The Bigger Picture
Rasheed Hasan Khan
Pakistan today is again in the grip of a crisis which embraces all aspects of national life and the resulting turmoil has put a question mark on its very viability as a nation. The economic crisis owes its gravity to the crisis in the energy sector as much as to the bad planning and defective IMF prescriptions. Thus, exports have fallen off, un-employment is at an all time high and double digit inflation has made the life of the common man a misery. On the political front, the ruling coalition is involved in a running battle with the judiciary and the military establishment on one hand and among themselves on the other. Though late in the day, the various institutions are struggling to determine their particular spheres of influence. This is inevitable, since the Westminster Model of a democratic setup in the Pakistani scene, is a curious transplant, without the indigenous class formation to support it. The law and order situation has also deteriorated to the extent that entrenched crime is challenging the writ of the government, arms in hand. The procrastinations and political considerations of the government policy and the rampant corruption of the so called ‘law enforcement agencies’ have resulted in greater trials and tribulations for the downtrodden masses. The forces of sectarian hatred, never far from the surface, have emerged once more and are engaged in a homicidal rampage throughout the length and breadth of the country. On the external front, the much vaunted re-evaluation of relations with the U.S. in the light of the Resolution passed by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) has become bogged down in an impasse after the U.S. refused to negotiate on the core issues.
The ground realities of Pakistan today present a very grim picture. Then again, the country has been endemically in the grip of crises, of one kind or another. The modus operandi of the various successive governments in this regard has always been one of applying stop gap solutions and cobbling together ad hoc measures, never one of resolving the problem in a correct scientific way. Therefore, the same problem would crop up after an interval with greater gravity leading to a situation of perpetual crisis. Human society is a complex phenomenon. The various contradictions in a given society must be seen in their generality as well as in their particularity. Failure to do so will result in errors of judgment and failure to resolve the particular contradiction. There is a very apt saying in the English language” not being able to see the wood because of the trees”, this is what ails the ruling classes of Pakistan and the pseudo- reformers and bogus revolutionaries that are in essence a co-opted force of the ruling classes. Therefore you hear the inane and simplistic solutions to our problems in the pronouncements of political leaders and savants that fill the television channels and are broadcast in huge public meetings.
We must determine what is the biggest issue confronting our society this day. Without freedom from the economic, political and military bondage of U.S. Imperialism, we can hope to have neither Peace, nor Democracy nor economic development. The basic cause of crises and turmoil in Pakistan today, lie in the contradictions present in Pakistani society, but this does not preclude the planned aggravation and sharpening of these contradictions to serve the ends of Global Imperialist objectives. It does not need superhuman intelligence to determine the priorities in the political agenda by the various political parties, in view of the ground realities of today. But what is required is a dedication to the cause of the long suffering masses of Pakistan and the determination to achieve freedom, democracy and economic betterment. This is a choice all political forces, all state institutions and all individuals must make for themselves today.