Pakistan’s ‘Dakoo’ Dynasties

Developing Just Leadership

Zafar Bangash

Ramadan 30, 1443 2022-05-01


by Zafar Bangash (Opinion, Crescent International Vol. 51, No. 3, Ramadan, 1443)

Defeat is first and foremost a state of mind, not a physical condition. This is as true of armies in the battlefield as it is in the political arena. Pakistan’s newly-minted, US-imposed prime minister with help from local collaborators is a case in point. Shehbaz Sharif has publicly stated that “Beggars can’t be choosers,” meaning that since the country is so dependent on the US, it cannot upset Washington by adopting an independent policy.

One of his senior party stalwarts, Khawaja Asif said, “Pakistan’s economy cannot survive without the US.” It should be pointed out that Pakistan has been reduced to penury precisely because the Sharif dynasty and their partners-in-crime, the Bhutto-Zardari combine have plundered state resources through theft and graft for 30 years. Their palatial homes in Britain, and properties and bank accounts in other countries point to the grand larceny they indulged in when they were in power. They are back in power to resume the plunder! On April 28, Shehbaz Sharif flew to Saudi Arabia with an entourage of 84 people, all at state expense. He will no doubt kiss the blood-soaked hands of Mohammad bin Salman and ask for some handouts, as beggars do.

It is supremely ironic, but not surprising that Shehbaz Sharif was out on bail on money-laundering charges when he was sworn in as prime minister. His thuggish son (Hamza), also a thief, and his goons stormed the Punjab assembly and locked out members of Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI, the party of ousted prime minister Imran Khan) to declare himself chief minister of the largest province. At the time of writing, his case remained in limbo because the Punjab governor has refused to administer him oath based on legal hurdles.

For more than 30 years, power has alternated between the Sharifs (not so sharif after all) and the Bhutto-Zardari combine. As far as these two families are concerned, all talent resides within them. There is nobody else capable of running the affairs of state in Pakistan. Their sole purpose has been to plunder state resources while in power and flee abroad when ousted from it.

Let us, however, return to the issue of mental slavery. History offers many examples.

The Qur’an narrates the story of Bani Israel after Musa (as) took them out of Pharaoh’s bondage in Egypt (5:20-26). Through divine miracle, the sea was parted for them to safely cross into the Sinai Peninsula. The Pharaoh and his army drowned in the sea. Once over into the Sinai Peninsula, Allah (swt) commanded the Bani Israel to enter Palestine.

It would be reasonable to assume that being saved from a certain death at the hands of Pharaoh’s army, the Bani Israel would show some gratitude and obey Allah’s command. Perish the thought. Even so, as a precautionary measure, Musa (as) sent a reconnaissance party into Palestine to report on the situation there.

It came back saying that the people there were big, strong and powerful. Upon hearing this, the overwhelming majority of Bani Israel refused to enter Palestine. They said the people are so big and powerful that we cannot defeat them. And they (the inhabitants of Palestine) know that we cannot defeat them.

Without even trying to confront the inhabitants of Palestine, the Bani Israel had accepted defeat. They told Musa (as), “You and your brother [Haroon (as)] go and fight them. When you have defeated them, we will enter Palestine.”

For their refusal to obey Allah’s command despite being just rescued from the Pharaoh’s bondage, the Bani Israel were condemned to wander in the desert for 40 years.

The Qur’anic description applies not just to people of old. It reflects a mindset that exists among people even today. The mentality of America’s slaves in Pakistan is exactly the same as that of the Bani Israel. Pakistani rulers cannot imagine displeasing America even if it goes against the commands of Allah. “Beggars can’t be choosers,” said the money-laundering thief, Shehbaz Sharif.

Presumably these people are Muslims. They may even fast in the month of Ramadan. What is the benefit of such fasts—and prayers—if they are slaves of America and openly declare that they cannot live without it? Have they reflected on their statements? These amount to shirk (associating partners with Allah in power and authority) Who has made it amply clear in the noble Qur’an that He will forgive every sin except shirk (4:48).

Further, Allah says in the noble Qur’an that He alone grants abundance of sustenance or withholds it from whomever He wills (28:82; 29:62). This is mentioned as a reminder even though we know these people have never had the tawfiq to open the Qur’an and understand what Allah is saying to them. Only Allah is our Rabb (Lord and Sustainer) and only He provides rizq, for He alone is the Best of providers (62:11).

Pakistan’s official name is the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’. The constitution also says that no law shall be enacted that goes against the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). Yet in the “Islamic” Republic of Pakistan, few politicians or other power-wielders are able to recite even Surah al-Fatihah or Surah Ikhlas which an average child 8-10 years of age would be able to do so!

After repeated emphasis on tawheed (Oneness of Allah) and the absolute prohibition of shirk, social justice is most often mentioned in the noble Qur’an. The reason is clear: without social justice, there cannot be peace in society. There is no social justice in Pakistan. It is a country ruled by thieves, robbers and land mafias. Far from feeling shame, they take pride in stealing.

In addition to being out on bail, Shehbaz Sharif’s 34-member cabinet comprises 24 people who are also out on bail. They are charged with such crimes as theft, money-laundering and murder. That means, 70% of the Pakistani cabinet is made up of mega-thieves and criminals. The new interior minister, Rana Sanaullah is a notorious gangster and murderer.

Who is responsible for this depressing state of affairs? The judiciary, the military and behind them, Pakistan’s godfather, America. Can there be anything more insulting than this? Perhaps it is time to change Pakistan’s name to Bhekaristan (land of beggars). Better still, remove the name ‘Islamic’ from its title and call it the American Republic of Pakistan. Why drag Islam into it when there is nothing Islamic about the Republic?

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