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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Satellite state of Pakistan – Dr. Farid A. Malik

After ZAB, Imran Khan emerged as the most popular national leader of the country. His party is in power in three provinces and at the center. In an irrelevant parliament that is composed of mostly hardened criminals, he represents ethical conduct in politics. If a popular leader of his stature and following is cornered, he is bound to fight back, writes Dr. Farid A Malik, ex-chairman of Pakistan science foundation.

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In the land of the pure, some numbers carry special significance. The number 10 or ‘Das Numbers’ is Police classification for ‘Ruffians’ (Badmash), 420 for  ‘Frauds’ or ‘Fraudi’ while 4 for a typical Lahori indication for the mentally ill as it was the number of the bus that stopped at the Mental Hospital on its onwards travel to the airport before returning back.

I heard an interesting story from a retired Army General. After Ayub Khan managed to become the C-in-C (Commander-in-Chief) of the Pakistan Army, an officer with a PA (Pakistan Army) number of 420 went to him with a request to change it as it was embarrassing for him. Prompt came to the reply from the chief, Nothing to bother mine is also 10 Number. At the time of the retirement of General Douglas Gracey in 1949, there were ten senior officers to replace him.

Akbar Khan: On top with PA 1 

Akbar’s younger brother Ifthikar Khan was selected for this coveted slot but unfortunately, he perished in a plane crash. Against merit and logic, Liaquat Ali Khan the first Prime Minister of Pakistan promoted a very ordinary officer to lead the Pakistan Army at this crucial juncture. For a long time, I have been asking the question ‘Why’ which remains unanswered. Perhaps it was external pressure that worked. Ayub Khan had developed good relations with the Crown and Pentagon. He first managed to become the C-in-C, then minister and finally the President in return he delivered the Satellite State of Pakistan to his foreign masters.

The PM wanted to visit Moscow before his trip to Washington DC but was stopped. On his return home from the USA, he held a press conference in London in which he showed his defiance to taking dictation. In 1951 he was assassinated in a Jalsa in Rawalpindi. Next year Muhammad Mussediq the defiant PM of Iran was also removed and imprisoned. Instead of Islamic Republics under popularly elected leaders, two Satellite States emerged one under Ayub Khan and the other ruled by the Shah of Iran.

Read more: Do you want a country or not? -Dr. Farid A Malik

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) led a popular movement against the first usurper and toppled his Satellite Regime. Ayub Khan stepped down in March 1969 paving the way for the first free and fair elections in 1970. While ZAB emerged victorious in the Western Wing on a Socialist agenda of change, Mujib-ur-Rehman captured East Pakistan on the demand of autonomy. Unfortunately, Quaid’s Pakistan was dismembered but a true constitutional republic emerged that did not take dictation from the external masters.

The Atomic Programme was launched together with the major development of the Defence Production Sector. ZAB had leanings towards the People’s Republic of China  (PRC). He joined the Islamic Ummah to work in common interests. Good governance and Foreign Policy was his forte. In using the Oil Weapon against the West, he went too far. All the key players of this strategic move were eliminated one by one (Shah Faisal, Ahmed Sakkaf the foreign minister, Mian Anwar Ali the economic adviser, and ZAB).

Pakistan and China are Iron brothers today with CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) being a game-changer for the country. ZAB was trapped in holding early elections while a nine-party election alliance ( Pakistan National Movement ) waited in the wings. On complaints of rigging in a few constituencies, a foreign-sponsored movement was launched and the regime was toppled to be replaced by a tyrant who destroyed all civilian institutions. Since July 1977, the republic has once again become a Sattelite State.

After ZAB, Imran Khan the most popular leader of Pakistan

His party is in power in three provinces and at the center. In an irrelevant parliament that is composed of mostly hardened criminals, he represents ethical conduct in politics. If a popular leader of his stature and following is cornered, he is bound to fight back. The two PM’s before him Liaquat Ali and ZAB suffered for working for national interests. Now Imran Khan is facing a similar situation. His popularity is on the upswing, he has decided to fight back with the force of the masses. There may be charges of poor governance against his team but his honesty and integrity remain above board.

On August 14, 1973, the country reached the status of a constitutional democracy where the parliament was declared supreme. There are around twenty clauses covering fundamental human rights which have never been discussed or implemented. One of the clauses 25 A has declared education as a right of the citizen to be provided by the state which stands blatantly violated. Any attempt to push out a leader of his standing will have serious consequences.

Read more: How merit is the harbinger of freedom? -Dr Farid A Malik

The people of Pakistan have suffered enough, they refuse to be a part of a Satellite State that has been doing the dirty work of external forces. Being a front-line state the country has faced collateral damage for which it has not been compensated. An elected national leader must work in the best national interests. Pakistan and its people must come first. The surrender of the state is unacceptable to its stakeholders. London or Washington DC should have no role in the decision-making process of a ‘Nuclear State’ of over 220 million people.

It was Ayub Khan’s ’10 Numberi’ that spread the ‘420 Fraudias’ all around to push the people towards route number 4. It is time to act before the insanity engulfs the entire nation. Perhaps Imran Khan will finally build on the stand of the two PMs (Liaquat Ali, ZAB) before him who struggled for the establishment of a republic instead of a Satellite State of external powers. His life is under threat yet he marches on towards the liberation of the masses. Pakistan needs honest, upright leadership to face the challenges of our times.

The way forward is through peace and prosperity where national interests must come first. No more proxy wars and dictation. It is time to stand up and be counted amongst the community of independent nations. Ethical leadership can make all the difference. Pakistan is looking to emulate leaders like Liaquat Ali, and ZAB while getting rid of Barons of corruption who have ruled over us since July 1977. Let us strengthen the Islamic Republic of Pakistan while exposing the Satellites of external interests.

In the decade of the fifties and sixties, several developing countries started the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) to watch their interests. While India under Jahawar Lal Nehru became a part of this alliance while Pakistan under Ayub Khan remained in the USA Camp. Treaties were signed (SEATO, SENTO) under which our territorial integrity was to be guaranteed but when the crunch time came in 1971, Pakistan was dismembered with a combined push of India and the Soviet Union.

Read more: Why is there an institutional disorder in Pakistan? -Dr Farid A Malik

The Pakistan Army had to surrender in Decca and Bangladesh emerged on the world map. This misalignment of the state has to be corrected. The nation stands behind the PM, no more imported governments, enough damage has already been done. A new realignment is taking place in the region amongst China, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and later Afghanistan. No country can prosper on ventilators of a distant external power, which calls for soul searching through self-reliance.

The writer is Ex-Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation. He can be reached at  fmaliks@hotmail.com.The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.