HUMAYUN GAUHAR | 28 JUNE, 2016
Save Pakistan NOW or Forever Regret It
Two events took place last week: the abominable murder in Karachi of the irreplaceable Sufi singer Amjad Sabri and Britain’s momentous vote to exit the European Union. There’s a lesson for us here: Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif clings on to office despite having lost all moral and legal authority while the British prime minister David Cameron resigns within hours of losing the Brexit vote. That’s real democracy; Pakistan is an electoral dictatorship.
Prime Minister David Cameron resigned without batting an eyelid. He did not muddy the waters by questioning the obvious, ask for a judicial commission and begin making terms of reference like Nawaz Sharif has done to delay the inevitable. Cameron is what democracy is all about; Nawaz Sharif is what democracy is not. Cameron did not start speaking lies. He bowed to the will of the people and resigned. Like Nawaz Sharif he did not say, “I have a mandate that I stole fair and square. My Supreme Court says so. My Election Commission says so. Who the hell are you to question it? How dare you take my throne away from me?” He will have to be thrown out kicking and screaming.
But I was so heartbroken after the martyrdom of the great Amjad Sabri that I didn’t feel like putting pen to paper. But then I thought that the best catharsis is to write and get it out of my system. We kill those who do any good to Pakistan and crown those who harm it with plunder and mass murder. Pathetic indeed.
The Pakistani Taliban have taken responsibility for Amjad’s killing. Makes sense. Apart from embarrassing the army by demonstrating that the army’s cleanup operation has failed, the Taliban are proto Wahhabis who hate Sufism and they have sent a message to the majority who love Sufism. Now all notables should watch it.
The judges who are punishing arrested terrorists have also been given a powerful message with the kidnapping of the son of the Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court: you punish terrorists and criminals at your own risk. No surprise that failure would happen when there is such a huge disconnect between the army, the political governments and our judicial system. The State has effectively stopped functioning with no prime minister, who hides in his Mayfair hole in London and holds office only but no power at all. No wonder Pakistan is adrift in a rudderless ship without a helmsman.
Unfortunately, given the evaporation of every other branch of government and institution, the onus is again falling on the army to save Pakistan that it is oath-bound to do. But it doesn’t know how to, so be prepared for losing the most beautiful gift you have.
If Asif Zardari is convinced that accountability is definitely going to reach his doorstep, he could ask for the independence of Sindh. Sindhi nationalists and the MQM, would rally around him as, possibly, would the Baloch. Civil war would follow making the State a happy hunting ground for terrorists of various ilk, like happened in Iraq and Syria. They would grab pieces of Pakistan and declare their own states, ISIS like.
Pakistan has been treading the evolutionary path for 69 years and in the process has lost half of itself. Now the remaining half is in danger. It finds itself facing a fork in the road. It’s a fork akin to a pair of scissors. One blade in a pair of scissors is longer than the other. Pakistanis now have to decide which road in the fork they want to take – the road that is the shorter blade of the scissors leads to balkanization; the longer blade to possible salvation because it goes over the shorter blade and cuts whatever is on it in half. So be careful.
Don’t listen to pollsters and wiseacres; they completely misled people into believing that Britain would vote to remain in the European Union. Instead, they voted to exit. Britain, the EU and the West are in turmoil. It could not only lead to the balkanization of the state of Britain but also the super-state called the EU as well. It would be the end of the Euro. More turmoil. Scotland might choose to part company with Britain followed by Wales. We will then be left with good old Little England in bed with Northern Ireland. Yes, we could see the balkanization of the State of Britain that is ‘Great’ no more but also of the EU. This is not alarmist: the ‘PIGS’ in the EU – Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain – could be the next to exit. And the USA could elect Donald Trump. Then all bets will be off. But one thing is certain: coming times are going to be interesting – very interesting indeed.