What is at the Stake?
“History repeats itself,” is as true as to say that we need oxygen to breathe, and the world has experienced many repetitions of history in broad daylight. Karl Marx as he says, “history is written on the back of the people is as much right as the saying, “The sun rises in the East”. The present situation of the country is much worse than is stipulated or anticipated by the “leaders” of this war and corruption torn country. A curry of chaos is boiling within the pits of the provincialism and nationalism, the cap is loose but yet intact. This may be considered as dead silence before a tornado. Limits of the exploitation to both the vertical and horizontal planes has long been reached, and the exploited classes are waiting for an outburst. The minority classes are being suppressed, the minority provinces are being neglected, the remote areas, FATA, is being made the playground for the Vested Interests. Class Polarization is being aired in a systematic manner. It today is a “do or die” or more specifically, “now or never” condition for the country sought for practicing the fundamental principles of Islam freely, of which class equality is the one.
Some stakeholders have also hinted of a “new special contract”. The idea is not novel neither is the term used for the first time in the history of the infant country, it has long been used in the country and its history can be traced back to the creation of the country. How was the East Pakistan deprived of its basic rights, how the Bengali population was exploited by Vested Interests, how the trade was monopolized by 20 families of West, how the biggest contributors to the country’s economy and foreign reserves were bypassed by the ‘powerful’ Big Business. The result was devastating; people gathered under the flag hoisted by secessionists and separationists, and raised their voice for a separate sovereign country, Bangladesh. The people and the “stakeholders” of West Wing are as much responsible for the dismemberment of country, as was sheikh Mujib and his “extremist” followers. What did they demand? They demanded an actual representation of their people in the country, they demanded their money to be spent on them, and these rightful demands when denied gave birth to the famous “Six Point” formula. The Mujib was declared a secessionist and a traitor, but why the real stakeholders of the Western Wing weren’t treated the same way. It was so because, they were powerful, and have enslaved the people of the East as well as of the West.
The same thing is happening again, since the creation of Pakistan, Baluchistan is deprived in the similar manner as was Eastern Wing, FATA is similarly made the target of Vested Interests, Sind and KP are still demanding their rightful representation and acknowledgement in the national mainstream. Four provinces collectively make a Pakistan, not a single province can be called Pakistan. This discrimination if continued in the same way, will burst and create a chaos resulting in the Bengal type civil war in the country, and will be greatly appreciated and funded by the International Players for their own interests. However, if someone says, situation in “what is remained of Pakistan” is not as worse as it was in the East Pakistan in 70’s. A simple reply to this philosophical argument is that, it is “calm before the cyclone”. We are on the brink of an endless dark tunnel of destruction, we are ready to fall in it, but something more powerful is holding us. As the ordinary, down trodden people of the country say, “It may be the hand of God, by the help of whom the country is still intact.”
Personal egoism of the Vested Interests has developed another school of thought in the country, the thought that constitution must be abrogated and a new constitution needs to be drafted. The constitution of 1973, if, as being anticipated, abrogated will lead to two consequences, as Z.A. Bhutto said:
a) It would mean falling back on Indian Independence Act 1947 passed by British Parliament.
b) It would also mean that quantum of autonomy voluntarily surrendered to the Federation by the Provinces would revert back to the Provinces in preference to restoration of Indian Independence Act of 1947.
It is obvious from the above interpretation, “the abolition of the federation of Pakistan,” and consequently the provinces will surely demand for a loose federation, a confederation or a complete autonomy. This is what, that will occur if the graveness of the situation is not assessed and remedies are not made today. Everyone needs to step back and let the physician heal his own wounds; Constitution itself is capable of taking the preventive and remedial measures according to the needs of the state and the people of the country. If the remedies are not made today and the horse is let galloping, it will run to the brink of destruction, separationists in the minority provinces and FATA have their spectators’ seats reserved, only they have to do is to lure him to fall in the endless pit of destruction, and we will once again become the victims of “Vested Interests”.
It’d be worth mentioning to share that, the results of the 2008 general elections were a clear indication of the resentment of the people for the state and the system imposed by the Dictatorship. In KP the sweeping victory of the national party showed frustration of the people against the prevailing system. The people were suppressed to such an extent that they wanted their own voice to be heard, provincial autonomy. They wanted their own representatives to govern them, so they voted for the slogan of provincial autonomy, elimination of exploitation and suppression. In Sindh the Peoples Party swept the elections because the people were sick of the government imposed on them by coterie. They wanted to breathe in the free air. In Baluchistan, if the nationalists hadn’t boycotted the elections, and the elections weren’t manipulated to someone else’s favor they’d surely have swept the polls. After the restoration of democracy; real representation of the people in the government settled the issues to a large extent, the tension was relieved. In elections of 2013 the free, unexploited people of Pakistan voted for the change. This was a clear indication for the people trust on democratic process and the democracy. They now know that their problems can only be solved by the true democratic government elected by their own votes.
The need of the moment is to assess the serious threats to the federation of Pakistan, both internal and external. If the suppression is not eliminated, and exploitation continued, there will be no second chance left. This can easily be done by the democratically elected government, to take all the stakeholders on board for the formulation of National Foreign Policy and strategy to cope with internal threats to the unity of the federation by national consensus. The use of force may create desired results for a while, but it also creates a lot of vacuum, which if not filled by the people centric policies can cause huge damage. By force you can win the piece of a land, but for winning the hearts you need to make revolutionary steps for making the lives of public better. For winning hearts of people you need to introduce them to the national mainstream, you need to give them opportunity to play their part, you need to give them the chance to place their problems on the table. Or the results of the use of force may not be more different than those in our neighboring Afghanistan. It is the last chance for all our national leaders to sit on one table and resolve the issues once and forever, and be amongst the makers of the history.