The case for martial law

Published: August 29, 2010

Paramilitary soldiers block a road leading to the Supreme Court when Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency and suspended the constitution

In any respectable society, a parliamentarian discovered to be holding a fake degree, involved in corruption and mismanagement would resign. In extreme cases, like in Japan, some may even commit suicide to avoid the shame and disgrace.

The leader of any political party would remove anyone found guilty. In Pakistan, however, this is not the case. Surprisingly, during the time of these floods, India had to beg us to take aid from them rather than the other way around. So misconceived, in certain ways, is our pride and dignity that we will only take aid from them if they beg us to take it. It seem we simply keep producing hypocrites when it comes to religion or politics.

More recently, MQM chief Altaf Hussain pointed out some harsh facts in his address and there was an outburst! Since then many news anchors and journalists have spoken out in favor of the statement and I am in agreement with them. If some extraordinary actions are not taken now, we will soon be reading and hearing about a state under total anarchy, the signs for which are already obvious.

Almost every politician has accepted that there is no effective democracy in Pakistan, and the process of evolving into a democracy, which requires continuity is an unlikely dream. Unfortunately the country is heading towards disaster.

Although Nawaz Sharif offered to establish a transparent relief commission, he, being a selfish politician, immediately held a press conference bragging about his supposedly great idea.

Another, sad demonstration from the government was the sudden requests for boosting the loans from US$ 3 billion even before presenting our case in the United Nations. This burden was really not necessary at this time. Rather our missions should have taken the opportunity to apply for waivers of past loans. However, our politicians were too busy getting their pictures taken.

Sindh and Balochistan would not have submerged so drastically if some parliamentarians had not diverted water away from their land, so that their assets do not get flooded. They were not interested in helping the flood victims but were waiting for the people of Pakistan and the army to come and provide them with relief.

When such display of inhumanity and selfish intentions become routine, partially reported by the somewhat free media, a product of a dictator, do we really want to let this democratic system evolve along the path that it seems to be moving on?

The only question in the way

Even during martial law have dictators ever worked to reform the system of Pakistan, especially targeting corruption and the inhuman mentality of those in power?


Syed Ali Raza Abidi

A businessman who writes on politics and civic issues. He completed his masters in business administration from Boston University. He tweets @abidifactor.

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