Can Pakistan ever see a true democracy?

Historical facts show All India Muslim League failed to obtain support of the majority of Muslims in the Muslim-majority provinces till 1946 in United India. In the general election of 1937 the Muslim League could not achieve the prominent support from the Muslim voters in the Muslim-majority provinces. In Sind, Punjab, Baloochistan and Frontier where the landlord culture had been ruling, Muslim League could not obtain mandate from the people as the landlords in these states had not yet announced the support for then Muslim League.

When Pakistan was close to reality, the far sighted landlords started shaking hands with Mohammad Ali Jinnah (the founder of Pakistan) to secure the survival of their command and culture.

In Punjab after realizing the situation the big landlords like Mumtaz Daulatana and Nawab Mamdot changed horses and joined the Muslim League. After the fateful Indian general election of 1946, most of the feudal class became the part of Muslim League and the forefront leaders of the Muslim League when Pakistan came into existence on 14th of August, 1947.

In Sind, the State was in the hands of changing coalitions of Muslim and Hindu landlords. Their social background was much the same as of the Unionists in Punjab. The big landowners’ families like Bhutto, Mukhdoom, Jatoi, Talpure felt the need of the time to join ruling Muslim League. Similarly, in the Frontier, Congress was in power until the creation of Pakistan and Baloochistan was too isolated in the political campaign.

Hence, the landlords of Sind, Punjab, Baloochistan and Frontier were the first gift to Pakistan with their traditional culture to Pakistan. They became the frontline politicians in Pakistani politics and politics became their family business. Since then the feudal culture is main the dominion of the country. No wonder Jinnah would have addressed the same occupiers of the country when he once said that unfortunately he had the bad coins in his pocket.

Pakistan where more than 60 percent territory is ruled by landlords and tribal leaders, the people have no freedom to cast their votes against the will of their masters. The election process in these areas is just a formality. The seats are claimed as their family legacy.

Securing a permanent role in the establishment, the bureaucrats prefer to compromise with the feudal system of Pakistan. They offer hands of friendship with the landlords cum politicians for mutual interest. This is the reason the top level positions in the administration of Pakistan are found occupied by the members of the same families. Just like landlords in politics, serving the top administrative positions is also their family business. In the last 50 years, the faces might have been changed but most of the bureaucrats belong to the same families who have been running the establishment since the creation of Pakistan.

In 1958, Field Marshal Ayub Khan gifted an army rule to Pakistan through the first Marshall Law in the country. He could have put to an end to the centuries old feudal and tribal system of Pakistan instead he preferred to share his power with the landlords. He also promoted the bureaucracy culture in the establishment. In his ten years of rule General Ayub Khan deeply rooted the bureaucracy and army culture in the country. He brought army officers in the civil bureaucracy. When he decided to shield his army rule with the customized democracy and reshaped Muslim League into conventional Muslim League he chose Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to be the frontline campaigner of his customized democracy (Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a foreign return barrister and a top level landlord of Sind being a son of Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto). Since then the army, bureaucrats and the landlords have been sharing the power in Pakistan whether it has been an army rule or a purported democratically run government.

In 1971, the people of Pakistan were, for the first time, given the chance to vote for a democracy in the country in a comparatively open political environment by another army dictator General Yahya Khan (he was the successor of Ayub Khan). With the exception of few Islamic cum political leaders, the same feudal class including the leader of the winning Pakistan People Party, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto came up as a winning party from West Pakistan. Bhutto and his allies (feudal-cum-politicians) preferred to the split of Pakistan but did not accept majority-lead winning Shaikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman and his party Awami League in East Pakistan to rule West and East Pakistan in the government. Eventually, Bengalis separated East Pakistan and created their own country as Bangladesh. Army once again supported the Feudal of West Pakistan and swallowed the bitter separation of East Pakistan.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, following his political career developer General Ayub Khan, announced himself from role of Prime Minister to the first civil Marshall Law Administrator while he was trying to save his government from the country-wide anti-demonstration by the Islamic parties against his alleged rigging in the general election of 1977.

General Zia-ul-Haque who took over power from Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto also ruled the country for over 10 years following Ayub Khan’s style democracy under the supremacy of army rule. Now current Ruler General Pervez Musharraf is running the country on the same principles.

One interesting aspect of Pakistan’s military rule is that the Army implements the democracy in its own terms. They pick and choose the bureaucrats, the landlords cum politician and even the judges of the highest civil courts who would show faith on army as a supreme power in the country and abide to follow the democracy on the direction of the military.

When one army dictator introduces a civil chap the other kick him out. Ayub Khan brought Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Zia ul Haque threw him out from the power and hanged him on murder charges. Zia ul Haque brought Nawaz Sharif who then became the prime minister. Pervez Musharraf threw him out not only from the power but from the country.

Now Pervez Musharraf is bringing Shaukat Aziz, a man who does not have any political background but is being introduced as a technocrat. One has to see who is going to end his story.

To satisfy the outside world, similar to the British Rulers in India before the partition of India, the army in Pakistan ran a parliamentary system with keeping the ultimate power in their hands. To legitimize their supremacy when required the constitution of Pakistan is changed through their employed parliamentary system.

The deep rooted strong army, bureaucrats and feudal relationship can be measured by analyzing the profiles of the people serving the top positions in the government whether as a bureaucrat or a minister or a CEO of any governmental body. One would find they have family relationships and business partnerships among each other. If not the same face but the member of the same family would be enjoying the role. Even the children of the military dictators joined the politics without having any political academicism. General Ayub Khan’s son Gohar Ayub became the foreign minister of the country. Eijaz-ul-Haq who has no political qualification except that he is an ordinary bank officer and the son of General Zia-ul-Haq, at present, he is holding a ministry in the present government.

Victimized by the unfair and favouritism culture many high-level professionals leave the country when they find opportunity overseas. With their outstanding skills and talent they earn a lot of name in their fields in different parts of the world.

As the technology progressed in the world, like other developing nations Pakistan is also required to be equipped with the needs of modern technology and their methods. The economist, educationist, IT specialists, environmentalists, criminologist, medical experts etc are found high in demand.

Exploring the demand, the long serving highly expert Pakistani expatriates especially in the west found their need in Pakistan. There was a significant portion of Pakistani foreign professionals who wanted to serve Pakistan sincerely and honestly. However, they found themselves mismatched in the corrupt system of Pakistani trica (bureaucracy, army and political pundits).

Yet, there have been professionals who found this dilemma as an opportunity. They are returning back to Pakistan by negotiating their high remuneration from the government in return. They are found ready to accept and compromise with the present setup of Pakistan. These professional are being awarded as “Technocrats” and the ruling trica is found welcoming and introducing them with high-fly slogans. Today, these technocrats are enjoying in the top portfolios in the government with top remunerations from the tax-payers money.

In 1993, an alien to Pakistan, a US citizen and a World Bank Financial Advisor Mr. Moin Qureshi was brought in Pakistan and appointed as the caretaker Prime Minister. His job was to get Pakistan out from the falling economy and rising debts of the International Monetary Funds (IMF). He was recommended by IMF.

President General Pervez Musharraf introduced a computer literate Dr. Atta-ur- Rehman to bring a revolution in Information Technology. He came to Pakistan with his outstanding ideas on IT Projects. He claimed that he would beat India and make Pakistan at par with the West in information technology. No one was talking about the growing need of the power and electricity but Dr. Atta was given enormous funds in producing an IT revolution in Pakistan. The outcome of his pre-matured revolution brought a social change in almost every city of Pakistan. One finds internet café everywhere where youth and children who spend hours playing video games, chatting and watching dirty sites.

Another US citizen, a financial expert has been introduced as a high-level economist by President Musharraf with the claims of bringing a revolution in Pakistani economy. The person who has never been involved in the politics and never stayed much in Pakistan since his professional career a banker, is being legitimized by making him a parliamentarian through the an engineered election process.