THE REASON WE DON’T HAVE A MARS PROGRAM. ..or something equally sexy…
Our predicament today is where one stands on the Chicken and Egg CAUSE and EFFECT scenario. So perhaps the question is whether our Military political interventions were the EFFECT of the political ineptness and misrule of our politicians, the CAUSE, or vice versa.
I stand for the former purely based on what I have seen, read, heard and personally experienced. If one stands for the latter which is that the Military interventions were the Prime Cause for the subsequent Effect of civilian misrule and corruption as we see today, then of course our narratives become very different, as do our conclusions.
So if, as I believe, the political ineptness and corruption was the original CAUSE for the subsequent EFFECT of military intervention then the solution lies in changing the Cause. And hence my qualified support for the IK TUQ effort to break this curse. Because in these unfortunate cycles the biggest loser was and is the Nation and it’s people who desperately need strong patriotic leadership most importantly, and above all good governance.
In India, unlike us, because they had a Nehru for a fairly long time, a centuries old tried and trusted administrative and political infrastructure, they were fortunate to escape this terrible descent into chaos and the blatant and brazen misuse of power as seen from our earliest days.
Another far more serious fact which escapes attention is that the powerful elites in Pakistan, primarily rural landlords, feudals and tribal Sardars residing in what is now PAKISTAN actually had virtually no role in in its Creation. They didnt work for it, they didnt sacrifice for it, in fact they opposed the Quaid and the Muslim League, tooth and Nail.
These parasitical cums, mostly established and nurtured by the British to serve their interests, only believed in completely selfish survival, apportioning power to themselves, all the while, keeping the populace, uneducated, weak, exploited so they would never threaten the status quo.
In summary these ruling elites had, as they do so now, only looked after their narrow personal very selfish interests and partnered with anyone, whether a civilian or a military administration, to maintain themselves and their sources of power.
Therefore soon after Pakistan came into being it was but a short walk for these elites to change the nation’s political ethos from a welfare state open to all religions and ethnicities, to that of a predator state, serving just their needs. Henceforth anyone and everyone who acquired power under any pretext such as the cry of “anti corruption” or “good governance” or pipe dreams of Roti Kapra aur Makaan, a slogan which still resonates with some or the creation of a GODLY state as interpreted by a certain section of Muslims, self styled guardians of Faith like Fazlur Rehman ( calling him a Maulana is an insult to the title) all looted, plundered and raped the State of its capital and destroyed whatever little we had of any form of Intellectual moral and ethical standards in partnership with these elites.
And now they have been joined and further strengthened by their Urban cousins the “merchant elites” and predator mercenaries symbolised by Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari. The result is a cancer of epidemic proportions.
Over time each section of the predator club, the military included, apportioned and grabbed for Itself whatever it could of the State’s resources. Hence a world class missile technology program but no Mars. Outstanding and brilliant scientists either working on “special projects” inside secretive military establishments, and perhaps needed, or seeking pastures outside. And none in the civilian field as the Civilian predators were in my opinion far more rapacious then there military cousins, not too far behind.
So in summary if we had had and can have good governance in the future, the Cause and hence no military intervention, the Effect, I am convinced we have a great future of a better Pakistan. A Pakistan of equitable opportunities and access for everyone in education, health, jobs, lifestyles etc. A Pakistan free of prejudice, intolerance and where each is accountable . It is possible, provided we create an environment of fairplay, transparency and good governance.
So these are some reasons we have had a slightly different journey than India. For a more detailed understanding of Pakistan and her problems, may I suggest reading “Pakistan a Hard Country” by Anatol Lievin, which in my humble opinion is perhaps the most definitive book ever written about Pakistan. Recommend reading it at least twice.
And that is why I support the efforts of IK and TUQ in cracking the status quo. And if they betray our trust then let’s also throw them in the garbage bin of history and look for those who can break these chains. Pakistan Zindabad.