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 Author » Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D. » You’re currently reading “Pakistan: Towards Understanding the Challenges of Political Change and Future-Making”5 August 2018

Pakistan: Towards Understanding the Challenges of Political Change and Future-Making

Imran Khan

[Photo: Imran Khan by Jawad Zakariya.]

By Mahboob Khawaja, PhD.Editor’s NoteOn July 25th, the people of Pakistan voted to break from the historically corrupt slate of candidates and voted in Imran Khan as Prime Minister. Khan is a retired cricket star who was not known for his team work, but that is a skill he will desperately need if he is to shift Pakistan onto a new track. While the people have voted, the power centers in the country are not being graceful losers. Instead, there have been credible threats against his life. Further, his party did not capture enough seats to control the parliament. Khan will need the continued participation and pressure of the people, as well as the skills of a seasoned statesmen, to steer Pakistan in a different direction.

Are the New National Elections a Prelude to Change?

People have spoken out loud and quite logically, Imran Khan is the elected candidate to lead a futuristic system of political governance. To discard the incurable resentment against the former indicted criminals turned politicians, the people of Pakistan have rejected them at the ballot box. The July 25 national elections under a caretaking non-partisan government were a history-making event in Pakistan. Had this happened some sixty years earlier, Pakistan could have been a leading model of democratic norms, social and economic cohesion and political stability for other nations in Southwest Asia. Instead, the so called Pakistani politicians – former neo-colonial landlords – were masters of lies and deception; inept and greedy egomaniacs who stole time and opportunities from the young and educated generations. They robbed the people of the opportunity to foster political change and productivity that would make Pakistan a stable nation.  While other progressive nations of the world encouraged participation and paved favorable opportunities to enlist an educated and intelligent generation of youth, Pakistani political leaders were naïve, indifferent, and guilty of plunging the nation into a moral and intellectual abyss.  None of the Islamic parties appear to have any worthwhile activism in the outcome of the elections. Have they succumbed to be impotent for the future?

Imran Khan, the newly elected would be Prime Minister wants to build a New Pakistan – a highly promising ideal and slogan under unusual political circumstances.  Pakistan desperately needs a new constitution and a new political system of governance, to advance a socio-economic and political integration between all the culturally diverse people in Punjab, Baluchistan, Pakhtoonva and Sindh. Pakistanis lost East Pakistan to India and surrendered in 1971 because they were foolish, corrupt and leaderless. The national integration, security, end to foreign aid and strategic cooperation, and political cohesion of the country must assume priorities over other major policy agendas.  To dispel history’s malicious ironies, Imran Khan will need to widen the scope of his thinking and strategic planning to encompass the prevaling political realities of Pakistan. Khan should be open to listening and learning all the time.

What Needs to be Changed?

Nothing is normal in today’s Pakistan.  Institutionalized corruption is a favorite perversion to attract people’s support for new ideals of change and anti-corruption psychology.  Most indicted criminals like Nawaz Sharif, Bhuttos, Zardrai – all wanted to serve the noble ideals of political fairness, honesty, socio-economic stability, human rights and law and justice. The problem was, none of them had such qualities in their own lives and characters. How could they have given to others what was not part of their own life and possessions? One cannot combine wickedness and righteousness in one human character.  To make Imran Khan comparatively a credible candidate for genuinely soft approaches to articulate a new and sustainable combination of cultural thinking, ideals and strategies for a New Pakistan, it is imperative Mr. Khan must know and fully comprehend the nature and scope of the sickness that continued for decades to rob the nation of its due opportunities for change and future-making. He needs to understand that there has been a deliberate  pillaging to the wealth and potential of Pakistan, and this has resulted in massive destruction of the socio-economic, moral, intellectual and political infrastructures of the nation. None of the former criminals were punished visa-a-vis their crimes against the nation. Mr. Khan does have first–hand knowledge and observations of lot of such accumulated pillage over the decades..

Mr. Khan appears to be patriotic person with immense know-how and abilities; however, he must realize rebuilding a nation is not an individual task but requires the collective efforts of wide range of thinkers, intellectuals, planners and expertise to work as a team and undertake proactive progressive assignments from top to bottom, not the other way in Pakistan. The dishonesty underlying Pakistan’s political landscape is nothing new or unknown.  Allow this conscientious author to ask: WHO IS NOT CORRUPT IN PAKISTANI POLITICS?   If you get a chance to read “Pakistan: Enigma of Change” (series of articles -1999 onward in Media Monitors Network, USA), and “Pakistan: Leaders who could not Lead” (10/2007, Media Monitors Network, USA;  “Pakistan: Leaders who stabbed the Nation”, 2010;  “Pakistan : Anatomy of Turbulent 68th Independence Day”, “Pakistan in Quest of Navigational Change” (2014), by this author, you should have no rational problem understanding the realities of today’s sadistic politics of Pakistan.

Towards the Imperatives of Change and Reconstruction

For over 70 years, Pakistan had no viable system of political governance corresponding to the moral, intellectual and political genius of the masses. The ruling elite and the people lived in conflicting time zones generating wide gulfs of mistrust, worsened by foreign influence, corruption, military dictators, and disdainful politicians lacking a sense of honesty and accountability.  They were deaf to reason and lacked a conscience necessary to serve the public good. How do you change such a filthy and stinking piles of socio-political culture whereby all the well known thugs and criminals have looted the resources, lifelines and positive energies of the people just for their own good?  Mr. Khan must face the existing realities to THINK of the future or he will become part of the piled garbage – a junk history of the nation. He must enlarge the scope of proactive thinking and enlist people of knowledge, intellect moral and professional caliber and those without any stains on their conscience to help him carve a beginning for a new future.  He must be careful not to include any pathological liars and interlocutors who were part of darkest chapters of Pakistan’s contemporary history. In parliamentary governance, Imran Khan with 115 seats at the National Assembly would require 22 more elected members to have 137 numbers for a political governance. There should be no horse-trading if he is to successfully enact an innovative strategy to build a New Pakistan.  It will be imperative to put all those egoistic rulers of the past out of business. Their cumulative dishonesty underlying the failure of politics was clear and obvious.  Perhaps, educated and intelligent Pakistanis living abroad could be more helpful to Imran Khan if he is serious about developing a New and people-oriented 21st century democratic Pakistan. Often historical errors of judgment and mistakes are irretrievable. If truth and logic has its place in the future-making of New Pakistan, it must have a new Constitution, Presidential system of political governance, a non-partisan strong community of law and justice, retrained elite in the civil services, independent foreign policies and constantly changing and progressive strategies to plan for the future and make it happen out of the planned ideas and workable ideals. Experts and intellectuals who deal with future-making must know the weaknesses of  a non-productive socio-economic culture, highly corrupted civil elite and strength of the role of the masses for a durable future.  Nothing will change or happen on its own without any critical thinking and prompt diagnostic action with proper follow-up methods of meeting the end purpose.

To change and enhance political reformation and developing a new presidential form of governance, Imran Khan would urgently need a coalition of well educated, intelligent and honest proactive people of the younger generation to build a foundation of ideas and ideals and workable strategies based on refined plans for future-making. It is apparent that after this highly contested election, the nation will not accept normalcy of having previous indicted thugs, criminals and killers as part of the solution for future-making. Imran Khan must be careful not to indulge in melodramatic claims for the future; it could undermine his political future without making it happen on the ground. He should not rely on party loyalists or other seasonal collaborators, but those enriched with a sense of honesty and an obligation to work as a team and usher in a collective plan of action for change and progressively sustainable results. Political powerhouses must be connected to the thoughts and aspirations of the masses and be of service to them. The corrupting force of foreign aid must be stopped in order to implement a strategy of self-reliance and development of Pakistans own resources and socio-economic strength. Pakistan could be a progressive nation if there is no systematic corruption and if proactive plans for change are implemented honestly to make the difference. Nations are not built by chance or by the few, but by collective thinking and action plan to make the future happen. Then we must monitor its progress continuously with fullest accountability for the policy outcomes. Good judgments and logical pursuits seek rational and balanced strategies to ensure collective progress and accountability, lack of such imperatives eventually find failure, imbalance and treachery to the ideals of nation-building. Given his sense of proclaimed honesty and clean political character, Mr. Imran Khan must know the 21st century requisites of creative and effective leadership and must not allow ego turned into a kind of cancer that could consume the self and indulge in perversion of the challenging realities of Pakistan’s future-making.

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012. His forthcoming book is entitled: One Humanity and The Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution


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