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Political Play
Zulfiqar Shah
Making of modern Pakistan 08 March, 2017
Seventy years journey of Pakistan after creation in 1947 is a dynamic history of social chemistry and state-making process, which has odd and even manifestations. Founded on the basis that Muslim majority states of Indian Subcontinent are a nation, Pakistan was bound to become a moderate country and state.

All India Muslim League (AIML) leader and founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah (M. A. Jinnah) in his first speech to Pakistani legislature said that citizens of all faith are equal to the state of Pakistan. He also said in one of his speech that Pakistan is achieved; however history would decide whether this achievement was appropriate.

Sindh and East Bengal Legislative Assemblies passed resolutions for creating a country of Muslim majority provinces of India. Majority in Sindh, however, later on in 1946 did not voted for AIML. Punjab Legislative Assembly failed to pass a resolution in favor of Pakistan in first attempt. The house required one vote to pass resolution. A Christian Punjabi switched his vote in favor of partition of Punjab and annexation with Pakistan.

It is wrongly claimed by Pakistani historians that idea of Pakistan - Pakistan Resolution -- was conceived and shared by Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal in AIML session. Dr. Iqbal in fact died much before AIML Resolution of 1940. Pakistan got its name by Chaudhry Zafar, an Ahmediya Muslim student. M. A. Jinnah was Shia Khuwaja Ismaili. He married a Parsi woman who never converted to Islam.

Journey of Seventy Years

Pakistan began with dismissal of Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa (then NWFP) Legislative Assembly and government in 1947; a war with India over Kashmir in 1947-1948; dismissal of Sindh government in 1948; and annexation of Balochistan with Pakistan against the decision of Balochistan (Kalat) bicameral Parliament.

India Act of 1935 was de facto Pakistan Constitution until 1950s. In judiciary the pre-1947 law was referred. Term Indian Penal Code was in practice until 1960s. Pakistan-India joint film industry was not partitioned until war of 1965. Fighters of Sindh that took part in Second World War were hanged and kept in the jails until 1960s.

Pakistan underwent disasters since the beginning. Founder of Pakistan, M. A. Jinnah, a Sindhi, could not play a role in the making of Pakistan state. He stayed away from statecraft due to health reasons. He was medically killed. He had acute asthma. His native town Jhirak was having a T. B. Sanitarium and was declared a human settlement suitable most in Sindh for the rehabilitation of T. B. and asthma patients. Jinnah was sent to Ziarat in Balochistan in high altitude mountains highly inappropriate for Jinnah.

Jinnah in fact was born in a home on banks of river Indus in Jhirak village of district Thatta; however Pakistan history wrongly mentions that he was born in Karachi. Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan was also killed immediately after creation of Pakistan. AIML leader and sister of Jinnah, Fatima Jinnah although was titled Mader-e-Milat (mother of the nation), was dubbed an Indian agent and was killed by military ruler Ayub Khan. Ayub Khan initiated polluting Pakistan Army's professional culture and involved it in the politics.

Pakistan in seventy years has no legitimate constitution since the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan was not made by a constitutional assembly. Earlier constitutions were also not by the constitutional assemblies and civilian leadership. Although Pakistan was a federation and came into existence by the union of the federating provinces, the sovereignty of provinces in Pakistan was undone within the federation of Pakistan by in 1960s by ending the existence of the provinces and imposing unitary system; however provinces were recognized again later on. Sindhi, Bengali and Urdu were the languages having a script. Writing and educating in Sindhi and Bengali was not only banned but also made a punishable offense. A punishment was also announced on writing the names of provinces anywhere including name-boards, houses, government buildings, billboards, and postal addresses.

Pakistan broke up in 1971 after civil war in East Pakistan, which is now Bangladesh. This happened during Pakistan-India war of 1971. Pakistan has fought four wars and has also undergone four periods of military rules. First elected Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged. Second elected Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo was humiliated and ousted from government. Third elected Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto could never complete her term, and was killed. Fourth Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was ousted and could not complete his term until 2011. Pakistan has seen insurgencies for secession in Balochistan, East Pakistan (Bangladesh), and Sindh. Since over one decade a secessionist conflict in Balochistan is underway.

Pakistan's foreign policy has never been multi-pronged except the period of 1973-1977. Earlier it was attached with USA and UK. Today it is attached with China and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan carried on as well as internalized the anti-Soviet union model of Mujahidin that was undertaken at the behest of capitalist world led by USA at that time. Pakistan internally has severe threats today of Muslim jihadists and terrorists.

Pakistan has challenges: federal, civil governance, religious extremism and terrorism, and provincial and ethnic sovereignties.

Sovereign Participation in the Federalism

Ethnic monotony of state-building and nonexistence of federative agency have been two major bases due to which Pakistan has been observing internal unrest and non-unity. Since the state institution of Pakistan is having dominant representation of about seventeen Punjabi speaking districts of Punjab, while Sindh, Balochistan and Kyhber Pakhtunkhuwa (KP) are almost non-represented in the state institutions, therefore the federating provinces dissent. Besides, there is lack of federative coordination as well as space in the federal structure of Pakistan, therefore internal strife heightens.

Sovereignty of federating province is not recognized. Punjab protects its borders with India through Pakistan Rangers-Punjab in which Punjabi are majority. About seventeen districts of Punjab are ethnic Siraiki but they are not given adequate share in Pakistan Rangers - Punjab. Pashtuns of Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa (KP) protect their borders with Afghanistan and China through Frontier Constabulary - KP. A small number of Baloch and majority of Pashtuns protect Balochistan borders with Afghanistan and Iran through Frontier Constabulary - Balochistan.

Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Coast Guards in Balochistan is Punjabi. Punjabi protect Sindh border with India through Pakistan Rangers - Sindh. Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Coast Guards in Sindh is Punjabi. Sindhi are nonexistent in Sind Regiment. Sind Regiment yet has to change its name to Sindh Regiment. 'H' in the spelling of Sind Regiment has not been added as yet even after eighteenth constitutional amendment. Baloch Regiment hardly has recruited a few Baloch very recently.

Pakistan Army's other sections does not have Sindhi, Baloch, and Siraiki and to certain extent Pashtun. Similarly Inter-Service-Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) do not have Sindhi and Baloch. Intelligence agencies like Intelligence Bureau (IB) although have a little recruitments of Sindhi and Baloch; however Sindhi and Baloch are not appropriately represented in this third powerful as well as civil intelligence agency of Pakistan.

A true federal Pakistan would be only when Sindhi, Baloch, Siraiki and Pashtun are appropriatly given participation in the security regime of Pakistan. It is important like Punjabis, Sindhi, Baloch and Siraiki have sovereign right to protect their international and provincial borders. A roadmap should be devised in which Sindhi, Baloch, Siraiki and Pashtun should be recruited in Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Coast Guard, Pakistan Rangers- Sindh, Frontier Constabulary - Balochistan and Pakistan Rangers - Punjab. Besides, their recruitment in ISI, MI, IB and FIA should also be initiated.

In the conflicting territories like Balochistan, the warring parties like Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Balochistan Republican Army (BRA) and Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) can be engaged for negotiations and after successful negotiations can be these outfits can be submerged in Balochistan Regiment and other sections of Pakistan Army.

Sindhi, Baloch, Siraiki and Pashtun are under-represented in central / federal civil services. The foreign services of Pakistan hardly have a Sindhi, Baloch, Siraiki and Pashtun employees. Ninety percent overseas employment opportunities are being given to ethnic Punjabi that hail from seventeen districts of Punjab. It is essential that Sindhi, Baloch, Siraiki and Pashtun are given equal opportunities of employment in these departments.

Adequate federal structure does not exist. A Provincial Commissioner should be appointment in Islamabad for fostering center-province relations, who should be housed in mini-provincial establishment called Provincial Houses in Islamabad. Besides, a federal court looking in the matters of center -province issues should also be established.

Before creation of Pakistan there was Sindh Legislative Assembly. Constitutionally these were provincial legislative assemblies, which today are called provincial assemblies for example. Word 'legislative' has been omitted from provincial legislature, which should be revived and legislative powers of the provincial legislature should be enhanced. Provinces should be given further agency to their economy and taxation. Each province should be authorized to engage with the international economic stakeholders for strengthening their economy. This requires enhanced engagement of the provincial governments with the foreign missions.

Economic & Foreign Policy

Pakistan's trade and commercial activities has been skewed during last two decades. A strategic policy should be devised for the continental trade policy that may strengthen Pakistan's economic engagement within Asia. Besides, an economic and financial policy should also be devised for Africa, Europe North and South America, and Australia. On the sidelines of the new trade and commerce based economic approach, a new Industrialization plan also needs to be devised. Pakistan since long has been specifically focusing on the services. Let an integral plan for production / commodity economy be developed and adopted.

Pakistan has exceptional landscape; a history and civilization that annually can attract hundreds of thousands tourists from across the world. This requires peace and internal security. Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab are coastal, reverie and culture - civilization centers. The northern Pakistan and KP landscape is considered equal to what is Switzerland in Europe. This can prove a great economic strength of Pakistan. It will also boost the provincial economies because tourism in provincial subject. Peace and tourism infrastructure is prerequisite for that. Pakistan is already facing internal security threats and is being criticized by the world due to terrorism and religious extremism. Let a new economic development connected with internal security be developed.

Pakistan today faces isolation internationally. A new South Asian policy needs to devise based on peace, economy, development and regional cohesiveness. Simultaneously, a new Asian, European, North and South American, African and Australian policy is also required. This can further be grouped into Central Asian, Asia Pacific, UK, European Union, Eastern Europe, and North American.

Maximum Governance

Keeping population increase versus quality of governance in mind, Pakistan needs to reduce the size of districts, tehsils (sub-districts) and divisions. A district should consist of two tehsils. Two National Assembly constituencies should be carved out of one. Similarly, two Provincial Assembly seats carved out of one. Size of Union Council should be reduced. This will not only further strengthen the representation of people in the governance and their empowerment, it will also materialize governance. Besides, it will also enhance the citizen-civil bureaucracy outreach. Such reforms in the representation and administration would maximize governance and foster development.

Is new Pakistan possible?

Given the chaos, anarchy in the state and international chorus that Pakistan is a failure state, important most question can be, is a modern Pakistan is possible! Let this question be answered by the realities of upcoming time.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
Zulfiqar Shah is a stateless activist, analyst, and researcher. Although he is a refugee, and living a life in exile, he is a born Sindhi and South Asian. Currently he lives in India.
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