Pakistan: A Quagmire of Strange Democracy at Work

Pakistan needs an urgent navigational change, but a few Generals and judges are part of the problem.

5 mins read
Voters register at a polling station in Lahore, Pakistan on Feb. 8, 2024. (Photo by Sajjad/Xinhua)

Pakistan represents traces of compelling authoritarian tyranny, political stupidity, and rooted political sinisterism that embody insolence and lost wisdom, along with hopes for navigational change. Despite national elections, the nation’s pains, horrors, and degradation for change are distinctly visible on the screen. The nation is fraught with a loss of time and opportunities for political change and sustainable future-making. The February 8 elections, arranged by the Generals and the Judges, produced no signs of systematic optimism that the nation will gain more when sadistic egoism and authoritarian governance prevail, leaving nothing more to lose.

A paradox of unforgivable systematic political corruption, complemented by the egos of a few Generals aligned with higher court judges, has led to a new threshold of emerging disunity, military intervention in public affairs, and the favorite perversion of evil mongering, claiming to serve the 240 million conscientious Pakistanis. Despite the PTI (independent) winning the clear majority of the National Assembly seats, reports reveal the hidden truth of the Sharif brothers – criminally indicted terrorists, thugs, and money launderers – potentially forming the next government. What a shame – what a disgrace to conscientious new educated generations of Pakistanis. One wonders, what was the precarious reason to hold the national elections when the Generals and a few Judges desired the return of the corrupt and morally and politically disgraced Sharif brothers to power? These were the same neo-colonial families of Bhuttos, Sharifs, and Zardaris produced by previous Generals who stole 50 years of the national lifetime, wealth, and opportunities for change to buy palaces in the UK, France, and Spain, thereby discrediting the nation, its honor, and its standing in global affairs.

Do intelligent people learn words of wisdom even from their enemies? General PNK Choudry (former Chief of Staff of the Indian Armed Forces), who fought wars against Pakistan, narrated that if Pakistan had honest and intelligent leaders, they could have averted the 1971 surrender and defeat in Dhaka, East Pakistan. I asked him how? He disclosed that ZA Bhutto had asked Mrs. Indira Gandhi (PM India) to help him become the next president of Pakistan; whereas Sheikh Mujib Rehman (the elected majority leader) was more of a Bengali nationalist aspiring to become the next leader of Pakistan. If the Pakistanis had transferred power to Sheikh Rehman, it would have been the right thing to do, and Bhutto would not have survived more than a few months, as all the official machinery was based in Islamabad. Mrs. Gandhi agreed to help Zulfikar Bhutto, but the price was the defeat and surrender of Pakistan, as Bhutto was power-hungry to become the unelected leader of Pakistan. Altaf Qureshi (“Skoot-e Dacca say Purdha Utha Hey” in the Urdu Digest) narrated the historic facts: ‘General Yahya Khan stabbed the body of Pakistan, and Bhutto did the same.’ Are we not witnessing the same story being repeated in Pakistan after more than 50 years?

Imran Khan, the PTI elected leader, was ousted by the whims of a few generals aligned with the politically cursed Sharif family – is that the mental microscope of the military leaders to resurrect dead political entities? Under false and politically orchestrated impulses, Imran Khan has been sentenced to 10-14 years in jail on multiple bogus legal cases. Vengeful and paranoid Generals wanted to keep Khan and PTI out of power so nobody could question their wrong thinking and deceitful actions against the nation. The few generals under the Chief of Staff Assem Munir have no sense of time and history, as they are playing with the destiny of the nation for which they have no moral or intellectual capacity, no right, or legal mandate to do so. Most dreadful tragedies have invariably resulted in victimizing the masses. Today, the nation is crippled with catastrophic events of insecurity, mismanagement, and socio-economic and political exploitation.

The Pakistani Generals are not people of reasoning and are not open to listening and learning. Bhuttos, Zardari, and Sharifs are not people of honesty and leadership to rebuild the nation for its survival. They cannot realize the imperatives of hopes and expectations of the new generation of educated and morally and intellectually competent people. The future belongs to the new generation of educated people, not to the naive and obsolete Generals. They view ‘power’ and ‘Pakistan’ as their own property. The authoritarian leaders have played with its destiny and future without being questioned. The five military coups have stabbed the living body of Pakistan. They are the wrong people, with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things.

Progressive Nations Produce and Enlist Educated People of New Generations to Make the Future

Progressive nations search for new-age educated and intelligent people with new ideas and integrity to build a sustainable future. Ironically, Pakistani neo-colonial systems have kept the old and the obsolete to run the country. Nations cease to exist when educated people of new generations, who could have replaced the old and redundant guards, leave the country and never return to build the nation. Young educated generations embark on migrating to Europe or America and never come back.

Today, the nation is crippled with catastrophic events of insecurity, non-productivity, mismanagement, and socio-economic and political exploitation. The Pakistani ruling elite and the Generals are not open to reason and accountability. They are engaged in the systematic subversion of national freedom, security, and future-making. They cannot realize the imperatives of hopes and expectations of a new generation of educated and morally and intellectually competent people. The future belongs to the new generation of educated people, not to the naive and obsolete Generals. They view ‘power’ and ‘Pakistan’ as their own property. They are the wrong people, with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things.

Although Imran Khan spoke of moral and intellectual values and nation-building, he did very little to support that agenda. Khan could have arranged evidence-based legal prosecution of the Sharif brothers, Zardari, and others for corruption, killings, and stolen wealth but failed to do so. He did not kill anybody nor rob any banks, and political governance was infested with corrupt figures of the past. They never imagined – how the present and future generations will identify them?

Tyranny of the Few Darkens the Future of the Nation

The few Generals and Sharif brothers are egomaniacs with an overwhelming pathological urge for political power to distort and reject the will and aspirations of the people of Pakistan striving for political change. Tyranny is always powerless and transitory. Imran Khan and some 20k of his party supporters have been imprisoned under false pretexts of political vengeance to pave the way for another opening to the crime-riddled Sharif family. What is the solution to the morally and intellectually sickening political culture of Pakistani politics? A reconstruction and overhaul of the law and justice system and non-intervention by the Generals into politics and the transfer of political power to the majority-elected leader and party. It is a long way to build a working democracy in Pakistan. If not, could the few Generals and top Judges be tried for violations of the Constitution, human rights, arrests of innocent masses, and fake cases against Khan at the ICJ and ICC, the Hague? The possibility is there for accountability.

Pakistan needs an urgent navigational change, but a few Generals and judges are part of the problem. Would they ever realize and learn from their wrong thinking, wrong priorities, and wrong actions? The current state of Pakistani affairs reflects a complete societal breakdown and a march towards self-annihilation. Despite hollow claims of the Generals, no moral and ethical behavior is seen in the sudden and inexplicable plunge into human wickedness, highlighting the affairs of the besieged nation. They would claim democracy at work when the majority-winning party (PTI) is being blocked from forming the next legitimate government, and masses are outraged and oppose the Generals and Judges, lacking respect, professional integrity, and impartiality to serve the nation.

Mahboob A. Khawaja

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international affairs-global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution. Germany

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