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Editorial: The Messiah Returns

Editorial:January 2013

The Messiah Returns

Dr.Rasheed Hasan Khan

A new year is a harbinger of new hopes but in Pakistan, sadly, of new fears too.

The people of Pakistan hope for an end to mindless homicide, ethnic, religious, political or purely criminal. An end to religious bigotry and extremism and the hatred and violence it engenders.

The people hope for an end to poverty and worsening living conditions.

The people hope for a real Democracy that solves the economic, political and social problems of the country and not merely a ritual of casting a ballot every five years.

The people hope for freedom from internal oppression and foreign domination and exploitation in all its forms.

Above all the people hope to be able to live a life of freedom, dignity and honor.

The vagaries of Pakistan’s political process has given rise to anomalies that defy description. Military and civil bureaucracy succeeded in establishing an authoritarian rule for a major portion of about 65 years of national life. Civilian political rule, also labeled erroneously as “Democracy” has remained an interregnum, when military regimes faltered and failed.  Civilian governments have remained unstable, afflicted with maladministration and corruption. On the other hand, no Military Regime can claim to be exempt from the charge of corruption and maladministration too. When all is said and done, it is perhaps a matter of quantity rather than quality that differentiates the dysfunction of Civilian from the military regimes. This, however, does not eliminate the culpability of civilian governments or the political parties that constitute them. But bashing political parties and politicians has been a feature of mass entertainment and national culture as far as public  memory goes. This is not a chance happening, it is an important part of the civil and military bureaucracy and often times Imperialism’s war of ideas to hamstring the other aspirant in the contest for state power.

In the past the modus- oprendi for regime change was relatively simple. This time around there has developed a complexity and finesse in tactics. The much vaunted Arab Spring has now become the template for future destabilization in other parts of the world. Now that the dust has nearly settled in the Middle East and North Africa, one can see the true picture- the vast divide between slogans given to agitate the masses in the Arab Spring and the current emergent reality.

The Sheik from Canada with the curious cap has appeared on the political scene of Pakistan after a self exile in Canada of about five years, like a Messiah. He possesses an incredible, almost magical recipe for Revolution and Social change, to take effect in twenty days!! There are many imponderables in this situation that make the whole thing rather surreal. Everyone who is aware of the ground realities in Pakistan is aware of the inefficiency and corruption of the present government and the deficiencies and defects of the system of bourgeois democracy itself as well as the oppression in an unjust class society.  The moot question here is the correctness of the tactics adopted by the venerable Sheik from Canada. The people can only say, “God save Pakistan from its friends, it can handle its enemies by itself “

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