August, the month of our independence is again proving a month of heightened political activity. It is so difficult to compare the August of 1947 with that of 2008; I do not know if any one can do it. The task looks impossible. The recent cycle of political hype stated on 9 March 2007, when the Chief Justice of Pakistan refused to cave in, in the face of COAS and President, General Pervez Musharraf. The August of 1947 had different colors of freedom, sense of independence and nerves loaded with joy of making Pakistan a reality. That is too distant a past now. Our goals were different. We were too different a people then. It was not a graduate Assembly! And above all our leadership was very different.
Wish one can encompass objectively, what is going on in these days. Should description alone be the purpose of this write up? Will that serve any purpose? Narrating and recording the socio-political down slide may help a future historian to collect data and build his thesis to prove the laws of sociology and the tenets of rise and fall of Muslims of subcontinent. It would be more intriguing when some historian would use our data and example in the context of national and ideological states. More so, when Islam would be brought under scrutiny as a political force to keep a people together and its potentials to make a viable modern government. No doubt any such scholar would keep in a parallel comparison, the ideological states of Israel and Lithuania. A determined and positively thinking Pakistani however, must not be scene watcher only. He or She must take an account of situation and contribute to prove his or her existence. To prove to Almighty , that he or she was not mere an on-looker, He or she was not concerned about his or her boundary walls, gate, cleanliness of car, sewerage and daily meals, only. The focus was not only his house without power and water. It was not his bike low on petrol and her car low on CNG.
Dear Pakistani’s, be sure your efforts will be counted. Your struggle shall never go waste. It will bear fruits one way or the other. Please be very sure of it. I know you are disappointed to hilt, cursing the military dictators followed by politicians and politicians followed by the military dictators. Yet, please stand up and be counted. And I happily recall, this is the motto of Ex-Servicemen Society.
Let me count the ills and malice first and then point out some windows of hopes; suggesting areas to exert.
Longstanding and Persistent Problems. Not that there are only two, but I have covered two here which are out of a few on top.
a. Pakistan continues to be part of American efforts on ‘war against terror’.
b. Pakistan continues to look up to American aid, more shameful now; aid for food. The latest and youngest brand of PM was in US last week (last week July, 2008) trying to seek ‘assistance’.
a. PPP led by Zardari has failed to restore judiciary, despite commitments and written communiqué. .
b. PPP and coalition partners failing to run the government. How? Look at the two examples given below.
(1) Government announced increasing the price of CNG by Rs. 5.58 per kg; while it was at Rs. 38.80. The prices shot to Rs. 52.43 per kg. A month has passed the prices are around Rs. 48.36. There is no regulatory body, no monitoring, no control and no accountability.
(2) Parliament met around 24th July and resolved that Government shall proceed through negotiations and parlays with militants in Swat and FATA and there shall be no operations. The military action has picked up on the contrary in Swat. Artillery guns are firing shells on own people in the first week of August.
c. PM was in US last week. At the end of his speech he was to attend a Q & A session with Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Mr. Gilani was subjected to the questions by Mr. Richard Hass, President of CFR. The details are available in 8,800 worded official transcripts. His performance in Q & A session can be concluded from following conclusions:-
(1) Americans know better about the geo political situation in Pakistan.
(2) Americans think tank does not know Pakistan is a parliamentary democracy. In Pakistan PM is the Chief Executive and not the President.
(3) That ISI and Pakistan Army are under the control of Chief Executive. “They will do only, what I want them to do”.
There are windows of hopes. We do hear voices of resolve and what we should do as a people in search of independence and sovereignty would do.
a. If you wish to live independently and be a sovereign state, get out of the slavery of America; says Imran Khan of Tehreek-e- Insaaf.
b. Judiciary must be restored, as it was on November the 2nd 2007. There are deadlines in immediate future; two to three weeks time has been given by political bodies and lawyer’s movement.
c. Nawaz Sharif is meeting Zardari today i.e. 5th August for a water shed meeting on two leading issues. One restoration of judges and impeachment of President. Will some grounds be gained or hopes of a PPP-PML (N) coalition is dumped forever? These are very important moments both by urgency and significance. We need an effective coalition government.
ur Immediate needs include following:-
a. Coalition partners i.e. PPP-PML (N) and ANP to run a healthy and effective coalition government.
b. Restoration of judiciary. How? And ifs and buts of compromise should be acceptable. What Farooq Naik said yesterday on retaking of oath does not sound promising.
c. Cessation of operations, whether in Swat or else where. Getting back to talks, negotiations and parlays rather than fighting. The chief of local Talibans, Maulvi Umer vouched they were Muslims first, Pakistani second. After they had finished with Americans, they plan to tackle India.
All these will never be digested by Mark Boucher and Condaliza Rice; by Barak Obama to say the least. Dear readers let us be doing our bit. We have windows of hopes. Let us join hands to move forward and muster courage to peep out of these and play our role.