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User Name: Dr.Maqsood
Full Name: Dr. Maqsood Jafri
User since: 19/Nov/2011
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Martial Law Regime or Civil Government in Pakistan


By:  Dr. Maqsood  Jafri (New York)


No lover of democracy can imagine to support martial law regime or praise the atrocious mode of undemocratic rule. In Pakistan we have seen four martial laws. Now we have the democratic government of the PPP in Pakistan. There are some overt and covert powers that, from the very inception of the government of the PPP, are trying to finish this government. It is the democratic right of the opposition parties to criticize the policies of the government, but it must not lose temperance and sense. In the advanced democratic societies, the criticism on the government by the opposition parties is a positive and healthy omen. The aim is to guide the government for the betterment of the people and country. This criticism is like critic game. You knock out your opponents by balling. You cannot win by tempering the ball.


 But, unfortunately, in the underdeveloped countries, people do their best to temper the ball and oust the opponent team by foul methods. Like fair and foul game, we have fair democracy and foul democracy. In USA, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Australia, and Scandinavia, we have fair democracy. In most of the Asian and African countries, there is either monarchy or militarism. In some countries, like India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Bangladesh, and Malaysia, we have democracy, but it is foul democracy. I have not used the term fake democracy for these countries. It is with a purpose. These countries are in the offing and are passing the phase to reach the advanced and mature democratic system. We must praise their process as they are in the infancy of the development. We must not abandon democracy in these counties and on the pretext of bad governance, we must not impose martial laws.


 Once, Mr. Winston Churchill, the prime minister of Britain, was asked the remedy for bad democracy. He presented the panacea by saying, "More democracy." What he meant was not to halt the democratic process but to promote it more. We also need that in Pakistan.


In Pakistan, the military and the civil intelligence agencies always maneuver to fail the democratic process. They repose the reason that the civil government has failed to function. Actually, these agencies do their best to weaken the civil governments. To replace the civil governments and usurp the power, they in clandestinely make and break the governments. The question arises as to why these agencies do such unconstitutional act. The simple answer is that these agencies want power. When they get power, they are the masters of their fortunes.They want absolute power. William Shakespeare had aptly said, "The power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Nobody could challenge the absolute power of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq and Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf. Whoever opposed them were lashed and imprisoned.


 General Zia lingered his rule by involving Pakistan in Afghan war. He had the sole authority to do that. He served the American purpose to defeat the Soviet Union. It was absolutely the internal issue of the Afghanis. Russia would have never intervened and infiltrated its army in Afghanistan, had General Zia-ul-Haq not intervened in Afghanistan. He did that with the collaboration of Saudi Arabia and threw Pakistan in fray. It is my considered opinion that General Zia-ul-Haq, just to linger his unconstitutional rule, unnecessarily made the change of the Afghan government the issue of Islam and communism. It was General Zia-ul-Haq who  fanned the flames in the region and got America also involved.


America had to jump in to the fray of fight on the Russian aggression created by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. America is also in big trouble because of the folly of Muslim hardliners. The reign of terror and religious extremism was leashed on us once for all. Similarly, the other military dictator General Pervaiz Musharraf, after the tragic incident of 9/11 in America, involved Pakistan in the war on terror. It is said that there were nineteen hijackers who attacked the American economic and military installations. They were all Arab Muslims. There was not a single Pakistani involved in it.


 Then why did the Secretary of  the American State Department Mr. Collin Powell phone the president of Pakistan and threaten to make Pakistan a dump of debris throwing it into the dark age, if not succumbed to the American policies? Why did General Pervaiz Musharraf stoop so low to kiss his feet? Why did he entangle Pakistan in the war of terror that had nothing to do with Pakistan? It all happened because he was not answerable to the Pakistani nation and there was no parliament to debate the issue. Now there is a democratic government in Pakistan. The NATO forces have attacked on a Pakistani military picket. Nearly 26 Pakistani military men have been martyred. The USA president Mr. Barack Obama and the State Department have apologized and expressed deep regrets on this mishap regarding it an unintentional error of the assaulters. But the rage of the Pakistani nation is unsurmountable. The present government of the PPP has taken a firm stand and condemned the NATO attack on our military check post.


Under the public pressure, the government refused to heed the request of the UAE foreign minister about the Shamsi Airbase. President Asif Ali Zardari very clearly told the UAE foreign minister that he could not honor his request to vacate the Shamsi airbase as it was the decision of the defense committee of the parliament. Had there been any general ruling over Pakistan, he could have never even imagined to overturn the request of the UAE and ask the American troops to vacate the airbase within fifteen days. The people ask the government to withdraw support to the USA and NATO in this war of terror. They say that Pakistan has unnecessarily suffered the most in this war. In the attack on the New York Trade Center, 3500 people had died, while in this war on terror, thirty-five thousand civilians and five thousand military members of Pakistan have been killed. The nation asks for what purpose it is sacrificing. America asks us to do more and more. What more? To kill our own civilians as America is killing our innocent civilians by Drone attacks violating international law. We are not terrorists. We have nothing to do with terrorism.


 Let the USA face this issue, and Pakistan must pull her out from this gamut. Besides the religious hardliners, the leaders of moderate political parties such as Mian Nawaz Shariff and Imran Khan also demand to sever all ties with the USA on the matter of terrorism. America and Pakistan must cool mindedly discuss the issues keeping the strategic interests of each other. Pakistanis feel that America is supporting and strengthening India against China, but India is an arch enemy of Pakistan and is supporting anti-Pakistan groups in Sindh and Baluchistan.  America will have to be involved to get the Kashmir issue resolved amicably in the light of the UN resolution if she wants to win the heart of the Pakistanis and seek their help to end terrorism. By supporting India, American can never make any positive image in Pakistan. 


It must be decided for once and for all as how to trap the dragon of martial law in Pakistan. Why do the civil governments always feel threatened by martial law? Why do some politicians, like Peer Pagharoo, and some political analysts and the columnists invite the army to intervene? The answer is very clear. These people have no roots in the masses. They want to share power through back doors. They desire, dream, and demand the government of the technocrats, so that they can have the lions' share. These people belong to the elite class and have no interest in change or revolution. They are the people of status quo. The Supreme Court should take the suo moto action against all such rogues who invite the army for coup. Now the question arises as to what is the way to stop the menace of martial law. The four martial laws in Pakistan have tarnished the image of Pakistan army in the eyes of the people.


They say that the generals are involved in loot and plunder. Instead of winning the battle on Kashmir, the Pakistani army wins occupying the Prime Minister House. It is a very sad saga. People have lost their faith in army. It was Mustafa Khar who, during exile from London, had given the statement against General Zia that he would come back to Pakistan sitting on the Indian tanks. Whether it is a true or false story, the idea behind was not hatred for Pakistan, but intense sloth for the military ruling junta. Today, it is said that Hussain Haqqani, the ambassador of Pakistan in the USA, had played a pivotal role in the framing of the Lugar-Karry Bill for Pakistan in which he got inserted some hard conditions for Pakistan army to remain in shirts. It is also said that he asked a Pakistani business man Ijaz Munsure to write a letter to the American Army Chief against the role of Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence(ISI).


 This issue is a hot and sensitive issue and is much debated in the electronic and print media of Pakistan. It is now in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, so it is better not to be discussed any further for whimsical or political judgement. We must not score the points on this sensitive issue. But in the USA, people have different views on this matter. Some say that as Hussain Haqqani had written a book From Mosque to Military and had sarcastically condemned the role of the hardliner clerics and the involvement of the ISI in the politics of Pakistan; the ISI maneuvered to trap him through a man who has been writing against the role of ISI in Pakistani politics and war on terror. This man cunningly involved Hussain Haqqani just by making him some calls and discussing such sensitive matters on telephone.  But there is no shred of doubt in it that Hussain Haqqani had been very vocal against the religious hardliners, the terrorists, and the role of the ISI in the politics of Pakistan. Some Pakistanis who have soft corner for the religious extremists brand him as an American ambassador of Pakistan in America.


 It is not only Hussain Haqqani but numberless Pakistanis residing in the USA who have been humiliated by the Americans after the event of May 2, 20011, when Osama bin Laden,the most wanted man by America was killed in Abbotabad, Pakistan. The Americans ask them the question, "Was it with the help of the ISI that Osama was hidden in a safe house of ISI or was it without its knowledge?" They say that if it was with the connivance of the ISI, then it means that ISI is playing double game and why should America depend on Pakistan to eliminating the terrorists and continue funding Pakistan. Recently, some American senators have raised their voices against the financial aid to Pakistan. And if it was not in the knowledge of the ISI, then this agency is not worth a penny. What can it share with us at intelligence level, if it was uninformed about the most wanted terrorist in the world?  These are very serious queries to be answered. As the government of Pakistan has set a commission headed by Justice Javed Iqbal, the former Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, let us wait for the report of the commission.


Every Pakistani patriot would bear me out that calling India or America  to interfere in the internal matters of Pakistan is tantamount to a treason against the country. It is intolerable for every Pakistani to present Pakistan in a platter to alien forces. Of course, it is a treason and the treason makers must be punished according to the law of the state. But we will have to decipher between treason and opinion. If a person invites any foreign country to invade his country or harm the state by any step, it is a treason. Any planning against the state is treason. But if you propose or opine on the deplorable democratic situation of your country and ask the donor countries to make sure that the funds are properly used and no undemocratic force smothers or suffocates the people by using the donated funds, is it a treason? When the generals violate the constitution and usurp the power, is it not a treason? 


 Let the supreme court first declare the exact definition of treason. I would love to see the traitor hanged. How can any imminent threat of martial law in Pakistan be stopped? Instead of asking India, America, or any other country to intervene, I have a few suggestions to stop the imposition of martial law forever. First, If some general imposes martial law, the Supreme Court should declare it unconstitutional and order the army to go back to the barracks. Further, the Supreme Court should announce capital punishment for the martial law administrator in the light of the article number 6 of the Pakistan constitution. The previous track record of the Supreme Court in the case of General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervez Musharraf is very bleak and sorrowful. Second, when General Pervaiz Musharraf returns to Pakistan, he and his corp commanders should be tried in the Supreme Court and punished per law requirement. I even suggest that the people who served with General Zia-ul-Haq as governors, ministers, and corp commanders must be taken to task. Their properties should be confiscated and they be jailed so that in the future no general ever dares to impose martial law.


Third, when martial law is imposed by a click of generals, all military and civil officials should boycott and refuse to attend their offices by the time the martial law is uplifted. Fourth, all civil society activists such as lawyers, students, journalists, teachers, and business community should come on the roads and demonstrate against the army rule. Fifth, all political parties should unite and give the public call for civil disobedience till the end of martial law. Previously, the political parties played a very dirty role. In the enmity of each other, they under-the-table supported the martial laws.


Sixth, all Pakistani ambassadors abroad should refuse to cooperate with the martial law government and the Pakistanis living abroad should stage sit-ins and demonstrate in front of the Pakistani embassies till the end of martial law. If these measures are taken, I am confident that no Pakistani sane general will ever dare to impose martial law in Pakistan and there will be no need of the unwanted statements of Mustafa Khar and the insinuations of Hussain Haqqani. Let us live and die for our beloved country and run it constitutionally crusading for our cherished goal to make Pakistan a moderate, democratic, progressive, and modern welfare state.

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