On dynastic politics and feudalism: A response to Salman Ahmad

Published: January 3, 2013

Lately, feudalism has emerged as a rallying cry in Pakistan to assert a need of a revolution instead of an evolutionary democratic process that supposedly guards vested interests of corrupt feudal elite.

Renowned Pakistan musician Salman Ahmad wrote a piece published in The Express Tribune on December 31, 2012. I have tried in the following paragraphs to rebut his argument by pointing out factual inaccuracies in the piece.

Mr Ahmad begins with castigating the feudal elite’ of the country while citing the instance of the chilling murder of Shahzeb Khan, gunned down in Karachi by the ‘sons of corrupt feudal elite that Bilawal represents’.

Aside from inherent flaws of inductive reasoning employed by Mr Ahmad, feudalism has come to be a whipping boy when it comes to a simplistic explanation of multifaceted problems faced by the country – a scapegoat to absolve ourselves of necessary introspection.

Lately, feudalism has emerged as a rallying cry in Pakistan to assert a need for a revolution instead of an evolutionary democratic process that supposedly guards vested interests of a corrupt feudal elite.

Feudalism in context

The term feudalism can be contextualised in two different but intertwined expressions.

One expression deals with the structural issues of feudalism, that is, feudalism as a mode of production, while the other addresses normative/societal aspects of feudalism.

There is an utmost need to take into account two different expressions of feudalism ahead of tarring the things with large brush strokes.

As Mr Ahmad has spoken highly of ‘revolution’, ‘class warfare and ‘struggle for the rights of the downtrodden’, it surely warrants inviting Karl Marx into the debate. In a classic Marxist definition, feudalism is “the economic situation coming before the inevitable rise of capitalism”.

One doesn’t need to be rocket scientist to conclude that feudalism is not the defining parameter of the political economy of Pakistan.

Data shows that by 1999, 88% of cultivated land in Pakistan was in farm sizes below 12.5 acres,while just over half the total farms in 1999 were less than five acres in size. These statistics would hardly emerge from a feudal economy.

The dominant share of Pakistani exports comprises agricultural products just as the different agri-economies of the world, which precisely has nothing to do with the feudalist mode of production.

‘Evil’ feudalism

Coming to the latter normative/societal expression of feudalism, which is largely used as a pretext to malign politicians, it connotes authoritarian and above-the-law attitudes.

A careful study of prevalent societal norms in Pakistan shows that this authoritarian and above-the-law attitude has become a hallmark of many different institutions of our society.

While we have seen many from the ‘corrupt feudal elite’ at the gallows, sentenced in courts and held in solitary confinements in jails; when was the last time an army general was tried in courts?

When was the last time, if one may ask, that a ‘corrupt feudal elite’ brought an entire city to a standstill as we have seen done many times in Karachi?

When was the last time a single one of the terrorists of banned outfits, who are wreaking havoc all over the country and killing people at will, was hanged on charges of treason and mass murder?

If feudalism implies ‘immune to the law’, then the emerging ‘feudal elite in Pakistan is not the rural feudals of Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh, but the power brokers, including both state and non-state actors, who form the bulk of the power structure in Pakistan.

Again to recall Karl Marx, they are cultural vestiges of a dying system”, while feudalism as a mode of production is gone long ago.

The Bhuttos

Mr Ahmad goes to great lengths to discredit the current PPP-led government by terming it as ‘the rule of the gangster. He falsely claims that it was President Zardari who appointed ‘his son as chairman of the PPP for life’ – while the fact of the matter is that Bilawal was appointed as chairman not by his father but the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the PPP in Naudero after Benazir Bhutto’s death.

BB appointed her husband to look after the party affairs in order to avert a split in the party in case of any untoward situation.

‘Dynastic politics’ is another stereotype stood on preconceived notions in lieu of historical facts. Since Mr Ahmad has cited the example of the Bhuttos to lay down his standpoint, I will try to dissect the phenomenon in context of the Bhuttos.

After the hanging of the PPP chairman ZA Bhutto by the Zia regime, it was his wife Nusrat Bhutto and then his daughter Benazir Bhutto who led the resistance movement against the Zia dictatorship.

Keeping in view an extensively patriarchal society, his sons Mir Murtaza Bhutto and Shahnawaz Bhutto should have taken over the party, if it were about dynasty at all. But this was Benazir Bhutto who chose an uphill path of organising a democratic front, the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD), against the Zia dictatorship instead of taking up arms, like Mir Murtaza who formed the Al-Zulfiqar Organisation (AZO) to avenge the death of his father.

She made her place in the labyrinthine political arena of Pakistan by hanging in there in the face of gigantic hurdles. She was there fighting the horrors of dictatorship when others opted to sit back and watch. For this very reason, in the 1997 elections, Ghinwa Bhutto, the PPP (Shaheed Bhutto) chief and widow of Mir Murtaza, lost by a huge margin to Nisar Khuhro, a stalwart of the PPP in Larkana.

That contest was largely one-sided even though people were then emotionally charged in the wake of Mir Murtaza Bhutto’s recent assassination. A widow of a Bhutto should have won in her home constituency if it were all about Bhuttos and dynastic politics.

Coming from someone who is currently a US resident who passionately exalts Mr Jinnah, it sounds paradoxical to say the least to mock the ‘gora accent of Bilawal Bhutto. Instead of objectively discussing the message delivered through the speech, Mr Ahmad resorts to personal attacks to malign the entrant. As for Faiz sahib, it takes little effort to find out the relationship between Faiz and ‘feudal’ Bhutto who not only paved the way for commutation of Faiz’s sentence in 1960 but also appointed him as advisor on cultural affairs at the ministry of education when in power.

Faiz was a people’s poet and knew very well how to respect people’s decisions.

It’s high time to let the people decide what they deem best for themselves and respect their decision. Random Plato quotes are good, but not good enough to conceal intellectual dishonesty and personal dispositions.

We live in different epoch when we don’t need the ‘philosopher kings’ of Plato or technocrats for that matter.

All we need is to respect the people’s voice.

Read more by Suleman here, or follow him on Twitter @SlmnAkhtar 

Do you think feudalism is the root of all evil in Pakistan?

     View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

 

Suleman Akhtar

Suleman Akhtar

A mechanical engineer based in the UAE originally belonging to Gujrat.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Parvez

    Salman Ahmed may have over stepped his limits but he spoke from the heart when he chose to describe a fox so that the people whose chickens have been killed by it, relates to it. You Sir, on the other hand say that the fox is a distant relative of the dog who really is a friend of man but only if provoked can turn nasty. In short gobbledygook.Recommend

  • Arafat Mazhar

    That is an exceptionally bad postRecommend

  • dr j tipu

    ehh……….what??? grow up kid! rubbish argument!Recommend

  • Rehan

    Destroyed Salman Ahmed’s nonsensical article. Bravo!
    Regards,
    RehanRecommend

  • Javed Baba

    Feudalism is a cancer that most civilized societies have addressed in the last 50 odd years. Pakistan had the misfortune of not busting feudal hold on land, bureaucracy and politics in its early days like Nehru in India did and has continued to pay a high price for it.

    And to say that “Nusrat Bhutto and then his daughter Benazir Bhutto who led [led really?!?!?!] the resistance movement against the Zia dictatorship.” is complete nonsense devoid of historical truth. They were living the high life in US and Europe from all the money Bhutto stole during his presidency, much like all the other crooks have stolen during theirs. And I think you should heed your own advise before dishing it out “…[not] conceal intellectual dishonesty and personal dispositions.”Recommend

  • Hataf Shahab

    This is the best article to reply to that no body Salman. Bhuttos are loved by the masses. not in Sindh but in Punjab, KPK, and Balochistan.

    For some one who has never sacrificed anything of any sort and living in his own commenting like a neighbourhood wife, this will be not so easy to digest!

    Bravo to the writer!Recommend

  • iLiberal

    Well the writer has gone to great length in his apologies for the current feudal and political dynasties ruling Pakistan, like the Five Mafia Families used to rule New York. I think its rather sad and pathetic on the part of the writer to compare a statesman like Jinnah to Bilawal. It shows how intelligentally bankrupt you are, sir. Do you seriously expect us believe that the recent murder of Shahzeb did not due to the feudal frame of mind these landlords practice in their “jaageers”. I really do not know what you are on. And in the end you write about respecting the will of the people, well the people (which in my opinion is nothing short of a mob) were showering Qadri when he murdered Salman Taseer or when they go around treating Ahmedis like second class citizens, thanks to Bhutto again as he got the ball rolling on this poison as well. Recommend

  • Shahrukh

    bravo!! superbly and succinctly ripped apart the flawed argument by SA.Recommend

  • iLiberal

    I also took the trouble of going through your other articles and you are possibly one of the most dishonest persons I have come across. You have gone way beyond to express your love for Zardari and Co. You honestly think that BB was a great person. I find that nothing less than shocking. The entire Bhutto clan, she, her father and her husband, have done nothing but damage to Pakistan. You probably have selective amnesia as you will refuse to acknowledge her Bhutto’s role in the splitting of Pakistan and his destructive step of nationalization.

    And BB was only interested in making money and was power hungry. This is what got her killed in the end. And did she really appoint her husband to lead the party? Is there any proof of that but Zardari’s word? I am shocked that a person like you would be spewing such lies and that too so shamelessly, sir. Are you so blind that you are unable to see the havoc that PPP has always wrecked on the state of Pakistan? I am glad you are not living in Pakistan anymore for we do not need people like you here anymore. Recommend

  • moeed

    bla bla bla et since when have u started printing such articlesRecommend

  • adnan maqsood

    Mr. Salman Ahmed should better go on with what he is good at. Poking his nose in the unknown territory might trouble him at this age of his life.Recommend

  • Mohammad Assad

    Commendable effort, even though Salman Ahmads op-ed, wasnt very ‘smart’, so you didnt have to do too much work in the rebuttal. Recommend

  • Mirza

    This is a very fair and balanced response to attacks by a foreigner against Pakistani elected govt. I would add a few examples in this analysis as far as dynastic politics is concerned.
    Most of Pakistan’s political and religious parties are run by one man and one family with the exception of JI. We have lifetime chiefs in PTI, Tahreek Istaqlal, JUI, ANP, PML-N, PML-F and so on. I see people have no problem with these lifers at all. In addition there is no hope of any change in the leadership of these parties as long as their chiefs are alive. BB, and Bilawal did not come into politics but forced into it by the murders of their parent. Otherwise BB was a student and so was Bilawal away from all party politics. Moreover, Bilawal is not heir of any govt post or responsibility. He is the head of PPP and is not in practical politics yet. However, he is making an effort to keep the party intact and win the next elections. The opponents don’t like that and would come with all kinds of excuses and hatred. It is up to the members of PPP who do they choose their leader not their opponents. Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad

    Excellent blog. Thanks for exposing lies of so called educated people. Most of our past rulers were from middle and lower middle classes. Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Zia and Musharaf, all belonged to middle and lower middle classes and their tenure far exceeded than others. They did nothing to bring positive change in our society. Once again middle classes represented by MQM and TQ are back stabbing democratic system.Recommend

  • Salman

    Excellent Response. Recommend

  • enu

    Since we cannot root out terrorism, corrupt generals or politicians, therefore we must let the feudal have their cake too. Is this what you’re trying to say?
    The statistics provided regarding farmland by themselves are not meaningful. The original author does not give a source (Kindly mention a source that is currently accessible). And given the state of government institutions, this data may not be reliable either. If reliable, it is not enough to prove your claims. Are you suggesting there is no feudalism in the country at all? If yes, then I would advise you to travel. Or read. Feudalism is indeed declining and we need to hurry it along.
    The author does not make a single statement in support of feudalism or about benefits of feudalism. Neither does he touch upon the ills it has brought on our people. The only defense he thinks appropriate is to bring our attention to other evils. Perhaps it is not in his interest to allow the rural populace to think on their own.
    Who is in the CEC?
    PPP jiyala’s are servile to the limit, who consider Bhuttos their owners. They refuse to see how badly it reflects on their own leadership ability to blindly accept the bhuttos as they do, especially the inexperienced and immature bilawal. Perhaps they have vested interests in sucking up to the Bhutto name as that is how the party systems seems to work.
    There are many that admire the PPP for its liberal views and agenda, however its high time they actually give Pakistan something other than chest beating and bhutto chants. Please stop putting PPP and your short term gains ahead of Pakistan. Ultimately, your insincerity to Pakistan and blind worship of the bhuttos; will be your children’s loss and therefore your own loss.
    Recommend

  • enu

    wheres my comment? your moderation is extremely biasedRecommend

  • Ali

    So Mr writer, Bilawal was appointed by CEC and not Zardari? What difference does it make when the fact is that Bilawal was appointed ONLY and i repeat ONLY because he is son on Benazir Bhutto.

    Fine doctor’s kids become doctors and politicians kids can become politicians but no way on earth doctor’s kids get APPOINTED by their parents. They have to go through the same learning process that their parents went through and only then there is a possibility of them becoming doctors. These so called leaders are taking lives of millions of people in their hands and no one has right to spend all their lives outside Pakistan and then ending up leading a party at 25 that thrives on word democracy.Recommend

  • http://caramelizedonion.wordpress.com Usman

    If I’m not wrong, you want to ignore Bilawal’s rise through his party and want to, as you put it,

    objectively discussing the message delivered through the speech*

    Did I miss something here? To discuss this message, you’re better off talking to the person who wrote it, because it sure as hell wasn’t Bilawal himself, nor, I can bet, did he understand what was he was saying.
    .
    .

    Your argument against Salman Ahmed is that feudalism is a dying breed? So are you saying feudals should be given a threatened species status by WWF? You talk about hearing people’s voices? Can a feudal ever allow that? Your defence of feudals is that because no general has been tried, hence no feudal should be tried either? Instead of asking for a trial of both. I find your argument based on weak reasoning. That is my free speech :)

    .Recommend

  • Barooq

    A sensible wonderful article.
    It has only one issue. Its a repudiation of the monstrosity of an article by Mr. Salman Ahmed and writing coherently in order to counter that dreadful piece gives that more credence :PRecommend

  • Aahjiz BayNawa

    You fail to deal with as to whether it were the feudal lords of the PPP who were behind the movement of denying majority rule to the majority Awami League in 1970 and whether it was a significant cause that led to the dismemberment of Pakistan? The PPP had participated in the 1970 elections under the 1970 Legal Framework Order (LFO), which stipulated that according to respective proportions of population, West Pakistan would have 44%, whereas East Pakistan would have 56 percent of representatives in the National Assembly. The PPP failed to win a majority but subverted democracy by not participating in the National Assembly session called for forming a government in March 1971. Indeed, the PPP threatened any of its MNA’s against “breaking their legs” if they dared to participate in the aforementioned National Assembly session called by Yahya Khan’s government. Further, this Party sloganeered “yahan hum wahan tum.” Clearly, the PPP did not allow for majority rule because it was afraid that the non-feudal Awami League would bring about the end of prominent feudal families who had monopolized politics of Pakistan, at least, up until then. Mujib wanted the “full cake” but was forced to accept only half of it following PPP’s refusal to accept democratically elected majority rule by Awami League.Recommend

  • Pessimist

    I liked your writing style and the research of your article, but I think you’re trying to hard….Recommend

  • ihtisham khan

    great…i am surprised that u r telling me that the central executive committe chose bilawal bhutto ..a 20 years old boy living in england who cannot speak his national language and have no idea of politics as their chairman and there is nothing wrong with it…to hell with this kind of central executive committe …the party which is in power many times and is more than 30 years old do not have a single person among thier ranks to be the chairman…to say i am amazed at u article is an understatement..Recommend

  • Conspiracy Theorist

    Very good article indeed. But had I not seen these wadera acting like gods in clifton/defence, I might have agreed.
    Had I not had a gun pointed at me by armed guards for being a suspect of boy who dared to fight with one of the feudel’s son. Where I come from we are surrounded by these feudals flocking the city during PPP governments. I am sorry but Salman Ahmed despite his flaws is correct in saying what he said.Recommend

  • Salma

    U r spot in mr. Suleman. Benazir Bhutto earned her position as chairperson ppp by facing brutal zia regime along with thousands of ppp workers. She was tortured and jailed by zia but she never gave up . When many of her fathers friends left her in wilderness to enjoy their time in exile, benazir faced dictatorship with utmost courage and resilience and won hearts of poor ppp workers. As far as being her chairperson 4 life z concerned,it was in the 2nd nawaz sharif govt. She decided to relinquish the office of chairpersonship of the party. At that time in CEC meeting, jehangir badar along with other party members passed a resolution that they will never accept anyone else as chairperson of the party and unanimously adopted a resolution making benazir life time chairperson. @ author, u have summed it up beautifully that all we need z to respect ppl’s voice. They know better what’s good 4 them.Recommend

  • Aahjiz BayNawa

    “Data shows that by 1999, 88% of cultivated land in Pakistan was in farm sizes below 12.5 acres, while just over half the total farms in 1999 were less than five acres in size. These statistics would hardly emerge from a feudal economy.” Then how do you explain the dominance of Pakistan’s politics and parliaments by Jatois, Chaudhurys, Maliks, Khans, Bhuttos, Mirs, Talpurs, Shahs, and the like?Recommend

  • Adnan Maqsood

    Problem withthe Central Executive Commiittee? Then what do you think who should chose the Chairperson of the peoples’ party? As Mr Saroop brilliantly wrote in his article “If you want to end this dynastic politics then stop killing Bhuttos.” Bilawal at the age of 20 just got appointed as Chairperson of the pary, wasn’t not contributing to the party. From 20-25 he has been in this all watching and learning everything closely and now is the right time when he is mature enough to tackle this burden of responsilibilties.
    As a matter of fact, Mr Salman Ahmed had no problem with gura-accent of Quaid-e-Azam and his ex-hindu wife, his current leader’s, the-only-hope, lavish life abroad and his guri-wife and on the same note he can not see his own stature, American citizen living far away from Pakistan and onw who can not lead the group of 3 people on his own is now going to dictate us how the country should be run and is maligning the people elected by the people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Khalid Mahmood

    @ Ch. Allah Daad
    “Most of our past rulers were from middle and lower middle classes. Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Zia and Musharaf, all belonged to middle and lower middle classes and their tenure far exceeded than others.”
    True. But whereas these dictators had power base in the army and in a yielding bureaucracy, power at the micro level and societal level still belonged to the feudal. The land owner still ran the town, perhaps operated private prison in which enemies were placed and pretty much enslaved local people through debt bondage. See:
    1) http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/01/feudalism-in-pakistan/
    2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FeudalisminPakistan
    3) http://www.scribd.com/doc/31508427/Feudal-Land-Structure-in-Pakistan
    Regards.
    (PS: I do not support any political parties, religious, or social groups.)Recommend

  • mee

    Dumb article. Very naive from the author.Recommend

  • sars

    Mr Ahmeds article was not a very good one, but this is a seriously poor effort.

    Bilawal was appointed not by his father but by the CEC. Seriously ? in this land where nothing is based on merit the CEC finds Bilawal the most ideal candidate to lead the PPP and the nation based on what ? bloodline obviously.

    It cannot be that he has been a camapigner for causes, or that he has a large vote bank or the fact that he has the most political acumen.

    This is an underage young man , completely out of touch with any reality of the common mans life in Pakistan, who cant even actually communicate with the population at large. Given the lack of development in Lyari and the interior of sindh its unlikely that Benazirs name is going to get him undying loyalty for a party that has offered nothing in the past 4 + years.Recommend

  • saqib

    Non Sense. Recommend

  • Fahad Zia

    Complete non-sense… Not a single rationally valid reason was given by the writer..

    This article depicts the irrationality that resides in the generation that currently rules the country.. I sincerely wish you people get out of your favoritism.. and let the rational kind rule the country..

    All these people think about is their tribe, cast and ethnicity and what their fathers taught them, who have an IQ level of a troll to see anything for themselves..Recommend

  • NotAFeudal

    @Author: very good points raised by you– and to talk about Salman Ahmad, His article was not even worth-reading and you wrote an article in rebuttal! The trolls are so blind in following the twisted facts by their beloved ‘Salman Ahmad’ that they don’t even listen to actual facts!Recommend

  • Doolittle

    The Bhottos have done a lot for democracy and have made sacrifices making itself popular among the masses. In the meantime, however, they have forgotten to raise the standard of the common people who voted them into power.Recommend

  • She

    Totally Rubbish!Recommend

  • sry

    Well, the author is living in the UAE and is originally from Gujrat…..hhmmm.
    I belong to the Pothwar and any time somebody here defends feudalism or simply denies its existence, and uses that argument to support the PPP, my usual response is:

    Go live in interior Sindh or southern Punjab where the PPP (and other feudals) enjoy unequivocal support of the people. They have nothing; no schools, hospitals, employment opportunities up to pace with the modern world and zero justice.

    Belong to Central Punjab and living abroad and then defending the PPP/feudals reminds me of Pakistanis in the west who defend Taliban Recommend

  • adnan maqsood

    @Khalid Mahmood: If you don’t support any party then why are you commentating? What do you want then? How this country should be ruled? Khilafat?? At least dare to have some opinion first.Recommend

  • Khalid Mahmood

    @adnan maqsood
    I only support Pakistan. And, I believe, feudalism is the bane of our society. I believe in democracy but true democracy won’t be possible without curbing/eliminating feudalism. Not supporting any political or other group itself is evidence that I have “some opinion first.” For making comments it is not necessary to support any party.Recommend

  • T

    An utterly useless and completely biased article…Recommend

  • Adnan Maqsood

    @Khalid Mahmood: Well, My friend let me clear one thing here is that no one is defending here. All we are saying is that we are making it a scapegoat for all other problems if you understand. Democracy is a long, slow and steady process and things can’t work overnight. We have to give it a chance, as for the first time we see that power is going to transfer through electoral process, if all goes well this will be big breakthrough considering all the hiccups in the history. All we need is to have some patience and respect mandate.Recommend

  • Arshman

    I see that you wrote that article about Coke Studio and that just takes the credibility out of every thing else you write. Not exactly a logical argument but one i think a lot of people will agree with.Recommend

  • In the know…

    I have only one problem with feudals: stay away from the cities and restrict your reign of terror to your owned lands. People who are happy to live under the power and control of such feudals, deserve them. The urbanites of this country are not the sheep they leave behind in their villages.

    And I pray that the author gets to spend the next 3 to 5 years of his life in one such village, “ruled” by a feudal he so vehemently denies exists in Pakistan!Recommend

  • Tch tch

    Yet another apologia for his Bhutto cult.Recommend

  • M.Adnan

    This is a rebuttal to all those who did not argue, but have a stringent stand without reason and said this article is non sense please go to the facebook and post pictures for preaching as doing this is much easier than to offer prayerRecommend

  • Ahmad Ali Abbas

    People have objection on selection of bilawal by CEC . Could you please mention any other method of selection. Prattling about drones and having non sense ideas about politics does not make anyone Bertolt Brecht. Recommend

  • Ahmad Ali Abbas

    For those who are trying to prove that feudalism is still a live phenomena in pakistan .. Please mention a method, if you have in your mind any, to rip this disease from Pakistan. As i don not see any other political party inclined to left viz; a party which have roots in masses which support people cause . I don’t see any other party which have progressive roots. And there is no other method to put the society on progress.Moreover i don’t think writer is emphasising on death of feudalism in pakistan , nor he is supporting feaudalism . But he simply tries to degenerate the ambiguous reasons of salman ahmad, which he intentionally or unintentionally put together to prove that dynastic politics is bad for pakistan. On the other hand this is not the case. There is no procedure for opting poor to senate seats. There is only one way ahead to this destination i-e democratically elected government. Whether one likes it or not , whether one’s own party come to power or not but this is the only way to kill the feudalism. And PPP is exactly doing the sameRecommend

  • Ahmad Ali Abbas

    @arshman what a rational argument . If you don’t like coke studios article then the author has no credibility .. This is exactly a mindset which democracy will kill .And that is what exactly the reason many with this mind set find it non sense Recommend

  • Ahmad Ali Abbas

    well i see now PTI trolls started here with different name T, She, Mee, P, Tch tch .. They have no other work to do except to abuse all those who do not agree with their narrative.. Recommend

  • Khalid Mahmood

    @Adnan Maqsood
    Dear you are reading too much in my post. I never said that feudalism is the cause of all problems and never have tried to make it a scapegoat for all other problems. All I have said is that it is a very significant problem as it undercuts the democratic ideal of one-man-one-vote as feudal lords have so enslaved the land tillers and others in their vicinity that they cannot exercise a free choice. (See some of the references in my earlier post and I can cite more but there is no point in dragging this debate. But just a few more at the postscript.) Since really no political party which can actually come to power has committed to lessen/eradicate this problem, it is going to remain the bane of Pakistan politics for the foreseeable future. Therefore, I just expressed my view as a humble contribution for highlighting this issue, although others, enlighted people, including your knowledgeable self, already are aware of it. However, some need to be made more aware. Thanks and regards.
    http://forum.pakistanidefence.com/index.php?showtopic=63739
    http://www.chowrangi.com/how-can-we-get-rid-of-our-feudal-lords.html
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008%5C02%5C26%5Cstory26-2-2008pg3_3Recommend

  • http://gujrat Zalim singh

    Agree. Biggest evil of Pakistan is its religion.Recommend

  • shehar bano

    I see clearly articulated arguments , I see no point to disagree with . Only those who are newbies and biased will troll here without rational argument. Debate is a healthy activity and beauty of democracy lies in different arguments , which both the parties respect. I completely agree with Ahmad Ali Abbas that these comments are just troll and nothing else. I see no valid argument except personal attacks on author like he is not in pakistan etc. We don’t support a party we support patriarchal system .We support being biased. We don’t have courage to face rational and researched arguments. As we are not used to . So let us abuse author for his current location on our I Phones.Recommend

  • shehar bano

    Apart from feudalism and capitalism debate we can even segregate mindsets i-e morally corrupt and biased with no interest in politics, morally corrupt and biased with a little knowledge of politics and history which they acquired from facebook posters and sms, and the sane ones. Those who are sane will always respect opposite opinions and will place their arguments with proper historical and rational aspects. Others will always troll . Basically in my opinion author tries to articulate the rational arguments with proper historical references. And history never lies. So if someone don’t agree he is free to act like this. But at least don’t get personal with anyone just try to put your arguments in a civilized way . Trolling an author will not make your party win . Their is only one way and that is to vote. If you don’t like PPP just go to ballot box and vote for your party. Rather to abuse PPP and other parties supporter on internet and have a long sleep on the day of election after watching english films all the night. Recommend

  • Asghar Ramzan

    “Random Plato quotes are good, but not good enough to conceal intellectual dishonesty and personal dispositions”.the same can be applied to auther of this post.
    Moreover how naive the author is when he wrote that “Bilawal was appointed as chairman not by his father but the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the PPP in Naudero after Benazir Bhutto’s death”. Recommend

  • Ovais

    I really love not to comment at those loosers .. who try to defend what is completely wrong … Tum Kitne Bhutto Maaro gay .. Awaam to mar gaye hia ab takRecommend

  • Historian 1

    @ Ahmed Ali Abbas : On what Merit CEC of PPP appointed Bilawal as the Chairperson? Can you hilight some. No one is objecting the method but the person. Hope you understand. This is called Dynastic politics.Recommend

  • palmer

    feudalism is mostly in sindh where as the farm output is mostly from punjab. Recommend

  • farook

    mr akthar you are good with words, u can do a good spin job. me on the other hand find it difficult to pen my thoughts so i will be very brief.

    name me another women in pakistan who has not taken husbands name after marriage apart from benazir. can you think of a reason why she did it apart from fooling the people. now it will be balawal bhutto and not balawal zardari.Recommend

  • Sane

    DOWN TO FEUDALISM…ATROCITY….CRIME….MURDER…..LOOTING……PLUNDERING. There are many varied translations of Feudalism.Recommend

  • Sane

    @Writer

    You are advocating the menace of Feudalism, which has eaten up this country.Recommend

  • Intelektual

    Ur argument starts with the assumption that there was some sort of ambiguity in the redears’ understanding when it comes to Paki Political feudilism ! And since there is none where the masses are concerned ur argument is literally gobbledygook ! Masses are more familiar with Paki Political Feudalism than they are with Karl Marxx !!Recommend

  • Intelektual

    Politics is dominated by two large feudalistic and dynistic parties ! Fact
    While you chose to comment on Economic Feudal systems it was the Political Feudal system the argument was about !
    When these parties rise to power they empoly their own in bureaucracy and police ! rendering the whole system at the very least inefficient !
    Balochistans absence of progress and the unrest ! who is to blame if not the big Feudal famalies there !
    Are illitracy and cuuruption not the causes of first the mass endorsment of terrorisim and then failure to control it !!Recommend

  • Ah_ho Zaree

    @shehar bano:
    “Trolling an author will not make your party win ” Look! Who is talking!Recommend

  • Dixy

    How can you possible compare the great Jinnah to this child Bilawal? And if the army generals aren’t prosecuted for their mishaps then does that mean the feudals should be allowed a free reign as well? That’s the worst defense I’ve ever heard. People like you who are so oblivious to the shortcomings and failures of PPP regime are the reason why this country seizes to progress, well done.Recommend

  • Faraz

    ” one said to be a Jatoi and the other a Talpur ”

    It is shocking to read this statement in Salman Ahmed’s article that clearly smells of racism towards the people of rural Sindh. I am not from Sindh, like many others, am deeply shocked by the murder of Shahzeb Khan, and demand the arrest and punishment of those involved in this ruthless act. But, I am deeply hurt by your very negative views towards the people of rural Sindh evident by this sweeping statement as if all the Jatoi’s and Talpur’s are responsible for the act of certain individuals. It is this attitude of considering rural Sindhi’s an inferior cast, despite their sacrifices for the Muslims of sub-continent, that is among the reasons of the Urban-Rural divide in Sindh. While, you (rightly) curse the Sindhi feudals for all the evils in Sindh, please also review your own racist attitude toward the common Sindhi’s for the hateful mindset of urban elites like you is part of the problem.

    Best regards from your extremely disappointed fanRecommend

  • Arshman

    @Ahmad Ali Abbas:
    Um…I don’t have a problem with articles about Coke Studio. His artice about Coke studio was absurd. That’s why he lost his credibility for me. Also, I did say it wasn’t exactly a logical argument, just my opinion. I think blowing things out of proportion and making my comment into a commentary about democracy is um…nonsense. Recommend

  • Ahmad Ali Abbas

    Selection of bilawal by CEC merely suggest a democratic way to select a chairman . You will select the “leader” which you deem appropriate to “lead” that is beauty of democracy This is the whole point which I am emphasizing.Recommend

  • M.Adnan

    Well the writer did not suggest that feudals should not b tried, on the contrary he argues that their should be a balanced justice system where everyone should be tried for his wrongdoing. In pakistan this is not the case. So try to undersandRecommend

  • Balal

    I just cant digest it when people justify dynastic politics of PPP by giving rubbish arguments. When BB was alive she declared herself the Chairperson for life. Is this democratic? If you think yes then its really not your fault.Recommend

  • Asjad

    If feudalism had remained till land acquisitions…it was acceptable…it has become a mindset…

    Go to these malls of Karachi ull find guys roaming around with guards with “jangli” mustaches and big guns…picking on gals and beating guys…

    Taking your argument that “some” masses prefer bhutto…however, this negates your argument of Karachi at stand still cuz of one party…they have their own following and their own way of protest…Recommend

  • http://habloid.wordpress.com Habiba Younis

    pretty much off the point quite honestly, even though the author tried real hard to construct some counter argument. Most of our political parties follow the dynasty trend (not only just ppp), again whats the alternate reality? Recommend

  • PakiKaka

    Couldnt agree more with the first part of your article. If feudalism as a mindset is the problem in pakistan then our army is the biggest feudal in this country. Although attempts to defend zardari were funny.Recommend

  • Zahra S

    Sir, if u may be kind enuf, wud u plz answer these qs of mine,
    1.If feudalism wasn’t such a menace 2 our society than why is it that everytym da proposition of taxing agricultural produce living in an agro-based ecoomy in the economy was simply outvoted?
    2.If fuedalism isn’t such a big menace than why is it that everytym da govt tried 2 negotiate with the tribal leaders of Balouchistan in order 2 invest and contribute 2 the overall infrastructure and development of the economy…failed?
    3.And if u wud plz enlighten me wid da correct facts on da history of Mr.Mustafa Khar and his corrupt family which has majorly contributed towards further dishevelment of the economy and sadly this particular individual was 1ce the right-hand of Mr.Bhutto himself
    4. And my last qs, if fuedalism wasn’t such a menace than why is it that GDP statistics and and all indicators of economic groewth shout out loud the incompetence and high levels of corruption of all democratic govts…sadly lead by the Bhuttos and the Sharifs???Recommend