Wise men use to say that everyone is in the process of continuous learning and people get mature by experiencing the things in daily life. Sayings of wise men can be experienced in life itself by adopting an attitude of learning. I do believe that nobody can claim that they acquires the complete knowledge of the thing under discussion. It’s a fact that people gave hypothetical statements about a specific problem and their successors agreed or disagreed with that hypothesis by research and analysis.
In the current global scenario any theory which does not have a strong basis of existence is being challenged; either that is a material ,research of science and technology or any hypothetical theory about economics, sociology, politics or history. Baseless theories in both science and arts cannot exist in the modern world.
I consider myself a student of social science and politics and I try my best to understand the theoretical approach and outcomes of political ideologies of the world in general and Pakistan in particular. I learn from the good or bad deeds of political activists. I do believe that I am not capable of criticizing the national mainstream political landscape as a whole but I am sure that I can point out the faults and worth y actions of a political party as a spectator and will be unbiased.
In my early childhood I was a bit inspired by Bhutto’s ideology of food, cloth and shelter and I used to portray Bhutto as an ideal in my sub-conscious. In those days I believed what I was being told by elders. As the time lapsed I got engaged in political activities at a regional level, some historical facts that we are not told in conventional history were unveiled and my trust on bookish history has been wobbled slowly.
I tried to probe the things from books , I used to be in the most socially and politically criticized political circles and did not trust what they were telling. I question their ideology as well but interestingly there was no one -way communication in those circles, they listened and answered patiently.
I used to study political theories of social change, history of revolution, evolution of Pakistan and India, imperialism of Japan on China and China’s struggle for independence. Booklets like Independence of Angola, Serbia and Vietnam inspired me but the thirst was not quenched, something inside kept me going forward.
During a book launch in my university age an old man who was claiming himself a past ally of Bhutto burst out, he described the change of 1968 as a revolution by Mr. Bhutto. He argued, “Bhutto was not socialist and he was not a secular even. Manifesto of Pakistan People’s Party is negating the secularism by claiming that Islam is their religion”.
The author was answerless and he was just silent and didn’t have any counter argument. I approached the old man after the book launch and requested him to correct my fallacy about Bhutto. I was not a blind follower of Bhutto or member of PPP at that time but I was keen to know the history from a different prospective.
I came to know about the National Awami Party, Abdul Hameed Bhashani, Wali Khan that time. It was really astonishing to know that Bhutto had a rival approach for “Reds” of that time. The old man told that it’s the statement of Bhutto, “I have turned the direction of red hurricane 40 years back”.
I am not agreeing with what Zia and company did with Bhutto but I know with clarity that Bhutto really misused people’s tide for change and gave it a different direction. What the successors of Bhutto did with people and what people did with PPP, history will testify that.
I still have questions in my mind; is it a fashion of Pakistani nation that it used to live and follow the confused ideologies even in modern era?
Imran Khan, who was an ex-cricket player and was famous for building Shaukat Khanum cancer hospital, launched his party with the name of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on April 25, 1996. The captain could not attract the masses like he was envisioning. Maybe he had a thought that his cricket fans will be the members of his political party and he will be dominant on political arena of Pakistan within a couple of year. The situation was quite different and during its inception phases Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf could not outreach the major urban population of Pakistan. May be it was the feudal culture of Pakistan which did not permit a neo- liberal t to enter in the proximities of feudal lords or might be it was the bourgeois political culture of Pakistan, which allows a political personality to have a boom after a definite gestation period. Captain’s PTI could not score well in elections of 1997, 2002 and 2008. Let me mention that when General Musharraf took over in 1999 Captain was in his favor. He sat and dined with Musharraf and many times complemented his decisions.
I personally was confused about the ideology of Mr. Khan at that time I was believing that Mr. Khan got education from Oxford and surely he will attempt for value addition in Pakistan’s political system. I was thinking that unlike the rightist political outfits, if he is claiming for a welfare state he will be more inclined towards left and will promote secular thoughts. When I used to discuss the political stance of Mr.Khan with my progressive friends, they usually made a statement,” Oh! Come on, PTI is just a liberal wing of Jamat-e-Islami”. Though I was not a member of PTI but I had sympathies with Mr. Khan because at that time I did not know much about change process and precursors of change. I was not much aware about the phenomenon of hard core right or left. But when I went through the literature in general and study of historical and dialectical materialism in particular, I came to know about the history and reality of right and left.
I analyzed the political stance, manifestoes and trends of political outfits in Pakistan and that revealed, all leagues and religious parties are rightist while PPP, ANP and many regional nationalist political movements are although not fully left but tended towards left. There are some fascists and racist groups in Pakistan as well. I never mean to say that political contemporaries of PTI are having a vision and working on the theory of change but at least they had located their position.
For instance PML(N) , PML(Q), JI, JUI are following a rightist philosophy, ANP, PPP are having a tendency towards the left, MQM is doing politics for the rights of Muhajirs, JSQM is playing the card of Sindhudesh, BNP is looking for greater Balochistan. All these have national, provincial or regional interests.
Some are just in favor of building infrastructure ,not policies, some are against feudalism, some chant for socialism, some are anti-religious monopoly and exploitation, some are liberals and some are chanting for national question and identity but interestingly PTI has a unique ideology. Mr. Khan him selfis totally unpredictable; sometimes he seems a neo-liberal when he talks about equality and justice; sometimes he seems to be a religious fundamentalist when he talks in favor of Taliban and sometime she seems a secular one when he talks about minorities and their rights. He at several times publicly said, “We (PTI) are neither right nor left”. It is difficult to understand what actually PTI is?
In the elections of 2013 when Mr. Khan kicked off the campaign on 23 March, 2013 a massive gathering was seen in that public meeting, no doubt the gathering during his campaign was sustainable all the way from Lahore to Karachi, Karachi to Quette, Quetta to Islamabad and Islamabad to Peshawar. The massive gathering was pre dominated by liberal section of Pakistani society; girls with jeans and T-shirts and guys with tight shirts and sneakers .The following of PTI and its updates on social media were remarkable and in the general elections of 2013 ,PTI got a noteworthy number of votes across Pakistan. They made their government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
It is a fact that the maximum mandate has been gotten by the slogan of change and “Naya Pakistan”. I am dismayed to envision another fallacy which has been related with change as Z.A Bhutto did in 1968. The masses who had relied on the confused ideology of Mr. Khan would be betrayed in the name of revolution once again.
Mr. Khan is vowing for fair election commission and having a soft corner for the military establishment, he is protesting against the alleged rigging in general elections of 2013 and being the political entity he has become a party against a media group. He is in favor of negotiations with Taliban as well. This will provide an opportunity to a third party to intervene, for which the existing situation of Pakistan is not affable. This will not be hazardous for a party or ruling class but it would make injudicious democracy an example. Mr. Khan will prove himself smarter than Bhutto because he will be an ally of the third party and the people of Pakistan will try a new confused ideology in the coming decade.
source: Azhar Mushtaq
Note: Al-Rasub is not responsible for writer personal opinion