections, we need to ensure that the representatives we vote for, came into power. In case, we feel any discrepancy regarding the election results, it needs our collective uproar against the election results. We need to force our elected representatives to institutional reforms in the judiciary, military, and civil services to keep the institutions to their limits.
Visible justice has been an Islamic junction that needs to be implemented for the across-the-board accountability of every individual. Any judge, military person, or any individual if found guilty in any kind of discrepancy a local public jury elected through balloting from the given population would decide their fate. The public jury may be comprised of ten persons supported by law experts but the final decision would be of the public jury. It is up to us whether we want to stay as bloody civilians or get out of that status and be responsible citizens of this country.
(Mahnoor Mansoor is an adjunct faculty member at the Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab Lahore, and Rana Eijaz Ahmad is Professor in the same department.)