Echoes of revolution

Published: September 14, 2010
Email

President Asif Ali Zardari with a portrait of Benazir Bhutto in the background

Pakistan is experiencing the worst form of governance in its history and with this comes talks of revolution.  Even in a crisis like the deadly floods Pakistan’s  ministers have failed to focus on public service. The besieged government is unable to deal with conflicts – both man made and natural, and rumors of revolution echo through Pakistan’s political sphere.

MQM chief Altaf Hussain was the first to test these waters by articulating the suspicion of Pakistanis when he accused feudal landlords of deliberately diverting waters to neighbouring villages to save their crops, live stocks and personal properties. The political reaction was a mixed one, however, massive public support to the idea of ‘change’ raised eye brows in Pakistani think-tanks and the media.

The blunt yet pragmatic demand from the MQM Chief is a further extension of his party’s political manifesto in which he is critical about the disguised dictatorship working under the banner of democracy – this time he wants action from the army, the real power base of Pakistan having a strong influence in policy making. The call for the army has come from him as a response to the betrayal of the elected feudal representatives against the catastrophe which we are faced with.

Criticism or fear?

Conventional political parties filled with feudal lords and corrupt politicians are as expected, criticizing Altaf’s statement by calling it an attempt to derail the ‘democratic’ setup. Instead of discussing the lead given by him 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 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 in fact in, line with the Constitution. The Supreme Court could invoke Article 190 and ask for aid from the 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.

The real issues

As far as criticism on Altaf Hussain’s statement is concerned, I believe it’s high time that politicians and the public kept personal grudges aside and looked for the real issues being highlighted.

Pakistanis have recently witnessed the army’s role as protectors of their lives from terrorists and natural calamities. Although approved of by the nation at large, the army received recognition by the outspoken MQM Chief, who has urged them to cleanse our society of elected despondency. The MQM have floated an idea for building an effective and inclusive government which is what Pakistan deserves.  It is now up to us as a nation to decide whether to bring about change or choose to follow the likes of Bhuttos, Pagaras, Makhdooms and Sharifs once again.

tanzeel.ahmad

Tanzeel Ahmad

A UAE based marketing professional who is interested in politics and cultural issues. He blogs at www.tanzeel.wordpress.com

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