Echoes of Revolution

“Revolution” was not the talk of the town until Pakistan experienced the worst form governance in its history. The deadly floods couldn’t discipline Pakistan’s notorious ministers to focus on public service. The besieged government of Benazir’s husband is unable to deal with the conflicts both man made and natural, being handled by the “Information Ministry”, which has left them assailed by the echoes of revolution arising from Pakistan’s political sphere.

Altaf Hussain, from the MQM was the first who tested the waters by articulating the suspicion of Pakistanis when he accused feudal of deliberately diverting waters to the neighbouring villages to save their crops, live stocks and personal properties. The reaction was mixed from political parties but massive support of public to the idea of ‘change’ raised the eye brows of Pakistani Think-tank and Media.

The blunt yet pragmatic demand from Altaf Hussain is a further extension of his party’s political manifesto in which he’s critical about the disguised dictatorship working under the banner of democracy, this time he wants an action from Army, the real power base of Pakistan having a strong contribution in policy making. The call for Army has come from him as a response to betrayal from elected feudal representatives against catastrophe which Altaf has been pointing out since the birth of MQM.

Conventional political parties haunted by feudal lords and corrupt politicians are as usual criticizing Altaf’s statement by calling it an attempt to derail the ‘democratic’ set up. Instead of discussing the lead given by the MQM leader and debating the technicalities of his viewpoint for finding a solution the politicians are hell-bent on exploiting a rare opportunity of fixing Pakistan’s corrupted political setup.

Altaf’s call for revolution to rescue Pakistan and its people from the clutches of feudal lords, corrupt politicians and plunderers of national wealth is not an invite to the military to take over but is very much inline with the Constitution. The Supreme Court could invoke Article 190 and ask for aid from Army when the Executive refuses to take action on its verdict. It seems that there is no other way to get rid of this 63 year old elected despondency as the rotation of same families will continue and the public will keep bearing the same democratic dictators and their breed through out their life.

As far as criticism on Altaf Hussain’s statement is concerned, I believe it’s high time the politicians and the public keep the personal grudges aside and look for the real issues being highlighted by him. Living abroad in an ordinary house cum office and managing the party successfully is an art itself. We have witnessed various political parties being narrowed to their respective territories in Pakistan in the absence of their leaders.

Pakistanis have recently witnessed Army’s role as protectors of their lives from terrorists and natural calamities although approved by the nation at large, it received recognition by outspoken Altaf Hussain, who has urged them to clean the society from elected despondency. MQM has floated an idea for building the effective and inclusive government which Pakistan deserves.  It is now up to us as a Nation, whether to bring about change or opt to worship Bhuttos, Pagaras, Makhdooms and Shareefs.

An op ed in Tribune Blogs

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12 comments

  1. Regarding Pakistan’s situation, Mr. Altaf Hussain’s concerns are quite valid. Politicians have simply over-reacted to his statement.

  2. Here in India we loathe army/military takeovers (atleast most of those whom I know do).
    There are two reasons for this:
    1. We are too used to our civilian liberties
    2. We are slackers

    Perhaps I will need to elaborate point 2: We Indians like to ignore the law in places where there are no direct human consequences evident. for eg: jumping signals in thin traffic, taking wrongful u-turns, littering, bribing for speedy process of govt work etc. Now, replace the government with a Military rule, and they have the resources to police our every move, making life uniformly difficult. Here in India, although all men are equal, some like to stay “More equal than the others” (borrowing Orwell’s words), and these guys will never let the army take over.

    Point 1 is the usual: freedom of speech, expression, to buy property, independant judiciary and press, to travel within the country, right of information, controlled military spending etc etc.

    1. In Pakistan things are different, here in this particular situation the leader wants Army intervention on Judiciary’s calls because Army and the judiciary are known as respectable insts. of Pakistan. We have no other way to get rid of this dirty system….

  3. I am afraid I anticipate a total break down of any authority, and whatever rule of law there is, which will lead us to an anarchy like situation and after lots of bloodshed return of the military rule. Whether or not this will succeed and whether or not welcome is another thing to discuss

  4. Aftab, anarchy and revolution are two different things. Critiques of MQM blaming them for inciting anarchy than revolution. What do you think of MQM’s demand. Do you think their demand is justified ? because if Anarchy comes it will be a Military Takeover which is not what nation wants.

  5. Look Tanzeel, anarchy, as I understand it, is systematic erosion of authority — total absence of government by any organized party or group. When a system and the people governing through this system are discreditted or lose control over power then the state becomes rule-less and it’s free-for-all situation —- which might result in settling of scores and struggles to capture power by various groups. In the process there could be loss of millions of lives and destruction of infrastructure of the country. As it could naturally be expected that someone with organized powerful machinery must intervene which could be internal or from outside. In our case, most likely it’ll be military and since military men are not generally known for revolutionary inspirations or leanings — what you’ll have is restoration of order & law i.e. back to status quo.

    In my view, MQM at best is hoping to inspire revolutionary changes but lacking greater acceptance and popularity it seems to incite the masses to outright reject and disobey the present dispensation; once this far it anticipates intervention of the higher judiciary and on its behest military supervision to form a national government of clean background (free of any corruption charges) which should do the thorough overhauling or recreation of a more egalitarian system.

    Frankly what nations wants is hardly of any consequence, in any case, and here we are talking about total manipulation of public minds through projected fear of all these monsters aka politicians and thus rejection and revolt against the system. I am afraid I don’t see any revolution coming (in the sense of a dawn of new golden era in our history).

    Hopefully, I have explained as I understand this complex subject and have managed to reach you reasonably.

  6. Aftab I understood your point but majority of people asking me if MQM wants revolution why they don’t gather people and go for a long march. Why don’t they quit Government and gang up with like minds. Do you think revolution can come through media — what MQM is actually doing for revolution ?

  7. When you say “It is now up to us as a Nation, whether to bring about change or opt to worship Bhuttos, Pagaras, Makhdooms and Shareefs.” you should be careful not to insult “us as a Nation”. Let those who choose what they do, you do what you can to change opinion.

    The Army is not a friend. The Army is an institution that is supposed to be below the Govt., not having any power over any politician, over any civilian for that matter. Not emphasizing this is the root of all corruption in Pakistan.

    Once you make Army one “powerful” gunda group, able to give “street justice” to people, there will be rival gunda groups everywhere and there will be no legitimate argument against them. This is the REAL politics going on in Pakistan right now. Army, Mullahs, Feudals, latest member Judiciary all using their abilities at gunda-gardi to give “justice” to their own little factions.

    When we talk of democracy, we need to end this street justice “gunda group” mentality all together.

    If we don’t, we will in fact be expressing that we DON’T trust the process of democracy. And in that case it would be a joke to actually take “help” from one gunda group FOR the betterment of democracy.

    1. I suspect it’s going to impede the process. I also suspect that DR Imran Farooq’s death is sending some very negative signals and warning to all who are aspiring for a change. “REVOLUTION” —- na khappe —– long live status quo is the slogan — whether we like it or not.

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