Khakistocracy: Military-Industrial-Feudal Complex in Pakistan
Democracy becomes a government of bullies, tempered by editors." — Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, public philosopher and poet (1803-1882)
MIF Khakistocracy: Military-Industrial-Feudal complex
Ike’s military-industrial-complex can be modified to include the feudal lords. This Military-Industrial-Feudal complex has continued to prosper at the expense of the ever dwindling middle and poor classes.
While the poor have found an outlet in distorted religious values and increasingly blow themselves up in targeted killings, the not so poor resort to breaking laws, occupying land, robbing and stealing at gun point.
If the past governments had sincerely puts their resources at removing the causes of poverty, the poor and the disenfranchised would have been less susceptible to fall for doctrines of intolerance and hatred taught in the madrasas in the guise of religious education. The belated government steps to reform the madrasas are not supported by effective measures for poverty elimination and alternative educational opportunities.
The massive support for the lawyers’ led movement for an independent judiciary is seen as a movement to restore a check on the tilted executive and empower the manipulated legislative by the middle and not so poor classes.
A segment of the indoctrinated and brainwashed do not support this popular movement and want to take their fight directly to those in power. They find it easier to opt for change through violence and terror.
In the context of the rise of violence in Pakistan it will be of interest to also reflect on the second article of this declaration.
(a)Life is a God-given gift and the right to life is guaranteed to every human being. It is the duty of individuals, societies and states to safeguard this right against any violation, and it is prohibited to take away life except for a shari'ah prescribed reason.
It remains to be seen how a beleaguered and increasingly isolated Musharraf Administration can maneuver himself and the Army out of this stalemate.
The one thing that post colonial leadership of every stripe in Asia and Africa has learned well from its past colonial masters is the game of divide and rule. When seen through this prism, the rise in Mullah power in Frontier and in Balochistan, and the proliferation of ethnic and political parties and groups to offset the major political forces by this Khakistocracy can be understood more clearly.
The Army backed President General Musharraf has his vision of ‘enlightened moderation’ for Pakistan. Co-opted by the US, he has maneuvered Pakistan to become a front line state in the fight against terrorism. This has earned his government the wrath of Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab Zarqawi, the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani supporters of Taliban.
He sent the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of the Muslim League (N) into exile. Another former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Chairperson for life of the Pakistan Peoples Party, was already in exile facing corruption, money laundering, mismanagement and extra judicial killing charges.
Both of them have had two runs at governing the state in the 80s and 90s and squandered their chances. Now they yearn to get back into power and demand a ‘fair and free’ election under a caretaker government.
While in power, they paid scant respect for democratic norms and tolerance. Their usage of the word ‘democracy’ today appears to be a euphemism for the roll back of army intervention in state affairs: some of their suspicions are well grounded.
Over the last four decades the Army has increasingly acquired a stake in all spheres of state affairs. After the Government of Pakistan, they are one of the biggest employers in the country. They grab and award themselves prized real estate and haliburtonesque contracts at rock bottom prices. Inexperienced and inept serving and retired officers head ‘lucrative’ civilian jobs, ambassadorships, and are offered sinecures as chiefs of semi government agencies.
Both the Army and the politicians are suspicious and intolerant of each other and unwilling to agree to a power sharing formula. The judiciary, marginalized since 1954, is just showing signs of shrugging off the deep slumber.
This mutual suspicion and adamancy leads to an impasse. The US is exerting pressures on both to come to an understanding.
The Role of Politicians
The recently concluded, misnamed, All Parties Conference held in London at the behest of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared to be a photo-op of disgruntled politicians. Another former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in distancing herself from Nawaz Sharif, is making the right sound bites.
According to Zafar Abbas, Islamabad Bureau Chief of the Daily Dawn, Benazir Bhutto and General Musharraf came close to a power sharing deal in April. These negotiations aimed at reaching an accommodative understanding for the forthcoming national elections are still going on according to reports attributed to the BBC and the Globe and Mail.
The Pakistani politicians demand:
* Free and Fair Election under a Caretaker Government
* An independent Judiciary to ostensibly check the Army’s power grab
* Army back under full Civilian Control
To goad the Army back into the barracks is a Herculean task. The politicians have to guarantee them immunity from past excesses and some checks against what the Army perceives as political corruption, misrule and ineptitude.
Can a fledgling democratic government, in alliance with the Army curb the violence and alleviate the causes remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Pakistanis brace themselves for more suicide bombers.
Khakistocracy: Military-Industrial-Feudal Complex in Pakistan
- » Published on August 07, 2007
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