Political elegance and political grace


As a law abiding and peaceful citizen I feel disturbed when I find Prime Minister of Pakistan not receiving proper protocol in his own country this is not restricted to Imran Khan only but it is in generalized form. This tradition was established when Nawaz Sharif was Chief Minister of Punjab and when Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Prime Minister of Pakistan visited Lahore Nawaz Sharif did not receive her at the airport setting worst example of not following the protocol. Now we find second time action replay when Chief Minister Sind not going to airport to receive Prime Minister of Pakistan. This is not a happy situation and must end as soon as possible. Chief executive of the province is the Chief Minister and not the governor therefore this factor should ever be ignored. Personal differences be apart but traditions must be followed. In any democracy any decision taken by the PM is to be implemented by the Chief Minister and not by the governor. Unfortunately we have not yet matured in politics because it revolves around personal whims of the leaders. There are many examples in history where the rulers accepted their defeat in most graceful manner instead creating a scene but decency has its own merits. As for as Pakistani leaders are concerned we have yet to see leaders standing up and owning their mistakes except Gen Musharraf who has accepted now that giving NRO was his blunder, but the damage caused is beyond any proportion. The purpose of this article is that our former Prime Ministers and current Prime Minister and leaders of political parties should read this small piece of history extracted from the memoirs of General Douglas MacArthur (who led allied forces in Japan’s defeat) after surrender of Japan to the Allies on August 15, 1945 thus bringing an end to World War II
In his memoirs General Douglas MacArthur wrote about his first meeting with Emperor Hirohito after the end of the Second World War. He writes that “Shortly after my arrival in Tokyo, I was urged by members of my staff to summon the Emperor to my headquarters as a show of power. I brushed the suggestions aside. “To do so,” I explained, “would be to outrage the feelings of the Japanese people and make a martyr of the Emperor in their eyes. No, I shall wait and in time the Emperor will voluntarily come to see me. In this case, the patience of the East rather than the haste of the West will best serve our purpose.”
The Emperor did indeed shortly request an interview. In cutaway, striped trousers, and top hat, riding in his Daimler with the imperial grand chamberlain facing him on the jump seat, Hirohito arrived at the embassy.I had, from the start of the occupation, directed that there should be no derogation in his treatment. Every honour due a sovereign was to be
his.I met him cordially, and recalled that I had at one time been received by his father at the close of the Russo-Japanese War. He was nervous and the stress of the past months showed plainly. I dismissed everyone but his own interpreter, and we sat down before an open fire at one end of the long reception hall.
I offered him an American cigarette, which he took with thanks. I noticed how his hands shook as I lighted it for him. I tried to make it as easy for him as I could, but I knew how deep and dreadful must be his agony of humiliation. I had an uneasy feeling he might plead his own cause against indictment as a war criminal. There had been considerable outcry from some of the Allies, notably the Russians and the British, to include him in this category. Indeed, the initial list of those proposed by them was headed by the Emperor’s name.
Realizing the tragic consequences that would follow such an unjust action, I had
stoutly resisted such efforts. When Washington seemed to be veering toward
the British point of view, I had advised that I would need at least one
million reinforcements should such action be taken. I believed that if the Emperor were indicted, and perhaps hanged, as a war criminal, military government would have to be instituted throughout all Japan, and guerrilla warfare would probably break out. The Emperor’s name had then been stricken from the list. But of all this he knew nothing.
But my fears were groundless. What he said was this: “I come to you, General MacArthur, to offer myself to the judgment of the powers you represent as the one to bear sole responsibility for every political and military decision made and action taken by my people in the conduct of war.”
“A tremendous impression swept me. This courageous assumption of a responsibility implicit with death, a responsibility clearly belied by facts of which I was fully aware, moved me to the very marrow of my bones. He was an Emperor by inherent birth, but in that instant I knew I faced the First Gentleman of Japan in his own right.”
This is what the politicians, the statesman should be like. History is to learn lessons and to repeat the mistakes. Just see how Historical defeat in accepting it turned in to a historical grace that shall remain part of the history for all times to come. Let our leaders pick up courage to speak the truth, someone has to take the first step to cover the journey.. In the words 0f Ralph Marston ” Concern yourself more with accepting responsibility than with assigning blame. Let the possibilities you more than the obstacles discourage you.”