We live in an age with many stereotypes, speaking of governance, democracy is a holy grail for humanity to aspire to. But is it everywhere, in equal measure and with corresponding success?
I believe the time has come for the veterans, the retired soldiers of Pakistan, the sons of the soil, the sons of the motherland to stand up and stand tall like a wall against corrupt democracy as I explain in great detail below
Research based look at Corruption, Dynasties and Democracy in the developing world
Democracies in the developing world are no more than corruption ridden oligarchies run by dynasties deeply entrenched not just in politics but also other critical state institutions to ensure a crab like hold on it’s victim, the helpless people, or public of the so called “democratic state” by the West…
The article: Corruption: Myths and Realities in a Developing Country Context by Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is an eye opener for proponents of “Western democracy” in the developing world, where anywhere between 20-30% of the GDP goes to corruption! Political corruption, particularly relating to political party finance and to campaign finance, is increasingly becoming the major challenge in developing countries. Running a multiparty democracy is becoming an increasingly difficult and expensive business. (As a rough guide, Transparency International reported that in 1999 democratic elections in South Africa, political parties spent between US$ 40-67 million. My guess is that political parties in the previous and last elections in Nigeria spent hundreds of millions of dollars on State and Federal elections to fund processes and results that the large majority of people in and out of the country deemed to be substandard). The issue is: in a poor country that adopts democracy especially of the American variety, where do resources to finance campaigns and political parties come from? Further in the article Corruption by Anup Shah he succinctly explains “Corruption affects the poorest the most, in rich or poor nations, though all elements of society are affected in some way as corruption undermines political development, democracy, economic development, the environment, people’s health and more.”
Of dynasties. A Stanford paper titled Political Dynasties and the Quality of Government summarized in the developing world “…dynastic politicians spend more resources, specially in investment in urban infrastructure, health and sanitation. However, we do not find improvements in economic growth and changes in the quality of public services” – Cielito F. Habito in an in depth article on corruption in the Philippines quoted “An AIM study on the 15th Congress found that dynastic jurisdictions are associated with lower standards of living, lower human development, and higher levels of deprivation.” Ronald Mendoza wrote in Dynasties in democracies: The political side of inequality “the mirror image of income inequality in the political sphere: political dynasties. The rise of elected officials with extensive familial links to present and previous politicians in power signals a growing inequality in access to power and political influence. That, in turn, could also affect the persistence and prevalence of social and economic divides.” And then, Dawn published Zahid Hussain’s article on political dynasties in Pakistan concluding, or foretelling, whichever way one looks at it “DESPITE huge political and social changes that have occurred over the last 60 years, electoral politics in Pakistan has remained largely a family enterprise. A limited number of families continue to dominate Pakistan’s legislatures, turning them into oligarchies.”
What does democracy mean to the masses in a third world country?
Massive poverty perpetuated by never ending, complex, almost indestructible corruption run by dynasties or collusion of oligarchies. The masses have no hope, except migration to greener pastures in the West, MidEast, where there lives are no better in relative terms yet significantly better financially than their home countries. Atleast they have a job with enough savings to feed their families “back home” wherever that might be, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Africa, Philippines, South America, Tunisia etc or in short, 80% of planet earth!
The status quo in Pakistan
Speaking of my home country, Pakistan, the situation is no different, except we have a ray of hope. The British left us in 1947, and left us a working model of an Army, bureaucracy, and governance. It was not the best as modern science and politics tells us, but it was certainly good enough to breed a fine, nuclear capable, army that acts as as a strong deterrent to lustful neighbors on all sides. Yet all OTHER institutions (except the Army) turned to dust in real terms, Eiffel Towers of expenses with hardly any return to the exchequer, except sustenance of a democratic “system” as elaborately described above. In this scenario rose an inspirational sportsman turned politician, Imran Khan, who toiled day and night to create a close to Western model of development democracy focusing on healthcare, education and a corruption free society, yet his critics downplay his potential to rise given a compromised team from the same, corrupt, parties he intends to oust
In 1958, ’77 and ’99 respectively there were 3 military coups as explained in detail in this Wikipedia article. General Iskandar Mirza, Ayub Khan, Zia Ul Haq and Pervez Musharaf ruled Pakistan for almost half of it’s “free” life. Yet they were unable to bring systemic, sustainable changes – an aspect the brainy General Ashfaq Pervez Kyani talks about i.e. the plausibility of change must be assessed in its sustainability. A yardstick all four failed in. And command returned to the corrupt politicians described in great detail above
In my personal endeavors, although for the nation, not myself, to bring about the “best of breed”, sustainable and ethical personnel based change in Pakistan I interacted with all strata of society, the “common man” at the lowest level, the working classes, the bureaucrats, the politicians, and finally a lot of fine men in and out of uniform
My learning was that the wisest and most mature needless to say patriotic among all I interacted with personally, were the Generals and other veterans. Always open to understand, learn and see the situation from different angles, I understood why reaching the pulpit of “General Officer” is apparently quite difficult for even an officer with an otherwise excellent track record. The finesse and maturity were just a small aspect if one looks at the broader knowledge of the internal and external landscape far beyond the expectations of a man in uniform. The lower ranks correspondingly rose in expression and action orientation compared to the calm and quiet Generals (with the exception of the unusually candid Pervez Musharaf and Gen Tariq Khan to a smaller extent), they have no equivalent, as I see it, in the civilian populace
The silence of the Generals
Whether one looks at Ashfaq Kyani, or Raheel Sharif or the incumbent “QJB” as popularly known in his circles, one realizes the meticulous attention to using the fewest possible words to express their opinions, in the dire circumstances that silence was not enough, except when army specific matters were informed. There is a history behind this, with more to it then the training requirements of a General Officer
What keeps them reserved is the consistent, persistent and vilifying campaign against the army by some of the self confessed “liberals”, mostly cronies and paid serfs of the forces of democratic oligarchies as explained earlier, the Officers realize the motivation of a million strong army banks upon one loose word that escapes between their lips, and how that single word can be played with by the oligarchs. Thus a clear loyalty to the institution of the army exists, and it is not necessarily a bad thing, as the flight attendant’s pre flight drill goes “please wear your own (oxygen) mask before helping others” and is perfectly exercised in this case by the Generals
What is perturbing though is the post LPR silence of the Generals, once retired, they have every right to speak and OWN PAKISTAN POLITICALLY, I personally conveyed them the message, on behalf of the people of Pakistan, to organize their old friends, mates and comrades into a formidable team to fight against the rather obviously malignant misnomer so called democratic front
One such General, is GTK – General Tariq Khan, an avid, refreshingly honest, though slightly cynical writer and more of an intellectual, far beyond his anti Taliban drives and the US Legion of Merit awards and accolades in his kitty, not to mention his collection of guns and golf clubs! One of his more recent posts can be read at tinyurl.com/GTKhan where he laments in no uncertain terms
“are we satisfied with what we have, a finance minister who cannot sign his own cheques and is an absconder, the Chairman of the National Bank who was previously the manager of an Old Home in London, a corrupt SECP, a dysfunctional FBR, a manipulated EC, an influenced NAB – is this what democracy means where a disqualified person can summon a cabinet to London and appear in court with pomp and panoply as if he is a king?“
The trouble or rather the opportunity is, GTK is not alone, there are similar officers with intellect and a desire to see change, but they are not united under one umbrella, a very long list of names of veterans I’ve personally interacted with, all gems that need to unite for the nation in my opinion as a strong political force, ideally with MINIMAL or none civilians in their ranks, this is important as in all 4 cases of Army rule in the past, it was mostly civilians who let the Generals down
What do these men of honor need to do?
Team up, rally behind someone like GTK (General Tariq Khan) and “do their thing” it could be a pressure group for good governance, or simply launch a political platform that challenges the Goliath of filth and gore, the so called democratic scum of Pakistan. Bring us home good governance, lesser “government employees and ministries,” low flat taxes that lessen the burden on the common man and also attracts investors, establish rule of law with their retired comrades log, stock and barrel, a fair election (SMS / electronic) election mechanism with higher weighted votes for educated voters, ensure moderation in our dealings viz faith to increase tourism and also reduce violence; and above all give people hope that they have as of now lost, like a bird about to be devoured by a beast they too see the animal marching to their carcass in 2018 elections
Will the General and their mates listen to my and like minded civilians’ humble advice? Time will tell, or the brain drain and oppression will continue, for how long must we the people suffer this incompetent, corrupt and useless version of democracy from our perspective?
PAI: Musharafization Part 2, Old Wine or Lessons from the past?
By Crystal Heart Kazmi – BlahBlah.info
Pakistan Awami Ittehad, a “grand alliance” of 23 mostly nameless, faceless and inconsequential parties has been announced by General Pervez Musharraf
I have been his supporter and five years back the international media published many articles I’d written on him, the days I was at his media office in Dubai at tinyurl.com/caseformush – I admired him for his candidness and upfront demeanor, and despised him for his almost foolish foresight. He was / is a good man who has done some good things, still feels the pain of his nation, however, without the ability to put his talent to practical use. Perhaps his interest in the finer things in life, if you catch my drift, or his weakness for praise by sycophants, many a times long after he was dethroned and there were court cases on him, he wasn’t even able to fly back, yet his staff and friends in Dubai referred to him, must to my bewilderment, as “President Sahab” – buttered him up, gardened his ego to bear the fruits of his distraction, he could have, still can, keep away from the people who got him into the mess he is in today, if he wishes to leave a final, perhaps positive mark as his legacy
Post honest and constructive criticism, I admire his move to create a party at the grand age of 74 where he otherwise could enjoy his passions, fine drinks and golf and tasteful company abound in his external abodes. Yet he chose to rise for the nation, and that act alone deserves mine and an average Pakistan’s salute to him
He has laid the right framework (see S1) by announcing the alliance, the members therein are immaterial, to me, he is rather openly baiting several forces, Imran Khan, MQM, Chaudhrys and others to join him. His overtures aren’t welcomed by the existing bunch led by Khwaja Saad Rafique who (see S2) who are clearly apprehensive and have gone to the extent of “declaring” PAI a failure while their own Lion in deep legal mess seems to mean nothing to them
There are already cracks in the alliance (see S3) where some are denying the alliance or drifting away, such news doesn’t bode well for the General or his initiative, yet one must appreciate his will and desire to stand up against all odds
Musharaf, despite all his weaknesses, is a fighter till his last breath or drop of blood in him. It’s scared the competition. And that means, if nothing else, that PTI, PAT, Chaudhrys, MQM, PSP and perhaps even the dying PPP should atleast LINK up with PAI. Even if PTI and PAT team up with PAI I think it would be a strong contender to ensure removal of the existing forces of corruption in the guise of democracy
It is also true that were a poll conducted among the masses they would certainly indicate a favorable bias and perception of Musharaf even today. And the international media just loved him in yesteryears
Where Imran Khan falters, Musharaf picks up be it international or local opinions, it is a difficult match but one that cannot be considered impossible
I think he could learn a lot from the humorously named taunt on fake democracy and ill served government to the people of Pakistan at gadhaparty.com – unless he speaks about absolute lack of justice for the common man, heavy indirect taxes to support a useless rusted government machinery and policies to either ally with the US or / and China then two hoots to what we, Pakistanis, want – should be a never wrecker for his haters
Exactly what he needs to do to rock the boat of self serving democracy towards a long overdue Western model of democracy that our people sorely need and deserve!
Will he learn, or will he lament? Time will tell…
- S1 https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/11/10/musharraf-to-head-political-alliance-of-23-parties/
- S2 https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/11/11/attempts-to-bring-back-musharraf-in-politics-wont-be-successful-rafique/
- S3 http://www.firstpost.com/world/pervez-musharrafs-grand-alliance-pakistan-awami-ittehad-falls-apart-on-second-day-after-major-parties-dissociate-themselves-4205665.html