12 Oct 2017/Thursday
The latest dethroning of a sitting Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif), through the Supreme Court, on technicalities, unrelated to the actual scandal has cast a shadow on the Democracy of Pakistan. The decision, though considered flawed, and a conspiratorial against the democratic process hasn’t been able to excite enough an ordinary citizens of Pakistan to come out on the streets and resist Pakistan army’s obscene intervention through the judiciary. This says a lot about the effectiveness of Democratic process in Pakistan. Having carefully curated and mastered narrative over many years of power, bestowing itself with unquestionable supra-rights Pak Army has stunted the ability of its citizens to make correct judgements.
While the Army and the judiciary are to be condemned for their roles in derailing democracy, politicians also wear the crown of aiding non-civilian forces against their political rivals. Both Nawaz and Benazir Bhutto toppled each other’s governments in the ’90s with the help of secret aides. And though the two biggest parties have played into the hands of the establishment and signed the famous “Charter of Democracy”, committing themselves to stand by democracy in the country, the Pakistan army managed to outwit them by springing a new player Imran Khan, thus ensuring democracy never takes roots in Pakistan.
Why Pakistani Army cannot accept a democratic Pakistan?
As popularly joked, after partition, while India inherited Army, the Army inherited Pakistan. The architects of Pakistan would have never dreamt that a huge Army much more than the required for the size of Pakistan would be a source of all its future problems. Since the birth of Pakistan, the army has taken it upon itself to act as the sole protector and guarantor of the idea of Pakistan. So much so that only four years after its inception, an unsuccessful coup attempt was made against the first prime minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan. Ever since, Pakistan Army has been ruling the country directly (three successful coup attempts were made in 1958-1971, 1977-1988, 1999-2008) or indirectly.
The idea of Pakistan (Nazaria-e-Pakistan), was and since its inception, has remained in psychological negation of why they are not Indian, why they are not a product of subcontinental culture and values. And this very essence of negation has led it into a negative spiral of denial of history and facts, and imposed upon it a constant struggle to prove that the negation is real. This need for negation, does not encourage its citizens to freely question, doubt and expose themselves to varied ideas so necessary for an individual’s development and nation-building.
The denial of reality has become deeply ingrained in the psyche of an average Pakistani, who considers the Army as panacea of all ills and cannot look beyond that. The Army does not want to lose its self-prescribed role of the saviour and continues to remain the fulcrum of Pakistan as a nation.