The Pakistani Spectator

A Candid Blog

Dictatorship in Pakistan

By Jalal Ahmad • Nov 8th, 2009 • Category: Politics, Worth A Second Look • 9 Comments

Musharraf has many distinctions, one of them is imposing Martial Law twice. But why so many dictators have abrogated the constitution of Pakistan so much so that out of our over little more than half century life, two thirds of the time dictators have been in power. Internally we have a crop of politicians, who are nothing more than a sunflower. These together with so called “Legal Advisors” are always at hand for a dictator to twist and bend the law to his liking. Then there is the “Nazria-e-Zaroorat”, which really makes me hate the phrase “necessity is the mother of invention”. In fact in Pakistan necessity is the mother of all evils.

Dictators have inflicted damage on Pakistan more than all the democratic governments put together. But then again democracy has only been given a tiny amount of time compared to dictatorships. Ayub Khan rule led to the division of Pakistan. Zia gave us heroin, Kalashnikov, religious extremism, terrorist organizations, mushrooming madrassas and their corrupt “Muhtamims” who were like owners of a poultry farm (with apologies to genuine madrassas), feeding the chickens until such a time when they could sell them for Afghan Jihad. Then there was this little commando, the worst of all. He forfeited everything on one phone call. He sold Pakistanis for dollars literally. A combatant country in our neighboring country was made to believe it is their right to bomb our border regions. In short his rule has led to current battle of our survival.

Some of internal elements will always favor such dictators with perks and bribes in view. But what amazes me most is the international support for such dictators. USA and its allies particularly are extremely culpable in this regards. They at first try to show their discontent with dictators, try to avoid any contact with them but with time we find out that they in fact found one of the most precious ally in shape of a dictator (Although I find it funny USA lecturing the world on democracy with their allies in some Arab countries and Guantanamo and torture scandals).

Why because countries like USA find it easy to buy a dictator rather than deal with a leader who claims to have all his nation on his back (current government is an exception as they dwarfed Musharraf, but I pray that democracy prevails). If international community would boycott dictators such as Musharraf, no other country will fall victim to tyranny and eccentric behavior of dictators.

Dictators always think they are right (you can get the insight by reading their autobiographies and generally studying the history) but they are almost always wrong. Dictators take it as an insult if they are asked to seek advice and in the process they make decisions which lead to destruction of countless lives. Dictators don’t like disagreement and they generally hate advice and normally are forced to quit. Rasool-Allah SAW who was guided by none other than Allah used to seek advice before taking any important decision. There is a Hadith Shareef which interprets as “The Hand of Allah is on Jama’at”. And during the process Rasool-Allah SAW always welcomed advice from everyone and even faced the disagreement such as on the day of Hudabiyah.

Current changes in oath taken by superior court judges prohibiting any judge aiding or abetting any dictator is a step in right direction. International community should vow not to help anyone who does not come into power with popular support, no matter how much they need the help of that dictator. I am sure it can play a very important role in deterring dictators from taking over governments around the globe. And in the event if any dictator takes over the government, that person should be isolated. I didn’t use the word government because dictatorship revolves around one person only. Our politicians have to grow up and should not side with any dictator and give him immunity through parliament. If only one person is punished for abrogating the constitution I am sure no one will dare to play with the rule of law again. People can play an important role too and we can prove our point by not participating in any referendums by dictators. We should remember that dictators always almost show some progress in short term but they always cause damage beyond repair in long term.

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9 Responses »

  1. Come on…..when will we stop blaming former President Musharraf? And after all, what wrong did Pres. Musharraf do? For the educated middle class of the country, Pres. Musharraf’s coming into power was one of the best things to have happened to this country.

    People are least concerned with the complexities of constitutional/unconstitutional issues or the appointment/dismissal of judges. What matters to our people is a better life, an improvement in standard of living. The truth remains that under Pres. Musharraf’s rule, the economy grew at an unprecedented rate of 7.8% per annum. It was Pres. Musharraf’s govt. which established newer universities of international standard in the country and younger citizens had the opportunities to excel and realize their true potential like never before.

    So what do we have to blame the former military ruler for?

    The fact remains that for a civilized, silent majority of Pakistanis, Pres. Musharraf is a national hero who is not only deeply respect but also admired.

  2. correction in last line above:

    who is not only deeply respected but also admired.

    apologies for the typo.

  3. Donot Blame the dictators. They were all installed by USA to serve its purpose during SEATO/CENTO etc and later to disintegrate Soviets. See how USA is mollycoddling Myanmar dictatorship due to its mineral and timber wealth.Same will happen in pakistan if Zardari doesnot stop the Iran pipeline.The Iran oil wealth is meant for Europe ONLY I REPEAT EUROPE ONLY not for pakistan,india or China.
    Zardari is doing great job for Pakistan national interest and that is why the minus one formula is doing rounds with US support

  4. Wearing of simply a Khaki uniform and to come atop to take charge of the government affairs may not make any one dictator.

    It is the power that when it is centralized and is accumulated in one single person and that person starts using or abusing it—— primarily to save its own skin—— to prolong its stay in power and is said to be ‘the final say’ in all the affairs and that he starts rewarding all the dears and nears to maintain a defense circle of it own friends around him. Such person, may he be from Military or from a civil life is——- a dictator.

    Military in Pakistan has never come in power at its own but when the politician after having failed and bringing this country at the verge of breaking— they wanted to get on one side and handed over to Military to take charge [1]——–to put the ores of this ship in order and repair its steering gears.

    Musharraf —can be quoted as a prime example for all this that after taking over; although he took a reason able long time to make sure that every thing in order; the system and economy of country is vibrant and in ship shape. When every thing was seen in order; he laid red carpets for politician creed and asked them to come forward and take over to run this country—— on turn key bases.

    Zardari may not like to shed all the powers of a ‘Dictator’ accumulated in him as single person atop—-that the man was pushed to occupy the seat of President by virtue of it——of the sudden sad demise of Benazir.

    But it is for sure that now any leader in Pakistan may survive atop who may bring the real service to this nation and that his or her excellence in services and leadership excel the example set by military.
    [1] Hand over to Military-basically to fight the fire and to avail a time to leave for abroad for their luxurious break and eat of what all they have got gathered through pilferage and plundering.

  5. It is exactly because people like Mr. Hassan Amin that we find ourselves in the mess we are! Pervez Musharraf was a military dictator who broke his oath to ‘defend and uphold’ the constitution of Pakistan. When will we stop blaming him? Never … because that is the time it will take us to recover from the pit that he put us in. Are we still not reaping what Zia (the biggest hypocrite of all) sowed? History has shown time and time again that a military dictator only works for his personal interest and yet we refuse to learn our lessons. Then again it is Constitutional issues which decide which way the country is going and each one of us should be interested and involved in these matters. Was a single megawatt of electric capacity added during the days of Musharraf? Of what use are newer industries if we don’t have the power to run them. That’s the problem with dictators… they don’t have their priorities right. And what about the missing persons and those sold to other countries for dollars that went into his own pocket? No Mr. Amin, No the silent majority are not now and never were with Musharraf. And thank God for that.

  6. @A Khokhar
    I will just quote you so that I can convey your message to you in another way.
    “Wearing of simply a Khaki uniform and to come atop to take charge of the government affairs may not make any one dictator”
    First I didn’t mention in my column the word Khaki (or government bar once). If Zardari is acting like a dictator then he sure will drown his party along with him and thats the “MAIN DIFFERENCE” political dictators are punished by “AWAM” in election. “Who will punish the military dictators”.

  7. Jalal,

    Here I tried to clarify the situation that only men coming atop in khaki are not the dictators that we label them so often but one who concentrates all the powers to himself for his own safety or its use is dictator…. Military man or civilian.

    I am with you that awamm may throws the civil dictator out through elections but who is that military dictator who could stay atop that long———–they too have gone with the wind——–been plucked out——- under the pressure of Awamm.

  8. I extremely agree with naushad i think all Pakistanies think like him well done naushad

  9. if you say musharrafs era was good or better then others then you dont have your facts straight firstly musharraf changed base year of gdp from 1960 to 2000 . so if 2000 was the base year so 1% growth would show 5% increase. secondly musharraf paused loan payment which had to be paid after 7 years, so if musharraf stayed for 1 or 2 years the real face of economy would have come.

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