Tag Archives: Musharrf

The blurred vision of Imran Khan – Promising to end corruption in 90 days smacks more of autocracy than democracy

Eliminating corruption in 90 days

By Raza Rumi

Excerpts;

….  Much has been said about the great Khan’s sympathies for the militants who are resisting ‘America’s war’ in our region. Never mind that they also kill Pakistanis, attack mosques, shrines and funerals and are in bed with a global ideology that wants to decimate the ‘un-Islamic’ Pakistani state. The odd relationship between the PTI and the self-declared defenders of Pakistan — the ragtag Islamist parties, ex-servicemen and known terrorists — has also been highlighted. I will not dwell on these issues as several commentators have indicated the dangers of this populist discourse and the larger, intrinsic relationship between populism and authoritarianism.

My real worry is that Mr Khan is yet to offer an alternative agenda. His charisma, cricket connection, philanthropic record and the use of social media are at work. When it comes to policy, the plan ahead is almost farcical. Haven’t we heard of elimination of corruption in 90 days before? Corruption, as a slogan, has been used by almost every Pakistani government to undermine political opponents. As early as the 1950s, laws to disqualify politicians were enacted.

The 1990s saw the military establishment orchestrate a ridiculous anti-corruption charade. Nawaz Sharif’s second tenure had a Himmler-wannabe as the chief of accountability, who turned anti-corruption efforts into medieval witch-hunts. Former President General Pervez Musharraf’s illegitimate rule was welcomed by the same urban middle classes, which now cheer for Imran Khan to eliminate the ‘corrupt’, old guard politicians.

Tackling corruption is not a 90-day job, for it will only result in high-powered accountability operations stuck in a dysfunctional legal system. It is a medium to long-term process involving restructuring of institutions — laws, formal and informal rules and conventions — which shape societal interaction and determine state behaviour. Pakistani politics and economics are defined by the military’s hegemony. The biggest expenditure items — defence and debt servicing — are virtually unaccountable. Has Mr Khan thought about these issues or will these disappear through ‘moral legitimacy’ — another wooly construct cited like a totem. ‘Clean’ civilians will make the khakis give up power. One has to live in wonderland to accept such postulates as even half-credible. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

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Zardari sub pey bhari..

By Omar Ali

Asif Ali Zardari’s astounding survival as President of Pakistan is captured well in this poem by Mohammed Ayub (Punjabi, with English translation).

A friend’s comment on this topic:

In an established liberal democracy, Zardari would never have come to power and probably would have been convicted. But so would be Nawaz Sharif. So would many associates of Musharraf and of Zia ul Haq. But I think one should give credit to Zardari where it is due. He was an accidental president but the way he handled himself and led his party after Benazir was killed was impressive. He tried hard to make a coalition with Sharifs and respected other political parties’ sphere. This tolerance of dissent was unprecedented in Pakistani politics. His biggest mistake was that he frittered away the good will by opposing the lawyers movement. His biggest achievement is the 18th amendment which if implemented fully will demolish the unitary centralised state. His failures are many but there are many others who bear MORE responsibility for those failures. If the economy has tanked, this should be laid at the door of our asinine generals who are responsible for the civil war that their trainees have started and the grandstanding they never tire off. I will sympathetic to Zardari because he is being singled out for failures that are not of his making in addition to his own. failures.
My own comments: I have a soft spot for budnaam Zardari. I wish he was just one shade less corrupt and his team was one shade more competent (and I REALLY wish he didnt have a team led by Babar Awan and Rahman Malik), but he is not the root of all evil. He has compromised with everyone including the army and does not deserve the endless invective against him….its like every corrupt and incompetent person in Pakistan (a nation built on corruption, like so many others) likes to think all problems will be solved if THIS incompetent and corrupt person leaves….and his foreign policy is orders of magnitude superior to the BS that flows out of GHQ. In fact, for decades GHQ has managed its domestic dominance by staying in a state of near-war and kidnapping and killing people for trying to undermine that narrative and here is someone who says let us trade and do business and just give me my cut…I think that is not ideal, but its superior to GHQ’s version of maintaining control… I am sure there are many many stories of projects shelved because capitalists dont want to meet his demands for money and prefer to wait till Uncle Jimmy and his friends in GHQ are back in full power…When the person in charge is from outside the main elite circle, his demands for an excessive cut do look painfully unfair …and maybe he IS too greedy and asks for more than Uncle Jimmy.. but his (President Asif Zardari’s) survival would be better for Pakistan than another coup or “behind-the-scenes-coup”..
And of course, the obligatory comment from Khalid Ahmed.
Courtesy » Brown Pundits