Top 10 blunders in Pakistan's history
To recall the past, the history of Pakistan is full of an endless streak of debacles from the very inception. The fragile democratic system, erroneous policies and lack of vision has averted this nation into a direction-less horde. I am writing about the top 10 blunders which had a drastic impact on Pakistan's history.
- From the outset, Pakistan was confronted with challenges of national security, economic well-being and mushrooming influence of the Soviet Union over Afghanistan and Iran. The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaqat Ali Khan, was compelled to cement pro-American ties. It was argued by the strategists that America could provide the economic, military and technical support to a thriving country like Pakistan. As a consequence, Pakistan went into America's camp, whereas, India remained the part of the non-aligned movement.
- Ghulam Muhammad's dismissal of the constituent assembly was the first onslaught on democracy. Speaker Tamizuddin filed a petition in Sindh high court. The high court overturned the decision but the Federal court under Justice Muhammad Munir upheld the dismissal. This judgement was passed under the law of necessity and mutilated the face and jeopardized the process of democracy. This verdict justified the next four martial laws and 'guaranteed' a somber future of Pakistan. This law has been obliterated by the current judiciary.
- One unit scheme was introduced by Muhammad Ali Bogra and Ayub Khan carried on with its implementation and included it in the interim 1962 constitution. The seeds of discontent among East Pakistanis were sowed.
- Separation of East Pakistan left the entire nation traumatized. Bhutto refused to accept Mujeeb's mandate in East Pakistan. The sentiments of national unity had disintegrated. East Pakistanis were among the front line ranks to achieve independence for Pakistan. Rather than alleviating the grievances of East Pakistanis, a relentless military operation was conducted to counter insurgency which further deepened the cracks in the federation and antagonized the Eastern wing. A failure to reach political settlement resulted in Indian military intervention. Pakistan's military was left unfettered to deal with the matter and carried out endless atrocities against East Pakistanis which proved to be the final nail in the coffin.
- Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was imprisoned and later sentenced to death. Military establishment and the flawed judicial system were embroiled in this catastrophe. This changed the dimension of politics in Pakistan, bringing inherent politics and politics of 'martyrdom' at front and burying the ideological politics.
- Zia-ul-Haq's martial law was another ferocious strike on democracy. He concocted the policy of Islamization to win the support of Mujahideens and the Western forces against Communist Russia. He fought a proxy war against Russia in avarice of financial and military aid. Pakistan intruded in Afghanistan, leaving it dismantled and brought the evils of sectarianism, drug mafia and violence in our own country. Pakistan's policy on war on terror destabilized Afghanistan once and for all and we are paying it off.
- Kargil war was Pakistan Army's adventurism which resulted in a defeat. This created a rift between Nawaz Sharif and Pervez Musharraf which ultimately ended up in the enforcement of martial law. Pakistan sought America's help in de-escalating the conflict. Kargil war was an utter disgrace for Pakistan in the world arena. Indo-Pak relations were once again strained and went to its lowest ebb.
- Decisions taken by Musharraf after 9/11 backfired. America asked Pakistan to request Mullah Umer to withdraw his support over Osama Bin Laden. Allegedly, former DG ISI, General Mahmood asked Mullah Umer not to hand over Bin Laden and advised the Americans to negotiate with the Taliban leadership. As a repercussion, military intervention became inevitable. Pakistan's military once again became the mercenaries. In the light of this so-called 'war on terror', 35000 Pakistanis have been killed, resulted in an economic meltdown and the entire social fabric uprooted.
- Musharraf lashed out at the judiciary and sacked the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. He derailed the process of independent and fair judicial system. Meanwhile, National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was passed and political concessions were granted. A strong lawyer's movement struggling for the restoration of judiciary caused Musharraf's doom.
- Out of the blue, Asif Ali Zardari occupied the presidency. Zardari was reluctant in restoring the judiciary. Another movement launched and presided over by Nawaz Sharif reinstated the judiciary. PML-N and PPP deviated from the charter of democracy, depriving the country from political stability, economic revival, peace and prosperity. Zardari wanted immunity over his corruption cases. Government's refusal to implement court orders has disturbed the state's institutional harmony. Zardari gave protection to orphan political parties under the umbrella of 'reconciliation' to stretch his regime. The office of the president demands a neutral personality representing the federation of Pakistan. We are living this blunder and the aftermaths will become vivid after the current tenure.
And the country continues to bleed. A functioning democracy, across the board accountability, revamping the state institutions and paradigm shift from the national security state to a welfare state are the solutions to the woes of Pakistan. We all hope and pray for the best of our beloved motherland.history www.pakpositive.com