Economic, Security and Sovereignhty
0 comments | by Saeed Malik
Economics, Security, and Sovereignty
Saeed A. Malik.
One part of basic economics is very easy to understand. If you live beyond your means, you need to borrow to exist. After some time one of your creditors, say the milkman, refuses to extend you any further credit. The moment the butcher, the baker, or the grocer, etc get to know this, they also stop. This is when you are considered bankrupt.
If you are basically an honest person, you spend the rest of your life miserably, trying to pay back your debts. But if you are venturesome and have some muscle, you take over the property of your neighbour. And then you extend your reach to your neighbour's neighbour. Eventually you bring the entire locality under your thumb, and move into the ranks of the elite.
When all the elites band together and theft of the assets of individuals fails to sate your greed, you begin to dredge the coffers of the state. When you reach this stage you have become an oligarch. And thus the phrase: behind every great fortune lies a great theft!
It may also be justifiably added here that for one person to be dirty rich requires tens of thousands to be miserably poor, malnourished, and stunted. Each opulent apartment in Hyde Park creates a whole army of street urchins in the offal-laden streets of Lahore where people drink water mixed with human refuse!
This is the age old story of unconscionable distribution of wealth, around which much of human history is constructed.
Thus it is that no great sage or prophet or social scientist nor philosopher has looked kindly upon oligarchic formation.
Oligarchs have been looked upon as the most potent threat to the state. They will always subvert the interest of the state in favour of their own.
The state does not matter to them. Only the extractable wealth of the state does.
No state can exist when oligarchic greed reaches beyond its capacity to satiate it, because no state can exist without the minimal required rule of law. And oligarchic formation is based directly on the subversion of this rule of law.
At the level of nations too there are oligarchic states. These are called imperialist powers. The oligarchs within them rob their own people. But then the state goes out and robs poorer states, and it is with this stolen wealth of other states that they feed their own poor.
The national security and sovereignty of a bankrupt state lies forever hostage at the whims of a powerful state and the elements within it who have sold out to such an outside power. We are one such bankrupt state. What is happening to us today is directly the result of national bankruptcy, both in terms of money and morality. Both these go hand in hand.
Post World War Two bankrupting a country has been the favoured method of depriving it of sovereingnty and getting it ready for the slaughter, if need be. This task is made all the easier in cases where the leaders of the victim country are only too willing to wipe its treasury clean. In case of Pakistan this process began in 2008. By 2018 we owed more money than our ability to repay it. During these ten years our leaders became incredibly rich, our country dirt poor, and our army, those charged with overseeing our national security, just looked innocently on. By an incredible quirk of fate though, some of our Generals became extremely wealthy just by maintaining the innocence of their gaze!
It is the irony of the ages that those who bankrupted us, have now again been catapulted into power, to suck out from us the last remaining bit of our life blood, by the very army which we pay to maintain, and which is oath-bound to defend us!
And we find ourselves sold to the lowest bidder!
In the Muslim world it is the Turkish and the Pakistani armies which are considered worthy of battle.
On 11 Aug 1919, Gen Kemal Ataturk managed to escape Istanbul and land at Samsun to begin the Turkish war of Independence. The government in Istambul depended upon Gen Kazim Karabekir to arrest him, but he chose to stand with Turkey instead, and threw in his lot with Ataturk. And every Turk got up to fight under him and to win independence for Turkey.
On 10 Mar 2022, Gen Qamar Bajwa declared his "neutrality" and threw us to the wolves! Pakistan was gifted away to a gang of thugs bearing an indelible stamp of treachery against the state on account of massive and repeated theft of the treasury of the state--a stamp endorsed by the army itself.
Too much has been lost since that malign day in March. Yet there is still a lot which may yet be salvaged.
If Gen Bajwa decides to put the still considerable weight of the army behind immediate elections and ensures that they are fair, a lot can still be retrieved from his blunder, and much bloodshed averted.
If he decides instead to dig in his heels to stay the hand of retribution tragically earned, he is likely to go the way of causing bloodshed. This will result by costing us loss of CPEC, then our nuclear capacity, the fraying of the army itself, and then the breakup of what remains of the country. These processes always begin small and then snowball beyond imagination.
Yes, the blunder Gen Bajwa and the high command have committed is truly monumental, which has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the state.
The pattern that is being followed is exactly the one of 1971 when we lost half our country. Now we stand to lose what we have left. Now, as then, there must be Generals that have helped him wade into this disaster. Now, as then, there must be others who are incriminating themselves by their silence.
Before it is too late he must decide whether he will stand for his own security, or for retrieving the country which has given him all that he possesses.
The choice is for him to make. It should be clear to him that if he chooses the high-minded course, there may lie in it, a good chance of his redemption. If not, he stands to lose all. And we, our country.
What is done is done and cannot be undone. But what can be changed is the future whose seeds have been sown. But this change can only be brought about by those who have sown them. It would be best for all that this change be a peaceful one. Except IMMEDIATE AND FAIR elections there is no way out of the quagmire. So why should elections not be held without loss of time? And let there please be no excuses about the Election Commission's inability to proceed with such elections. If the "no confidence" motion could be served up with little inconvenience, so can immediate elections.
Now is the time that courage, if existing and summoned, can still swamp the committed blunder.
If the high command had only understood in time that mega corruption constituted a paramount national security imperative, and had acted in time to stop it, thrown its full weight to bringing the crooks to justice, and stopped at that, this day would never have seen a dawn. But they chose instead to micro- manage the petty politics of Pakistan and ended up heaping the present disaster upon it.
Can they now at last make make a selfless decision for the cause of Pakistan?