True Face of Pakistan

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Muhammad Arif
Muhammad Arif: Chairman Centre of Advisory Services for Islamic Banking and Finance (CAIF), Former Head of FSCD SBP, Former Head of Research ArifHabib Investments and Member IFSB Task Force for development of Islamic Money Market, Former Member of Access to Justice Fund Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Day of independence has been commemorated on the 14th August along with day of ongoing struggle in Kashmir.

During these days time and again assurance has come from Military that they are behind ongoing democracy in Pakistan and would provide practical support in its day to day rule. However to some independent analyst’s this also indicates weakness of the PTI elected government?  Hence more attempts are needed to restore respect of each institution in Pakistan including Military.

Any Government in Pakistan whether formed by any political party in sole majority or in coalition has to take steps to resolve issues pertaining to political and economic issues of the country. But this goes with issues pertaining to foreign relations and  law and order situation in the country. For this all the stakeholders have to sit together whether in parliament or outside the parliament to formulate policies and then to implement them.

Pakistan in fact is land of Indus Basin, historically. Its civilization goes back to Taxila and Harappa Mohenjo-Daro and even to Stone Age. It is the land that remained under steps of invaders attacking India time to time. It is the land that turned back the wave of Alexander the Great back to Greece however he died before reaching his parent country. It is the land that has the well built irrigation system in the world. So basically Pakistan has remained agriculture country for ever, the commodity which is going to be scarce in the coming future of the world.

It is the land where many religious leaders like Hazrat Data Ganj Buksh, Hazrat Waris Shah, Hazrat Lal Shabaz Qalandar, Hazrat Kawaka Farid and many others have resided. It is the land of Baba Buleh Shah whose poetry is now catching hearts of every one in the world whether Muslims or others.

Hence culturally and by products, Pakistan is a rich country but what went wrong in the last seventy years. Our ancestors who created Pakistan were right in creating this country as they created Pakistan in areas that were densely populated with Muslims otherwise by numbers more Muslims were present in Hindu dominated India. Unfortunately most of the religious Parties opposed Pakistan at that time but now they have become the patron in chief of Pakistan pushing back the actual purpose of creating Pakistan. The purpose of Pakistan was not to turn it in to a Jahadi State to conquer Lal Qillah or to conquer Moscow but to create a state where Muslims can live in peace with prosperity.

Hence its first task is to fight against this mind set. Now military who was blamed previously for creating terrorist and MQM like groups in 1980,s era (Ziaul Haq) is itself saying that enough is enough. The time has now come to demolish these groups for ever that have killed thousands of soldiers and more than 80 000 civilians for no fault of their own. The presence of Taliban and their associated groups in Pakistan has deprived it from foreign investment that is highly needed for its energy projects i.e. the topmost challenge to the government.

The second challenge is to fight against corruption that has infiltrated from upper to all levels. You take any institution, it is full of mafias, estate brokers, and bribe takers all have links with criminals. For that getting away from Zardari and Nawaz Sharif rhetoric, every institution needs to be completely overhauled. That includes Judiciary, Politicians, Military, Beuracaracy and Business community. For that different laws are needed to be amended and their procedures for their implementation. This is not any easy task as every body has its arguments in its favor. For instance Business community that advocates much on Qarazae Hasna and Zakat like arrangements always gets away from tax payments on different arguments.

In fact if we define corruption in context to Pakistan than every one who earns Rs 5 lac in a year falls in this category. Remaining 95% who remains low to this level are often blamed corrupt as well but factually they are the victim of corruption and not corrupt.

Now coming to extremist groups who are trying to get their votes in the name of Islam and linguistic basis or using mosques for their gatherings should revisit their past behaviors. Factually they have always played role of B team with Martial Law governments in turning Pakistan in to a Security State rather than a welfare State that Islam always says. They remained part of the governments but never played role in legislation of rule according to Islam as they always demand. Even Islamic Ideology Council a constitutional body has played no role in implementation of Islam in Pakistan. In MMA government in PKP, in 2002 to 2008, they handed over most of the land of province to those elements that do not recognize Pakistan and its constitution. What did their remnants in PKP in Swat did at that time? Demolished schools, married girls of less than majority age and firing at girls like Malala. These parties have used name of Islam for their business and to live in their centers. In spite of this, in Democracy they always get equal rights to go to the public and request for the votes. This is the fruit of democracy that provides equal opportunities to all.

After one year we still don’t know how the new alternate in the shape of Imran Khan would emerge. To most of serious population in Pakistan he has not remained up to the mark in spite of his fast moving speeches and gatherings. Still he has not got out of myopia of captaining Pakistan cricket team whereas politics is a different ball game. Here some time every body wins and sometime loose, whereas in cricket one has to loose. The language and slogans coined by him show that in politics he is still a toddler like saying “Uppar Allah neechay Ballah”.

To gather some corporate people or an ex Foreign Minister and an ex finance Minister of Zradari era are not proving useful as in Qureshi time Pakistan allowed Drone attacks and he  used to snap with Hilary Clinton showing his closeness with her. These people are now aides of Imran Khan. This arrangement is not going to lead him towards any success as Pakistan has now bracketed in to US India and Israel coalition. They are now putting pressure on Pakistan regarding its stand in ongoing struggle in Kashmir. Even Saudi Arabia the most respected Islamic Country has now become the biggest investor in India.

Pakistan is a country of 200 million people with GDP size of 320 billion dollars having a burden of Government Debt to the size of Rs 35,094 billion having Debt to GDP ratio of 91.0% (whereas by law it cannot go above to 60 % of GDP) . Its geographical location makes him highly important and its multinational population makes him highly difficult to rule and govern. This can not be handled by a person of a Nursery class mentality. This requires immense maturity and flexibility. Coming years are going to provide this opportunity to Imran Khan to shape himself according to country needs and to know about true face of the country.

But all these efforts require continuity of democratic setup, unity among all stakeholders including Government and opposition and these are the clues to get out of ongoing crisis of Pakistan in the best interest of its people.

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