“JUSTUJU” / The Quest [Social and Political Philosophies]
Indian Lessons in Good Governance and Democracy: Pakistan has a lot to learn from the recent Indian Experiences
By: Hashim Syed Mohammad Bin Qasim, Riyadh
ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE, the outgoing Indian Prime Minister belonging to Bharatya Janta Party (BJP), summed up a democratic good governance lesson for Pakistani Leaders, when he magnanimously and promptly accepted a Political Defeat in the 14th Lok Sabha Elections, at the hands of the Indian Congress Party.
On the other hand, the largest city of Pakistan, Karachi, saw an exact reverse episode, when the parties defeated by voters, refused to accept the outcome, and shamelessly demanded that “FAUJ”, the Armed Pakistanis in Uniform, help them out and try to reverse the wheel of democracy – an old slogan of Pakistani Islamist Parties, still trying to relive the past political scenarios, that are totally irrelevant in the 21st century.
It was sad to hear the so called Islamist leaders repeat their hackneyed speeches, inciting their workers to adopt illegal and violent means of protest against the bye-elections, in which they were fairly and squarely defeated. It would be a good idea for them to visit India, to study the characteristics of a democratic leadership.
At a time when Pakistan is facing a tough onslaught from universal anti-Islamists, creating internal strife is absolutely un-patriotic and un-democratic. But for these so called Islamists, these words have very narrow meanings and significance. They try to bring the Talibanized thinking and traditions to the most educated and enlightened city of Pakistan, and it results in a continued struggle of “internal civilizations”.
Coming back to the regional platforms, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, poured cold water over the hopes of Jammu and Kashmir dialogues progress, when he praised the recent elections in Jammu and Kashmir, and declared his victory over the so called cross border terrorism. An un-expected political defeat has snatched an opportunity of Atal Bihari Vajpayee becoming a legendary peacemaker: in the end, therefore, he had little to lose in outlining BJP’s hidden beliefs about the Kashmir issue.
Pakistan will surely find it not easy to pick up the threads to weave another plan of solution of Kashmir with Congress Party, which has been responsible for the break-up of Pakistan in 1971, and which openly celebrated it as a vengeance accomplished for the 1000 years of Muslim rule over the sub-continent. With American and Indian Alliance becoming clearer day by day, and the fast paced increase in the tactical weapons in Indian arsenal, Pakistan would need to walk very cautious steps; this political change in India would cause certain delays in the Peace Process, putting the Pakistani President General Parvez Musharraf in a more precarious position by December 2004, a time when he had to decide about his own political future.
Although the Indian Congress leader Ms Sonia Gandhi has initially suggested that she would carry forward the peace process with Pakistan, the hurdles are obvious. Pakistan’s open support for BJP in the pre-election phases would not be easily forgotten. On the other hand, the Simla Agreement (which Congress still considers a fresh starting point) signed under coercion between the late Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is no more relevant, and Kashmiris have since then clearly shown their abhorrence for any Indian Rule backed by Indian Army.
While some of the senior Pakistani leaders are busy in creating new alliances in the form of Muslim League Model / Version 2004 (there have been many more in the past), and those who are in a fight in Karachi licking their political wounds, very far from their own home-towns, more internal political strife can be expected to emerge. A stubborn assertion of a baseless metro political power by the leaders of a lost generation from a Talibanized society are sure to face a wall of criticism and a wave of re-actions from the urbanized and educated political forces.
In order to defeat these prejudiced political segments, it is necessary for the Urbanized Political forces to carry their message of people’s power and political enlightenment to the very roots and door steps of the old generation of these Islamist leaders, who are denying education, economic progress, political enlightenment, women rights, and a rule of law within their own home towns, and are bent upon creating a rift in the commercial heart and modern cultural icon of Pakistan.
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