This is no fight for democracy

There is so much about democracy that is being bandied around every day that it drives one sick, particularly when this harangue is nothing but a mammoth compilation of blatant lies and deceitful claims.

I don’t even know where to start narrating the story of democracy under the tutelage of those who are at the forefront of launching an agitation to remove a democratically elected government.

In reality, they neither had any faith in it nor did they practise it even in its elementary form when they were in power. Patently false narratives are projected to keep the truth under wraps.

These self-proclaimed champions of democracy and straw-laden stalwarts of constitutionalism — where and how did their callous projects to claim power commence?

After spending close to a decade in the laps of dictators, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto wilfully opposed the convening of the National Assembly session when Mujibur Rehman won the 1970 elections.

He is the one who greeted the launch of the military operation in former East Pakistan with the words “Pakistan has been saved”. This came at the culmination of a sinister campaign that he had launched earlier in a bid to stall the passage of power to the winner of the elections as he knew that if that were to happen, his chance of becoming the prime minister of the country would never arise because of the numerical superiority of the former eastern wing.

So, for him, it was a choice between a united Pakistan and Mujibur Rehman as its prime minister with him leading the Opposition on the one hand and a truncated Pakistan with him as the prime minister on the other. He chose the latter and presided over a dismembered country as its only civilian martial law administrator.

Even when parliament had approved a constitution for the country, he made numerous loaded amendments to deface the democratic character of the document and accumulate all powers solely in his person.

Within ten months of its promulgation, he dismissed the elected government of his political opponents (NAP-JUI) in Balochistan. As a reaction, the (then) NWFP government, comprising the same parties, also resigned.

This led to the convening of the Hyderabad Tribunal resulting in the banning of the NAP in 1975, long imprisonments for their leaders, and the commencement of a bloody insurrection in Balochistan which sowed the seeds of disunity in the entire country whose consequences Pakistan is still suffering from. Thus also began a spree of draconian rule.

Opponents were arrested and tortured as a matter of routine to eliminate all his political adversaries. Private prison (Dalai Camp) and army (Federal Security Force) were established to accomplish his political ambition of being the only unchallenged leader of Pakistan.

Unfortunately, this became the cause of his ultimate downfall. People who knew him well remembered him as an evil genius with deeply embedded fascist tendencies, someone who sacrificed national interest at the altar of advancing his own gory political ambitions.

The party has since been taken over by a manipulative Asif Ali Zardari who, first as the husband of Benazir Bhutto, then as head of the party through a purportedly fake will, and as president of the country, unleashed a merciless spree of loot and plunder.

He also took steps to weaken the federation by compromising state interests before his fancied foreign mentors. It was during his time that there were allegations that visas were issued to US contractors to indulge in activities inimical to the interests of the state of Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif was picked up by General Zia to be the finance minister of Punjab from where he first advanced to becoming the chief minister, and then bought his way into the prime minister’s house.

He was the protegee of the military and grew under the crass patronage of dictatorship. His dramatic rise of fortunes was not owed to any democratic norms and values; it came about by manipulating the power of the illicit billions that he made during his various stints in power.

For him, everything had a price. He is the one who introduced money as a key instrument in politics. Hailing from a business family, he understood the efficacy of pelf in matters of buying people’s loyalties.

He moved on to employ this expertise to the optimum and, in the process, successfully stabbed his benefactors in the back to make place for himself at the helm.

The multi-layered badge of shame that the PML-N leadership wears includes the conviction of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Safdar.

The former has also been declared an absconder as are his two sons and his younger brother’s son and son-in-law. Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz are also under investigation for grievous financial crimes worth billions of rupees.

Pakistan kept regressing while the personal stocks of these two family oligarchies increased phenomenally. Their millions turned into billions. From the fathers and mothers to the children, brothers, nephews and nieces, cousins, in-laws — all of them were rewarded with avenues to raise their personal illicit fortunes. It was like the country had been mortgaged to these criminal gangsters to pillage as would please their whims.

The history of the JUI-F, led by Fazlur Rehman, revolves around the dastardly use of the captive students of its seminaries as ammunition to advance political interests.

Historically, the mother party opposed the creation of Pakistan, but its followers, in an act of shameful hypocrisy, jumped in to lay a claim to ruling the newly-independent country.

This vile merchant of religion has been part of all sickly dispensations tailored by dictators and ‘democrats’ alike, the latest ones being the governments put together by General Musharraf and the Zardari and Sharif clans.

He is innately corrupt and a malevolent provocateur of sectarian hatred. Currently, his sole angst is rooted in being left out of power for the first time during his political career.

This is no fight about democracy. This is a desperate effort to secure their illicit loot and their political futures.

The manner in which they have indulged in buying the national conscience by employing a combination of worms and pelf is a reflection of their undemocratic character. In time, they will also hand over the state to the highest bidder — probably the ones who are helping them in this criminal enterprise.

This is one mega hoax, one monstrous sham that they are enacting in the name of democracy. Their sole commitment is to the advancement of their personal interests and those of their masters in foreign lands. Their brand of ‘democracy’ would be served only if the mantle of leadership rests on their heads or their anointed progeny.

Beware: desperation entails strange paths to perdition!

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