by Editor (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 53, No. 3, Shawwal, 1444)
Pakistan as a state is dead. It is painful to say this but regrettably, this is the sad reality facing the people. Instead, there exist vested interest groups acting like vultures snatching bits of dead meat from its carcass.
The pack of vultures is led by the military—or more accurately, the army and its high command. They consume vast state resources depriving other sectors of society of vital needs. All of them have properties abroad and their families have also acquired foreign citizenship, that of the US, Canada, Britain, Australia and other countries.
These cowards in uniform are primarily responsible for destroying the country. They have no stomach for a fight against the real enemy: India. With big bellies that they have developed as a result of over-eating after stealing the country’s wealth, how can they put up a fight? They have made clear on numerous occasions that they cannot fight India. If so, what is the point of having such a large army or an army at all?
Regrettably many Pakistani intellectuals still harbour the illusion that the army is needed to defend the country. Pray, what evidence is there for this claim? Did the army defend East Pakistan against the invading Indian army in December 1971? How many inches of Kashmiri territory have these over-paid and overfed men in uniform liberated from the clutches of India? It is time the intellectuals, however well-meaning, wake up and face this ugly reality that the army is the enemy of state and the hapless people residing within its borders.
Imagine the CEO of a major corporation that deals in IT business. If the CEO indulges in activities outside his brief, he will be fired. His job is to concentrate on promoting the IT business and making sure his employees perform the task assigned to them.
Yet the army in Pakistan is involved in every sphere of life except defending the borders of state. The army chief and a small coterie of generals around him decide who should rule the country, what ruling should the chief justice give, and when elections can be held in Pakistan, if at all. Under what authority do these generals make such decisions?
And then there are the businesses the army runs. They are into real estate. They have established gated communities in major cities. They have usurped millions of acres of land. They run factories from fertilizer, cement to cornflakes. Yes, cornflakes. One is at a loss to figure out how the army got into producing cork flakes!
There is ample evidence to charge these generals, current and past, with treason. They should be stripped of all privileges, removed from their palatial homes and dragged into the streets and beaten to death. That is a small punishment for the crimes they have committed since Pakistan came into existence to the present. This is one problem but a major one.
Closely followed by the army is the large army of politicians—almost all of them traitors—who are also busy feasting on Pakistan’s carcass. The level of corruption is so high that it boggles the mind. The two families—Sharifs and Zardaris—are mega-thieves. They are unable—and unwilling—to explain how they acquired choice properties in Britain, France and elsewhere. With the judicial system thoroughly corrupted, there is absolutely no accountability. The law, if it exists at all, is there to terrorise the poor and the downtrodden.
This elite class has no loyalty to Pakistan. So, the question is, why do the people of Pakistan not rise up against these criminals, drag them in the streets and beat them to death?
Unfortunately, the vast majority of people have been trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. They are unable to provide two morsels of food for their starving families. When their struggle revolves around food, there is little time for other matters.
This is deliberate. The elite class knows that if people are engrossed in struggle for survival, they will have no time to think about the plunder underway, or the destruction of the country.
Pakistan’s economy has collapsed. It has no funds to service its debt obligations that are piling up by the day. For more than a year, the illegitimate regime imposed on the people of Pakistan by the over-bearing army has been involved in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package of $1.1 billion. Dangling it like a carrot in front of a donkey, Pakistani rulers are being dragged through a series of humiliating concessions. Short of selling their mothers and wives, they have agreed to everything that the IMF has demanded but the money is not forthcoming.
IMF officials know that the illegitimate rulers are thieves. In the past, they have failed to fulfill the obligations they committed to in writing. So, what has changed to convince the IMF that this time it would be different?
It is humiliating to see the clownish, army-imposed prime minister of Pakistan making a fool of himself begging for some handouts from foreign rulers. They are getting tired of such begging. Who can blame them?
The elite, led by the army chief and the coterie of generals around him are living in a fool’s paradise believing that since Pakistan is strategically important, other countries, especially the US, will not allow its collapse. There is no evidence to suggest that Pakistan’s strategic importance has aroused concern in any western capital. Even Pakistan’s all-weather friend, China, has got tired of the elite’s devious ways. The Chinese have a simple but effective way of dealing with corrupt officials: put them on trial and shoot them immediately after the verdict. And even charge the official, or his family, for the cost of the bullet!
A bullet in the head of a few generals and members of the Sharif and Zardari families would do wonders to clean the mess.
How did Pakistan get into this mess?
It needs recalling that merely a year ago, Pakistan was well on its way to mending the economy. It had achieved a growth rate of more than 6 percent. Foreign exchange reserves were at a record level. There was investor confidence and overseas Pakistanis were sending record remittances, even surpassing total earnings from exports.
This, however, was not acceptable to the moronic army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa. He has publicly admitted that he orchestrated the ouster of Imran Khan as prime minister. This is high treason. He should be arrested and prosecuted for such crimes.
The socio-political and economic turmoil that has engulfed Pakistan over the last year is the direct result of Bajwa’s criminal conduct. Pakistani institutions are paralysed. Even the supreme court’s rulings are being flouted by politicians openly because they have the backing of the army.
Businesses and industries are closing, many permanently. There is massive flight of capital out of the country. With no foreign exchange reserves available, the State Bank of Pakistan cannot guarantee letters of credit for imports.
Unemployment, already high, has sky-rocketed as have prices of essential goods. Millions of people have joined the ranks of the poor. Parents are forced to kill their children and then commit suicide because they cannot feed them. These are frighteningly difficult times for the people of Pakistan.
Anyone who believes that Pakistan exists as a state is either ignorant of the reality or is deliberately misleading people because he has a vested interest in the current set-up. Much as it may be distasteful to say it, Pakistan’s disintegration is a distinct possibility.
The big belly generals and their families will flee the country at the first sign of trouble while the poor masses will have to face the consequences of a situation in which they had little or no role to play.