“…the fourth Khaki dictator – said that, “Dictators have brought development to the country while politicians have caused its derailment”. There is no truth in this statement.”
In July this year, the people’ Library Army of China (PLA) celebrated its 90th founders’ day. It was this liberating force that defeated the Nationalists on October 1, 1949 to form People’s Republic of China (PRC). Since then there has been no looking back. China today is second largest economy of the world and an emerging super power. Their recent military parade was very impressive that sent shivers across the world. PRC has the largest standing army on the globe.
Mao Tse Tung – the father of modern China – believed that revolution comes through the barrel of the gun. In July 1927 he formed PLA to taken on the forces of status-quo. After 22 years of mobilisation and armed struggle his forces captured Beijing the capital city. The royal enclave was declared the Forbidden City while he and his able Prime Minister Comrade Chou-en-Lai shaped the new republic. The nationalists fled to the Island of Taiwan with their looted wealth.
Since its inception China has been ruled by the Communist Party. It followed a set plan of development and growth which has largely remained un-interrupted. There was some upheavals in the eighties and nineties but they were crushed. The famous ‘Tiananmen Square’ massacre being one of them. The so called democratic West has not been able to destabilise the country in the name of democracy and human rights. Indeed China is a miracle of the 20th century where human development of billions took place. It is the largest depository of trained and productive work force in the world today.
Like China, the United States too earned its freedom through an armed struggle. Battle lines were drawn against the colonists on the principle of no ‘taxation without representation’. Under the command of George Washington a rag tag army of Americans defeated the British Army and formed a new union called United States of America. They followed a different course. A democratic path was chosen. The rights of the citizens were protected through a written constitution. The entire colonial state and its institutions were dismantled. A Presidential form of government was adopted, where the head of state had to be elected both by popular vote backed by an electoral college with state wise allocation of delegates. Washington was elected as the first President. After two decades he stepped down, a tradition that has now become a part of the constitution
Both China and United States are governed by national institutions, there is no colonial inheritance. In fact it is looked down upon. In China it is barricaded as the Forbidden City. When Patton the last colonial governor of Hong Kong left for the airport his mansion was turned into a museum, no Chinese Chief Executive every lived there. In United States also there was no continuity. No Victorian acts or laws were carried on. Whereas the situation in Pakistan has been very confusing. Our path to freedom has been very bumpy and continues to remain so.
The important question is how will we transform these colonial institutions into national bodies? Lately General Pervez Musharraf – the fourth Khaki dictator – said that, “Dictators have brought development to the country while politicians have caused its derailment”. There is no truth in this statement. Most problems that the nation faces today have their origins in the misrule of these Khaki usurpers. General Musharraf should come and face the law if he is so sure of his services to the motherland. The worst of all have been the ‘Political Off springs’ (Siasi Bachay) of these dictators that continue to play havoc The recent verdict in the Panama corruption case is just the tip of the iceberg, lot more cleansing needs to be done.
After the promulgation of the unanimous constitution on August 14, 1973, Pakistan is now a constitutional democracy like the United States of America. All institutions and individuals are now bound to obey this sacred agreement between the people and the state. The laid down processes have to be followed for the country to move forward. Colonial institutions have to be transformed. The judiciary went through this transformation when the people of Pakistan came to its rescue which resulted in its restoration Justice Asif Khosa was one of the judges who stood up against the dictator in 2007.
Primary responsibility of every national institution is to serve the nation not individuals. What we have today are two extremes. Example of Pakistan Army and Punjab Police are very apt. While the Army as a professional body protects its institutional interests the Police force serves the individuals at the helm and has become a private force. Police has to be de-politicised while the Army has to sever its colonial links and legacies. Only genuine political leadership that emerges through a credible ballot can lead this transformation otherwise the nation will continue to suffer.
For completion of the journey to freedom the colonial links have to be severed. National institutions have to be formed and then protected. Pakistan can learn from the transformation of both China and United States. Being a constitutional democracy like USA, Pakistan is poised to move in this direction. Power of the people has to recognised and respected but within a legal framework as defined in the constitution. No democracy can function without a credible ballot that is a first step towards freedom.
In our seven decades of existence we have been able to hold just one free and fair election in 1970. There have been ten farce electoral exercises since then. Pakistan started off well but then lost direction after the first martial law in 1958. Another credible ballot followed by honest political leadership can steer the country in the direction of real freedom as envisioned by the father of the nation. Leaders like Suhrawardy and Bhutto are needed to restart the process of nation building through strong national institutional framework to replace the personal and colonial remains as was done in China and USA, two super powers of the world today.