Mr. Pervez Musharraf being found ‘guilty’ of high treason under article 6 of Pakistan’s constitution took 73 years coming. Irrespective of whether the actual ‘hang till death’ sentence of Ex-military strongman Musharraf is carried out or not, this verdict will go down as one of the top ten destiny altering events in Pakistan’s history. This event is right up there with President Ayub’s decisive move towards USA and Supreme Court’s “Doctrine of Necessity” to ratify military takeovers.
Pakistan’s only problem is that democracy has never taken root. This in turn has led to poor spending on its citizens’ and the rot we see in national institutions nowadays.
Democracy brings with it stability and the will of the people to strive harder to change their destiny through competence. This is because the communication gap between the people and their elected Prime minister is lesser and their energies are channeled in right direction.
If there is one reason why Pakistan lost the Bengali population in 1971, it would be because the dictator in West Pakistan wasn’t qualified enough to handle tough political bargains to all East-Pakistan become a lose dominion, instead of a separate country.
Mr Pervez Musharaf’s interviewing days are no more, although he had re-branded himself as Pakistan’s spokesperson. Musharraf was an angel to the Chinese and a thorn to the Indians. The only news we get of this 76 year old commando is that he is now very ill. The Musharraf era is about to come to an end. Whether Mr Musharraf is arrested now or not is immaterial.
I will go over the five reasons’ why punishing dictators is good for a nation:-
Accountability of leaders’ action is essential for closure. A country’s narrative gets distorted when the story has characters that abruptly alter the plot and suddenly leave, mid scene. Nations are left traumatized from abrupt vision changes. Every religion, political and even military system has accountability of its follower, as its cornerstone. How can Pakistan let it’s failing leaders go scot free?
Constitution is sacrosanct for a nation. Constitution is a document written down by the country’s forefathers as a means to resolve conflict of interest and give direction to the nation. Every latter day leader, especially non-elected one, cannot be given the mandate to amend forefather’s vision. This leaves the nation directionless, as the goal posts keep changing with each coup or unconstitutional amendments. There is a reason why prophets have advised their followers never to change the divine word— how can one man change the sacrosanct constitution?
We need to trust our instincts to select genuine leaders. Since 100,000 years, Homo sapiens have been electing alpha males, with the right combination of aggression and compassion to lead their tribe in dangerous environments. Choosing the right leader, constitutionally, is biologically ingrained in us Homo sapiens. People instinctively know who to elect to be their protector and provider against insurmountable opposition. When dictator bypasses this system of natural selection, there is always a chance a charismatic sociopath, high on charm zero on empathy, rises to power through coup. No wonder, countries under dictatorship go through terrible wars and unrest where millions are killed inside the country. Examples being, Germany under Hitler, Italy under Mussolini, Chinese under Mao, Taiwan under Chiang kai Shek, and Pakistan under military rule.
Dictators make national institutions’ weaker and nations are built on institutions. The cronyism, kleptocracy, graft, rich and poor divide, ethnic strife, unresolved grievances between various groups grow wider in an autocratic setting. This is because there is no real motivation in the working cadre to really get the job done as all power is concentrated at the top. There are very less stakes for the people on top of national institution to deliver to the people. Productivity is generally low and little effort is put into improving education and health of the populace. Even if there is spending on education and health, the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit is deliberately stifled so that no opposition can rear its head. Turkey and Egypt’s system of democracy under the gun is an example in point.
Rule of Law, pluralism and freedom of expression is what people want from their tribal leader. They want to make a living and feed their off spring under the security of a just law that recognizes diversity and appreciates the freedom to speak their mind. There can be no nation building under the barrel of the gun and if there is, the nation is so traumatized that it would be a ticking time bomb. Moreover, a dictator has the inclination to lead his country into conflict just because years of obfuscating truth make the nation a powder keg, ready to explode at the slightest of provocation.
So, in essence, Mr. Musharraf’s verdict is something to be celebrated for the arrival of conscientious judiciary that will protect the just right of the people of Pakistan, just like Mr. Jinnah promised u
For related topics, please click following links;
10 QUALITIES THE REAL POLITICAL LEADER PAKISTAN NEEDS TO HAVE.