The Depressing State of Politics in Pakistan

Developing Just Leadership

Zafar Bangash

Sha'ban 29, 1443 2022-04-01

News & Analysis

by Zafar Bangash (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 51, No. 2, Sha'ban, 1443)

Pakistan once again faces political paralysis because of opportunistic politicians. Even some national assembly members of the ruling Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf have joined the opposition (after hefty bribes, of course) in an attempt to force Prime Minister Imran Khan out of office. The no-confidence motion presented in the Pakistan National Assembly on March 28 was preceded by a massive rally of Imran Khan’s supporters in Islamabad. He waved a letter purportedly received from a foreign country (presumably the US) threatening him and demanding changes in Pakistan's policies.

The numbers game shows that opposition parties may have gathered the requisite number of MNAs to pass the no-confidence motion. The military top brass met the prime minister on March 30 to propose a way out of the political logjam by suggesting an early date for elections in return for the opposition withdrawing its no-confidence motion. Will it be acceptable to everyone is the big question.

While it is understandable that opposition parties would hold the ruling party to account, that is not what’s going on in Pakistan. They are out to get Imran Khan because he refuses to withdraw corruption charges against opposition and bow to the west’s demands. Worse, many of these politicians are working at the behest of foreign powers, a charge leveled by Imran Khan in his March 27 speech at the rally.

There are widespread reports in the social media that western countries as well as India have pumped in billions of rupees to buy members of the National Assembly to vote against Imran Khan’s government in the no-confidence motion. Ambassadors of western regimes have also been meeting opposition politicians. Why is such blatant interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs permitted?

Further, a letter purportedly sent by the Soros-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), dated October 26, 2021 to US Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad, Angela Aggeler has been doing the media rounds in Pakistan. There is vigorous debate about its authenticity. Anti-government media outlets have rubbished it completely.

The letter alleges that the NED was in touch with opposition leaders in Pakistan. It named Bilawal Zardari, Sherry Rehman, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Murad Ali Shah and a host of other politicians with whom this so-called endowment for democracy (in reality, an instrument of destabilization of governments that refuse to toe the west’s line and surrender to US demands) has been in touch.

Even if the NED letter is fake, there is no doubt that Pakistani politicians are not averse to receiving bribes or above working for foreign interests. Who is unaware of Wikileaks in which the US embassy in Islamabad in its cables to the State Department, made insulting remarks about Pakistani politicians and how easily they can be bought?

The NED’s modus operandi is to bring about colour revolutions in other countries. What is truly depressing is that most politicians in Pakistan, thoroughly corrupt and discredited, are willing to sell their souls for a fistful of dollars.

Unfortunately, Pakistani politicians do not care about the common man who lives in grinding poverty, now compounded by massive price hikes as well. People’s concerns are genuine but that is not what the ‘lota’ politicians care about. Their overriding concern is to grab money, regardless of the source, and drive Imran Khan from power because he has gone after them to recover stolen wealth.

Most Pakistani politicians are ideological mongrels. They will bark at anyone at the behest of those who throw the bone at them. It is truly depressing to see the likes of Asif Zardari, Bilawal Zardari (this ‘mukhannus’ is still conflicted about her/his gender identity!), Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Maulana Fazlur Rahman (who has rightly earned the epithet of ‘maulana diesel’ because of his notorious smuggling operations of diesel from Iran) clamouring to get rid of Imran Khan.

All of them have received billions in bakhsheesh. None of them is poor. They have plundered state resources for decades and have bought palatial homes in Britain, France and other locales including stealing billions of dollars from Pakistan and stashing this money in numbered Swiss accounts. How can they present themselves as honest politicians fit to rule Pakistan?

A cartoon in a magazine brilliantly captured this truism. A politician bragged to a prostitute, “I am a politician, and I am honest.” The prostitute shot back: “I am a prostitute and I am virgin!”

It must also be noted that most Pakistani politicians have little formal education. Feudal by nature, their forefathers were given vast estates by the British after the 1857 uprising because they betrayed their own people by siding with the colonial masters. Those who resisted the colonisers were executed or jailed at remote islands.

The feudal lords are in politics because it is considered a family business. With plenty of surplus cash from stolen loot, it is easy to play politics. Dynastic rule plagues much of the Muslim world. Power and authority, like disease, are sexually transmitted.

Take the example of the Bhutto/Zardari combine or the Sharifs (not so sharif, after all). Their children and grandchildren now plague Pakistani politics after their elders made a mess of things. Yet they shamelessly claim title to power.

For these professional thieves, politics is the route to riches. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s father, Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto was a British agent knighted for services rendered to the British raj. The patriarch of the Sharif family, Mohammad Sharif was a petty trader in Lahore. He had a small foundry where he melted scraps of steel to make iron bars. The metal scrap was stolen from railway tracks!

It was General Ghulam Jilani serving as governor of Punjab who advised General Zia to get one of the Sharif children into government to undermine Peoples Party hold in Punjab. The patriarch handed over Nawaz Sharif because he was the dumbest and most useless of his sons (Jilani had asked for Shehbaz Sharif but his father refused). Nawaz Sharif used to spend his days playing cricket and chased girls at night. There are lurid tales of his nocturnal trysts!

The blighter fled to London three years ago after feigning that his platelet count was very low. Doctors have said that if his count was really that low, he would be dead. Nawaz Sharif must be a walking corpse in the streets of London!

Many Pakistanis ask, what is the solution to Pakistan’s problems? We have already tried an “honest saviour”. He may be honest but he is surrounded by crooks. Further, the entire system is corrupt and unworkable.

The solution is simple: hang 200 politicians including maulana diesel, some judges and TV anchors in public and see how the country gets back on the right track overnight. When there is cancerous tumour in the body, it has to be excised if the body is to survive. It is time for the masses to rise up and take the destiny into their own hands by dragging these politicians to the gallows.

Pakistan is ripe for a revolution. Missing this opportunity would condemn the people to decades of additional misery.

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