Each year we celebrate 25th Dec as Our Quid e Azam day along with Christmas by our Christian brothers.
We are now in seventh decade after getting Pakistan with a vision by our Quid Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Whether we have succeeded in getting that vision, the answer is in negative.
During these decades we saw dictators, rulers with their own definition of democracy or a system how to rule. We saw separation of one part of Pakistan, than saw sweeping waves of hatred, killings in the name of religion, nationalism, sects and giving our land and services to international forces. During these decades we saw three constitutions one in 1956, another in 1962 and then in 1973 that has been put on abeyance several times.
With these changes unfortunately, each person of Pakistan has now gone accustomed to such norms where corruption and abusing others have become part of their life.
Like past rulers, Prime Minister Imran Khan has also embarked on his journey toward what he calls ‘Naya (new) Pakistan’. He says that he wants to materialize Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Pakistan — Pakistan that was envisioned by its architect.
Historically Muslims ruled Indian Sub-Continent for centuries; but eventually they were dethroned by British traders and invaders. The Battle of 1857 was the turning point of their fortune as it was the culmination of their struggle for the retention of their socio-political control over the sub-continent. Their defeat in this war, however, sealed their fate for nearly a century. In August 1947 they were able to reclaim and regain their independence from British Imperialism. This intervening period was extremely critical and crucial for their survival. The main principles which were apparently supposed to inspire the Freedom Movement of the Sub-Continent were supposed to be inspired by nationalism (or the nation-state philosophy). Contentions of the Hindu leadership under congress leadership were that as Modern States were emerging in the name of their respective nations, India too has one nation, that is, the Indian Nation. Hindus and Muslims are an integral part of this nation. However Muslims so to say, were denied the right and status of a distinct and separate nation. Obviously this thesis was meant to militate against the independent identity of the Muslims.
Initially, the Muslim Leadership, especially Quaid-e-Azam, was anxious to remain an integral part of the joint struggle for the independence of the Sub-Continent. Of course, he was eager to safeguard the socio-political rights and Islamic identity of the Muslims. Gradually he realized that Hindus using congress were hell-bent to marginalize the Muslims (on the basis of new allegiance to nationalism, secularism and the brute majority – or democracy) and reduce the Muslims to a second rate citizens in their own homeland. Iqbal in his famous Allahabad address presented the idea of Pakistan as a separate homeland for the Muslims as a permanent solution to Hindu-Muslim communal tensions. The same idea was later made vibrant in Lahore Resolution in 1940. This demand was given a legal format on the basis of two-nation theory. Pakistan so to say, was inspired by the Ideology of separate land for Muslims which was in turn naturalized under the name of Ideology of Pakistan.
However neither Mr. Jinnah, nor the poet-philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal were nationalists in the conventional sense of the term: rather, their nationalism and ideology was based on universal values such as equality, human dignity, and justice.
Another debate that moved along with movement of Pakistan came from religious parties including Jamate Islami and Devbund School of thought who opposed creation of Pakistan and stood with the view that whole India should be made an Islamic state. They forgot that even when Muslims ruled India than still that was not a Muslim state as everyone after killing their own fathers and brothers conquered India for their own sake but not to convert it in to a Muslim sate.
Now after leaving India by the English in 1947 and after entering in to 21st century world has altogether changed and countries where even Muslim resides in majority have turned in to secular states though with Muslims in majority they have given right to everyone to live with their faith and religion. These countries are Albania, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh.
Even in Pakistan we have embodied in 1973 constitution that no law or regulation can be framed against Quran and Sunnah, but whether any law or regulation has been brought in accordance with Quran and Sunnah till this time. So without going into these technical discussions, if we want to make Pakistan a Medina like state than we have to go for welfare of the people comprising more than 60% below poverty line. Other way adopted in the preceding year’s have created Taliban, ISIS, Mujahedeen in the name of different sects killing children women and innocent people in the name of Islam.
PTI now in rule needs to deal with a slew of challenges smartly.
The science of successfully running a nation-state requires competent rule from civilians. This rule of thumb is gleaned from the historical experience of the management of states since the beginning of the global era of the modern states, following the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. Quide Azam has said that “Democracy is in the blood of the Muslims, who look upon complete equality of mankind, and believe in fraternity, equality, and liberty.”
As long as Pakistanis remain stuck on fixing the blame rather than fixing the problem, harmonious civil-military relations will remain elusive.
Secondly the country has been waiting since 1947 for an economic miracle. The need of the hour is not to score constitutional brownie points on who enjoys precedence over whom but for the new government to work ceaselessly to ensure a national socioeconomic transformation.
The modest economic target should be to double the GDP till 2023 which means that the GDP must grow to $600-650 billion by the end of the next five years. The ambitious goal should be to triple the GDP by 2025 which means that concerted efforts should be made to ensure the GDP is around $900 billion by that time. To alleviate poverty Pakistan needs GDP growth above 8% with inflation below 5% and having FX reserves for 4 months imports with Tax revenue around 17% of GDP.
Everyone should remember that if the next five years are lost in political fighting, Pakistan may permanently be left behind in the regional race for development.
Third, related to the challenge of economic transformation is the challenge of compressing work and leisure times. This is the real meaning of Quaid-e-Azam’s advice to “work, work and only work”.
Fourth, the next five years will coincide with the challenge of the development of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which, according to the China-Pakistan Long-Term Plan for CPEC, is supposed to consist of the: near-completion of the national “industrial system”; coordinated development and activation of “major economic functions”; major improvement in “people’s livelihood along the CPEC”; balanced “regional economic development”; and the realization of “all the goals of Vision 2025”.
According to a 2011 McKinsey report on the future global urban growth, by 2025, 600 cities will have 2 billion inhabitants or 25 percent of the world’s population, generate $64 trillion or about 65 percent of global GDP, and contain 735 million households with an average per capita GDP of $32,000 of which 235 million households will live in cities in the developing world with annual income of more than $20,000.
Thus new government was supposed to plan for positioning Pakistani cities according to this report to become engines of growth rather than juggernauts of arrested development. However in the name of anti-encroachment drive, thousands of houses and shops in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and other major cities have been demolished. This drive is going on only against poor people who have no place to live or do business. Nobody is touching Bani Galla or Bilawal House or properties of other elites. So this should be immediately stopped as using this drive apart from destruction, officers and high-up’s of KMC, KDE, SBCA or other bodies in other cities are asking millions of rupees as bribe. Hence this operation has opened another gate of corruption.
Now coming to drive against corruption in his address to the Constituent Assembly, the nation’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah had termed “corruption to be among the biggest curses” in a society.
However to deal it requires system of accountability for all without any discrimination. But sending Zardari or Nawaz Sharif in jail is not enough as sooner they would come out but what about those poor’s who are in prisons for many years just for stealing something to satisfy their hunger. So without having a system of speedy justice for all, with accountability for all, we cannot eradicate corruption from our society.
Chairman Centre of Advisory Services for Islamic Banking and Finance (CAIF), former Head of FSCD SBP, former Head of Research Arif Habib Investments and Member IFSB Task Force for development of Islamic Money Market, former Member of Access to Justice Fund Supreme Court of Pakistan.