Setting up Institutions

Power politics in Pakistan has been a game of musical chairs. Every now and then the record starts playing and the run for power starts and then suddenly the music is turned off and we have a new ruler. Unfortunately for Pakistan the record players and the music sound from outside the country resulting in a consistent inconsistency (words to be bore in mind) in the policy making and the running of the state. Thus a hue and cry has often been raised as reaction to the state of affairs asking to setup institutions and strengthen them. This is the only way to end the game of musical chairs, they say, and to have a consistent consistency.

Establishing institutions is something which the common man often hears but never understands. In the rational and scientific world of today such vague and general terms are met with apathy and droopiness. A scientific, systematic, step by step and tangible approach is what the people look for and follow. In the fast changing world of today where the masses want to see and feel the impact of policies immediately, how do we actually establish institutions?

Before going in to the debate of institutions we need to first define them in some sort of a near to tangible structure so that we really know what we want to achieve. The word institution may conveniently be replaced by tradition, routine or norm by a little more emphasis in the meaning. Institution is an informal, self sustaining, unwritten set of principles which regulate a particular organization or structure in a conventional manner. If we say that an organization is institutionalized we mean that the governing principles of that organization have been so perfectly understood and are so clear that a self sustaining atmosphere has been created which has enough pressure and strength to force people to follow the conventional methods according to which that particular organization is institutionalized. It should be understood, however, that an organization may really not be institutionalized in the correct or desirable manner, infact if a lack of understanding exists regarding the governing principles the same organization may be institutionalized in a totally undesirable manner. Once an organization is institutionalized, it is very difficult to correct the state of affairs, in such a case, to correct the situation we have to start from the very basics.

Pakistani politics and governmental structure has been institutionalized on the wrong lines, as I said early, a consistence inconsistency exists. Therefore it is not surprising for the masses to wake up in the morning to know that the civilian government has been wrapped up and a new government has been setup. Similarly the military regimes are known for their pro American stances and long tenures. These things are not disturbing for the people in the sense that although majority of the people disapprove of the government policies nothing concrete ever happens and no action is taken by the masses, why? It is usual for them, in other words they have been institutionalized.

Setting up of institutions requires a deep and thorough understanding of the functionality of the system, not in the technical terms rather ideologically. A bureaucrat may know all the SOPs and rules and the technicalities of the governmental structure, he may even be amongst the highest achievers in the civil services test, yet he would be unable to run the government as required. A report through the stated procedure may take days even weeks to reach the home secretary, and still not guarantee action, why not ask Mr. XYZ he is in personal terms with him and he does the same every time he wants something done. So actually the bureaucrat understands how things work and issues resolved. CCS, paper work, SOPs, is all rubbish; this is what experience teaches him, this is how the institutions have been setup.

The problem with the Ummah in general and Pakistan in particular is that she follows a capitalist governmental structure. This system of ruling does not emanate from the creed which she carries, rather the Ummah copies her systems and takes them directly from the West. Although the practice is a good 80 year old the Ummah is not ready to shun her creed or aqeedah, and herein lies the real problem. The contrast between secularism which is the creed or aqeedah of the capitalist ruling system and the Islamic creed means an inherent difference between the ruling system of Islam and the West. Thus when the affairs of the people carrying a particular creed are regulated by a system emanating from another creed a natural clash exists which directly affects the thinking process and eventually abandons it. For example a secular judge can never hold the office of a shariah court no matter how much he knows about sharah and Islam, his thinking would remain to be capitalist which contradicts the method required by the job. The reason why for the last 80 years or so, since the abolition of the caliphate, the muslims have still not been able to establish democratic institutions in their lands is, their creed, which contradicts their method.

The call for setting up democratic institutions in Pakistan would never be answered because the understanding and working of institutions to be setup requires a know how of their basic principles plus the capitalist thinking which helps establish these institutions by troubleshooting and problem solving. In the absence of the thinking process a clear understanding of the working methods could never be gained thus the whole exercise altogether is destined to fail, as we have witnessed in the past 60 years.

The thinking process is regulated by the creed which one carries. The Ummah has shown a very rigid stance over her creed and is not ready to abandon it. The only way to regulate her affairs in an effective manner and to revive her is to remove the contradiction between her thought and method by replacing the ruling system governing her affairs. Correct and workable Institutions are built by ideological people and effectively run by thinking individuals, anyone who desires all this has no choice but to abolish the present ruling system and replace it by the system of Islam, the caliphate.