Of Democracy and Despotism

Of Democracy and Despotism

Tyranny and breach of law is to a despotic regime what liberty and rule of law is to democracy.
Dictatorial regimes elsewhere in the world have never ever progressed and grown in economic and developmental domains, be it North Korea compared to South Korea, most of North Africa compared to South Africa, Burma compared to Malaysia and Singapore, or despotic regimes of Middle East compared to Israel except for abundant natural oil resources which act as booster amplifier of Arab economy but at the same time growth of society as a whole is not manifest but human rights abuse can be witnessed in one or the other form.
In fact, dictatorial regimes essentially need to practice power abuse to rule for long. Dictators rule with tyranny to eliminate dissent and to choke public voice. Regrettably, most of Muslim nations under the umbrella of OIC have monarchical or dictatorial rule and, at the most, some have a pseudo-democracy, like Bangladesh, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Tunisia and all Central Asian states. True democracy is home bound only to Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and to some extent to Iran. Pakistan military has ruled directly in the past and has become the kingmaker, ruling the country indirectly. Muslim countries other than Turkey and Malaysia are reeling under backwardness, poverty, regression and lagging behind in education, agriculture and science and technology.
Despite the fact that Pakistan’s independence came 25 years before Malaysia and Singapore and two years before China, it is yet to come out of the yolk of third world nations, chiefly due to her 75 years of political instability. A regime change plot forged by United States and executed by pawns in the establishment of Pakistan is gradually taking that country towards another Iran prototype revolution of the late seventies. With every passing day it is coming to light that top military generals, including the Army chief of Pakistan, are getting entangled in money laundering scams involving the N league and the PPP, which has been one of the motivational elements in the regime change operation at the hands of powerful military generals: sending the PTI government led by Imran Khan back to pavilion and managing N league-sponsored government led by Shahbaz Sharief to occupy the corridors of power.
It has been a conundrum for Pakistan that military generals are more politically ambitious than militarily professional, contrary to India where democracy rules the roost and military is absolutely apolitical. Both the nations became independent more than 7 decades ago, but democracy is yet to dawn in Pakistan while Indian parliamentary democracy has been flourishing. India has sent three army chiefs to home after retirement since Narendra Modi’s tenure as Prime Minister whereas General Bajwa as army chief sent out three serving Prime ministers to home in Pakistan. This comparison is self-explanatory of the fate of democracy in Pakistan. All military dictators have proved to be harbingers of political anarchy.
Imran Khan is gearing up for restoration of constitutional democracy and to break open the shackles of America’s thralldom in political and military spheres. This is giving sleepless nights to the present-day players of politics in uniform. All people across the globe committed to democratic worth have started joining the chorus with the popular Imran Khan. Even voices of concern have emanated from the United States, Canada and Britain critical of the fate of democracy in Pakistan.
Disastrously, Pakistan witnessed bloody military coups several times in the past that devastated her national economy. General Ayub Khan was instrumental in handing over his military institution to the Pentagon, which paved way for him becoming the first military President of the country. But soon he tasted the dose of his own medicine when his military chief, General Yahya Khan, overthrew his regime to rule by himself. General Yahya’s debauchery resulted into the breakup of the country in 1971 and forced his shameful dismissal from power. Z A Bhutto, who grew in popularly as foreign minister, became the Prime Minister. Yet this didn’t prove to be the end of the political ambitions of the Pakistan military establishment and finally, Z A Bhutto, known for his independent foreign policy and statesmanship, was sent to the gallows, a judicial murder carried out by his newly appointed military chief, General Zia.
Interestingly, General Zia’s handpicked Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Naseem Hassan Shah, had to apologise publicly when he retired on the managed verdict of death penalty awarded to Bhutto. It sent shock waves throughout the world. General Zia had a crafty and cunning mind that used religion to protract his power as president. It is on record that he deluded the religious clergy on Islamicising the country. The largest Islamic organisation of Pakistan, Jamat-e-Islami, dented its own image in virtually backing Zia’s eleven-year-long unconstitutional regime. Albeit the mustachioed and always smiling General had planted his loyal generals on all important niches in the military establishment, he was killed by his own men in the army through an aircraft bomb blast.
With the end of Zia, all Islamic laws floated by him during his reign came to a grinding halt. This practically proved that Islam was unenforceable. General Musharraf virtually handed over Pakistan to US drones and F-16 fighter aircraft which killed eighty-thousand people in the “war on terrorism”. He was knocked out by his army chief General Kayani after 8 years of dictatorship. However, General Kayani was incredibly loyal to civilian rule. General Musharraf was sentenced to death five times by the Supreme Court of Pakistan for breaching the Constitution of the land but only after his resignation. The corruption in political institutions, judiciary, election commission and other arenas of government that had been eating up that country from within like a moth, was for the first time cracked down upon by Imran Khan, to clean the pernicious political pathology that the country had been sick of, during his three-and-a-half year tenure as premier. But, as usual, the spirit of democracy and rule of Constitution does not perhaps suit Pakistan; the military has many options to break open the lock of the Constitution. This time, a regime change plot hatched in USA in connivance with GHQ Rawalpindi led to indirect army rule.
Time and again, political debacles masterminded by foreign masters and the army have destroyed the economy, the freedom to dissent, free journalism, and altogether are gradually steering that nation to unrest. Journalists are hounded and various political workers put in jails. Restoration of real democracy movement launched by PTI has involved huge masses almost from all domains of society, including lawyers, businessmen, traders and ex-army men, in rallies and demonstrations on roads. This is kind of a rebirth of the anti-Bhutto movement of 1977. However, more imprisonments, police crackdowns and bloodshed on streets of Pakistan is perceptibly becoming imminent in the near future.

[email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.