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Army Vs. Political rule

(Published on 11.07.2003 in the daily Frontier Post, Peshawar)

Nadeem Yousaf

 

Recently, Mr. Aftab uploaded his views at the discussion forum of Pakistan Social Justice Group (http://psjg.bizcue.com) where he asserted that all our grace is because of the armed forces and all the disgrace because of politicians. It is a very simplistic assertion of the complex issue. He hardly appreciated before criticizing politicians that the army rule promotes political injustice in the country, which encourages further social, economic and legal injustice. As a matter of fact, taking power by force and ignoring the Constitution of the land itself is a political injustice not only to politicians but also to the nation. Mr. Ayub himself accepts that Pakistan has become a formidable nuclear state but showed reluctance in giving due credit to the civilian rule. It is astonishing as to how he could ignore the fact that Ayub Khan, a military ruler, ruled the country almost for a decade but he never thought on these lines but a civilian ruler, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, did it. He should have remembered that Decca did not fall under the civil rule but the military rule. Similarly, Zia-ul-Haq also ruled the country for a decade but could not blast and declare Pakistan as a nuclear state but a civilian head of the government, Nawaz Sharif, did it. God knows better what would happen if we had not declared we possessed nuclear power. It is a hard fact of our political history that political corruption and rigging in elections were introduced in the era of Ayub Khan and touched their peak during the ruling period of Zia. We have not seen that this tendency has decreased during Musharraf’s rule, either. All those politicians who are supporting Musharraf’s rule were part of previous governments; and it is very evident that if they won’t support Musharraf’s regime, NAB and legal courts would be active against them. In short, generals played a major role in promoting ‘lotaism’ in the country. In addition, those who support military rule and consider it appropriate, they are neither reading reports nor research of American and British think-tank what they are predicting about Pakistan’s future. We must remember that authoritarian rule will hamper our national interests in future as it did in previous authoritarian rules. If we blame civil regimes of Benazir and Nawaz for corruption, so should the army share the blame, for it is not only two individuals but also many others were parties to looting the national wealth. Moreover, this is an open fact that both the civilian prime ministers were subservient to army generals; it means that they had no complete authority on the government. A few examples show their meager authority as PMs. The reports tells that Benazir was briefed by US officials about our nuclear programme; it is a shame that the prime minister of the country was ignorant about the progress and had to ask foreigners to get to know what was happening in the country which she was leading. She also mentioned in one of the interviews that the army generals were reluctant to salute her; the tactic was to receive her without the cap on the head. The same goes for Nawaz Sharif that he was unaware about the Kargil adventure. The above information is not propaganda of the PPP or the PML (N) but the conclusion of independent researchers. Those who justify army rulers’ amendments in the Constitution on the ground that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif also made amendments to strengthen their rule they simply forget that they followed the procedure. It was their good luck that they had two-thirds majority to do so. Since the rule was accepted unanimously by the parliament in 1973, so we cannot object to their amendments, at least on legal grounds. It is strange that supporters of the army do not appreciate that army rulers play with the unanimously accepted Constitution and clauses of the Constitution. Many people praise the army rule that they recovered money from plunderers and improved economies of the departments like WAPDA. We must do mathematical calculation what we received from the plunderers of national wealth and what we had spent to recover a meager amount. Talking to KESC people, it is found that the success is not so big as it is claimed. It is strange that many people criticize the current political deadlock between Musharraf’s regime and the opposition without appreciating the fact that strategic differences do not resolve in a day. It is a turning point of our politics and delay should not bother the nation. It is strange that many people are criticising politicians that they are not making deals with the army on the principled stand that they have taken; the same people had criticized Benazir when she took the charge of the PM office after making deal with the then army chief.

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