In the history of our region, the middle of twentieth century is of vital importance. Maps of the world were redrawn during this period. After the Second World War, British rule was about to end around the globe. In order to maintain its dominance, natural integrity of numerous regions was deliberately compromised. Departure of the British imperialism from the subcontinent was attributed to three major factors: internal weakening of imperialist hold, international geopolitics and the independent movements organized by the natives against tyrannous and unjust British rule.
Pakistan came into existence on the night of 15th August, 1947. Government of Pakistan issued a memorial ticket on 9th July, 1948 on which Pakistan’s Independence Day was stated as 15th August but later on it was declared to be 14th of August. Without going into the trivial debate of the actual date of creation of Pakistan, let us spend some time in analyzing why are we still unable to reap the fruits of independence. We must think about the key factors present behind the harsh reality that we are still a third world nation and are facing a downward slide in all sectors pertaining to human life.
One very simple approach to carry out a realistic analysis of Pakistani society starting from 1947 would be to identify the factions that have gained financially and have benefitted from phenomenal growth of their personal fortunes. Similarly, we should also identify those groups that are facing perennial poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease and shortage of basic necessities.
Pakistan is one of the few unfortunate countries of the world where personal businesses of politicians have achieved phenomenal growth and their progress is presented as a role model for others in the corporate world. Their businesses are spread across the globe and they have transferred trillions of rupees in foreign banks. Politics for them is nothing more than a tool to expand their business empires by influencing and exploiting the weaknesses of our legal and investigative systems. Education and bringing-up of their children along with their long-term life plans are based in foreign countries. They come to Pakistan just to rule and then return to their safe havens in Dubai or London when their rule is over. Last year, 400 billion rupees were invested by Pakistanis in real estate business of Dubai. Who owns majority of these investments is an open secret to all.
In our country, businesses related to human necessities like flour, sugar, electricity, poultry, dairy, steel, fuel, real estate and transport are mostly owned by our politicians and other top officials. They have monopolized these sectors and define the rules of business according to their personal benefits while completely ignoring the welfare of general public. History of legislation passed in our assemblies is a clear indication of the priorities of our ruling class. All laws are made and implemented to serve the interests of corporations and feudal lords. No legislation has been done to improve the quality of life of common man.
Politicians, advisors, ministers, members of the parliament, civil and military bureaucracy, industrialists, feudal lords and stock exchange brokers are tied in strong knots forming an evil nexus just to ensure their class interests and personal progress. There are about 80 sugar mills in Pakistan; out of those, more than 60 belong to politicians and their close relatives—just take the example of our “Shareef” rulers, “Chaudhary” politicians, a former president of Pakistan and a religious cleric who happens to be heading a religio-political party. All of themhad nominal backgrounds and small scale businesses before coming into politics. After coming into power, not only did their personal businesses flourished but their family members and friends also enjoyed unprecedented growth. Two major parties of our political spectrum have come to power numerous times and have set records of corruption at global scale during their so called “democratic” tenures. Leadership of these political parties has fixed their turns of coming into power and has camouflaged its joint venture of corruption in the attractive name of “reconciliation” to deceive public opinion. Due to the increasing awareness of common man, these political parties are losing their popularity and relevance day by day and their future seems very bleak. Consequently, different factions of this elite class are now joining an emerging political party in order to attain power and protect their interests. Last year, shallow rhetoric and false hopes were presented to the nation in the name of justice and change during the sit-in in Islamabad which proved to be nothing more than a folly and an illusion.
Approximately 80% of the total wealth earned in Pakistan during the last four decades has been earned through political influence, abuse of authority and illegal means. Major portion of this wealth has been accumulated in the hands of political and bureaucratic giants. Luxury cars, shopping malls, elite housing schemes and five star hotels are also owned by these political leaders and retired or serving officials. All this is happening at a time when the middle and lower classes of the society are extremely backward in terms of political and economic rights, social and legal status and education facilities.
In the present exploitative arrangement, benefits of governance are reaped by few thousand parliamentarians, leaders of religious and ethnic parties and their allies in different business sectors. In short, we can say that present Pakistani politics and system of governance is an imperialistic setup in which political parties safeguard global corporate interests. On this auspicious occasion of Independence Day, there is a dire need to gain awareness of the fact that the exploitative forces are the biggest hindrance in the progress and autonomy of our country. Interests of this elite class are totally opposite to the welfare of vast majority of common people. Loss of one is the gain of the other and vice versa. In order to develop a system of collective betterment and social justice, it is mandatory to get rid of dominance and supremacy of this class through conscientious and collective effort.