National Integration Profile Of Pakistan
Pakistan in 1947 consisted a variety of 'ethnic' and linguistic groups and subgroups, which had little in common besides being Muslim. Two official languages (Urdu and English), six or seven important regional languages (Bengali, Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Balochi, Saraiki), and perhaps two dozen local ones, are an indication of linguistic wealth, if not of homogeneity. The founding fathers, being profoundly secular, had to deal with the task of integrating the several ethnic groups into a national community - without over-using the only bond they had in common: religion. The task was further complicated because most of the founding fathers were migrants or even refugees. Quaid-e-Azam did not speak any of the local languages; he would not even completely speak in Urdu before independence. He delivered his speech declaring the Independence of Pakistan in English. The creation of the Pakistani 'Nation' did not develop from 'below,' from the societal roots or nationalist movements, but from top-down: first the State was created, hoping to develop its own social base, and thereafter, Nation-Building was to generate the Nation that the Nation-State desired .
3. Approaches to National Integration. All governments since 1947 have relied on pointing across the border to promote 'National Unity'. India was emphasized as an external threat. Hostility towards India, the struggle for Kashmir, and anti-Hindu sentiments remained important tools to stress Pakistan's legitimacy, its unity, and its character as a 'Nation-State'. The pains of the ethnic cleansing provided credibility to the use of an external enemy as a tool for strengthening internal unity. Three India-Pakistan wars (1948, 1965, and 1971) also provided a base to the argument that internal unity was a necessity for our survival. Therefore, immense internal heterogeneity was linked to an overwhelming desire for unity, at least as articulated from the political centre. Besides India, the other most important tool to establish unity has been 'Islam'. Using religion for national integration seemed irresistible, since it was practically the only common bond between the several ethnicities and nationalities.
National Integration Mosaic of Pakistan
4. Ideological and Religious Issues
a. Religion vs Ideology. Apparently, the religious ideology as the basis of the state was a tool for nation-building and thwarting possible Indian designs of rejecting the creation of Pakistan. All governments have used religion as a unifying force in different forms. For Jinnah, Islam was the reason for Pakistan's existence, but more on cultural than religious grounds. Others, including Zulfikar Ali and Benazir Bhutto, used Islamic symbols and rhetoric to justify their secular policies. And Zia ul-Haq tried to turn Pakistan into his own version of an 'Islamic State', closely cooperating with other Islamist forces in the world
b. Sectarianism. After independence, the religious differences were aggravated by the 'Ulemas'. The saboteurs launched by anti-state elements fully exploited these differences and religious strength started turning into a national weakness . Sectarianism came to its zenith in Gen Zia's tenure due to vested interests of the ruling elite, external involvement, and flawed policies.
c. Islam as A Potential Force of Unity. Though Islam is often cited as the basis of Pakistani nationhood, its validity as an integrating force remained limited. Islam failed to hold the state together in 1971, because the political, economic and social forces were ignored. Moreover stressing upon Islam aggravated sectarian conflicts and inhibited the process of modernization by strengthening the hands of fundamentalist parties.
d. Misconceived Perceptions. The rationale for Pakistan's independence notwithstanding, we failed to identify and consolidate other factors that could have contributed towards national integration and societal cohesion in the newly independent state. We remained confused as to be a 'Nation State' or 'Religion State'? Our rulers even failed to draw the right lessons from the break-up of Pakistan. Barring short intervals of democratic rule, and that too crippled by design, this nation has had to endure decade long nights of political strangulation and religious obscurantism. Resultantly large sections of the population, especially those in FATA and Baluchistan became increasingly disillusioned.
e. Religious Extremism. The history of Pakistan movement reveals that all the religious parties opposed Pakistan, but after its emergence, all these have been striving to give a severe blow to secular forces by stressing upon Islamic society and an orthodox Islamic state. Pakistan is the best example of culmination of cooperation and then confrontation between political and extremist elements. The extremist face of Pakistan can be best understood in the backdrop of its different phases of political history, heterogeneous composition of society, ethno ' cultural communities and various nationalities. Besides these trends, international and regional politics have also contributed towards the flourishing of extremism in Pakistan
5. Political Issues
a. Political/Constitutional Instability.
(1) The political entities exercised immature political attitudes like extending support to military rulers, propensity to misuse authority, personalization of politics and revenge under garb of accountability. Lack of political consciousness to evolve viable democratic culture, lack of supremacy and degradation of institutions, absolute government, and political control of a special feudal class all led to an instable political process. With the political scene shadowed by qualms and doubts it became difficult to keep the nation intact. The authorities failed to deliver causing dissatisfaction, doubts, violence, chaos, and uncertainties, which created hurdles in the way of national integration. These did not exactly make the population, especially in the smaller provinces, interested in the future of a united Pakistan, and the propensity still continues.
(2) Pakistan for a long time could not adopt a constitution. Liaqat Ali Khan despite the political clout and could not even prepare the basic framework for the future constitution. His failure to find solutions to the thorny issues of canal waters, evacuee property and refugees, left the Country in a lurch .
b. Provincial Autonomy. The issue of the centre-province relationship has always been one of the most intractable questions of Pakistan politics.The power of the provinces look impressive when confined to the distribution of legislative powers, but when one examines the administrative and financial aspects,federal dominance of the provinces is clearly visible . As per 1973 constitution, it is supposed to be the federal form of government where the provinces have full autonomy. Unfortunately, this constitutional right has been denied to the provinces. Pakistan's smaller provinces resent political exclusion and are unhappy with the inadequate sharing of power and resources within the Country.' This is a fundamental issue in the case of Pakistan because of the fragility of a state marked by high degree of diversity and centrifugal forces.
c. Lack of Nationalism. Pakistan's political landscape has been marred by intense political wrangling, polarization and lack of political accommodation. Persistent intolerance and impatience about the opposite viewpoint has been the bane of political life. Provincialism and parochialism often form refuge of the petty, short-sighted, and self-styled leaders. To carve out a national identity, Pakistan's leadership hadto grapple with the confrontation of competing ethnic groups, with only Islam serving as a tenuous link. Pakistani nationalism, unlike Indian, Malayan or Nigerian nationalism, was not based on a historically established and geographically well-defined political entity. That led to an exclusive focus on Islamic identity, almost by default .
d. Weak Democratic Roots.The leadership vacuum created in the early years of our history denied us the opportunity of developing a stable political system of governance during various periods ranging from parliamentary and presidential forms, authoritarian system and so on. The incompetence of Pakistan's post-Jinnah political leadership that drew the armed forces heavily into politics and policy-making . Ultimately, country saw long periods of martial law under autocratic rulers, with every military ruler trying his own version of democracy; Ayub's Basic Democrat System and Musharraf's Local Body systems were formed with least political acceptance of the political elite while Zia virtually embarked upon a policy of controlled democracy under the name of Islamic democracy. Creation of one unit was another step to accumulate power at the centre and result was disenchantment at provincial level . Political instability, the rampant corruption of the political and bureaucratic ??lite, and poor governance gave birth to public disbelief of the prevalent system. In nutshell, ignorant masses, influential landlords, and bigoted clerics, strong regional groups but weak national parties and, above all, a small and disinterested middle class are collectively blamed for Pakistan's failing democracy.
e. Role of Bureaucracy. Bureaucratic traditions that came to influence the administration and got strengthened after 1951 under Ghulam Muhammad and later by Iskandar Mirza, were essentially a legacy from the British. The bureaucracy expanded its sphere of influence and authority at the expense of developing political institutions. Greater reliance on Service to conduct state business made the legislature weak and ineffective thereby allowing these bureaucrats to bypass the elected assemblies. Civil services became highly politicized and a two Way Street where bureaucracy openly seeks political patronage for personal gains and in turn provides personalized service to the politicians. Civil Servants flouted rules and regulations with confidence that their political patrons would save them from any accountability. This all made the commoner very vulnerable to disintegrative feelings.
6. Economic and Social Issues
a. Economic Irritants.
'To make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous, we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor. If you will work in cooperation in a spirit that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state with equal rights, privileges, and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.'(Muhammad Ali Jinnah)
(1) The founder's vision was not shaped by the successors. Poor governance, mismanagement, and political instability continued, weakening the economic system. Inequality, unfairness, corruption, and nepotism were exercised.
(2) Government's failure to maintain an even economic development in the provinces created mistrust. The revenue generation capability by provinces was ignored by the Federal Government, which remained reluctant to pay the royalty they deserved. Unequal distribution of resources, employment opportunity, infrastructural development, and industrial growth caused an uneven socio-economic development in provinces. This created disparity in economic well-being of people living in different provinces and boosted up poverty. In these ways, provinces like Baluchistan and Sindh lacked behind in every sphere of life. Regional and inter-ethnic economic disparities created by Pakistan's pattern of economic development also impinged upon national integration.
b. Social Justice. Inefficient state agencies, selective application of law, and corruption bred a culture of negativism in Pakistan. Disparity between the rich and the poor led to frustration, misuse of power, and lawlessness. Pakistan's integration dilemma is not confined to macro level politico-economic disequilibria only; at grass root level social dimensions deserve equal attention.
c. Culture. Cultural unity in a region with multilingual and multiracial people has to follow the dictum of 'Unity in diversity'. A national culture emerges as a result of synthesis of regional cultures through an evolutionary process in an atmosphere of conciliation and amity. This has been over-looked by successive regimes in Pakistan who have tried to force their own brand of oversimplified cultural policies since 1947. National culture is thus, yet to emerge despite well-developed regional cultures.
7. Miscellaneous Issues
a. Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity. Demographically, Pakistani society is composed of 48.2%Punjabis, 13.1% Pushtoons, 11.8% Sindhis, 9.8% Siraikis, 7.6% Urdu speaking (Muhajirs), 4.2% Baloch-Brauhis, 2.4% Hindko speaking, and several other small ethno-linguistic groups.The wide varieties of ethnic and linguistic groups have very little in common besides being Muslims. In Pakistan, ethnicity along with provincialism has been a source of manipulation by the political leaders to give a cover to their mismanagement. The lingual diversity became apparent after independence, as was the In East Pakistan. Although Urdu was considered as the major language, no single language had general acceptance in Pakistan. Urdu is spokenas a first language by no more than 9% of the population; 65% speak Punjabi, 11% Sindhi, and 24% speak other languages (Pushto, Saraiki, Baluchi, Brohvi, etc.); Baluchistan alone is marked by the use of five different languages. The linguistic differences intensified the problem of national integration and resulted in riots in most parts of the Country, that ultimately cost us the separation of our Eastern wing.Ethnic divide fuels prevailing internal conflicts. These conflicts not only create hurdles in even distribution/ migration of population but also create hindrances in economic uplift of different geographic vicinities. In 2011 due to ethnic riots in Karachi the complete city was paralyzed, and it had devastating effect on the economy.
NATIONAL INTEGRATION OF PAKISTAN: PRESENT SCENARIO
8. Here I intends to highlight the current issues which either have potentials to strengthen or deteriorate the process of national integration in Pakistan.
9. In the prevailing environment, there are number of irritants to national integration. These irritants have a profound impact on the stability and national cohesion of the nation.
10. Religious and Ideological Issues
a. Extremism and Religious Intolerance. Pakistan today lacks the social justice, cohesion, and moderation, which has given rise to extremism and religious intolerance in the society. Unfortunately, the current security threats to the very existence of this nation are inevitable product of extremism. This extremism has distorted the global image of the country and has put the future security of the country at stake. The society is terrorized and fear prevails all around, hampering the prosperity of people and progress of the state. This calls for taking a fresh look at the prevailing security situation and formulating a comprehensive strategy that can work to stabilize the situation thereby creating a climate that is supportive of socio-economic activities in the country, brings back the lost atmosphere of peace, and leads the people to the path of prosperity and integration.
b. Sectarianism. The roots of sectarianism can be traced back to 1980sfollowing the curse of Afghan war, when Iran started supporting 'Shia' madrassas in Pakistan in a response to Saudi Arabia supporting 'Sunni' madrassas . Someself-serving clerics from different sects remain engaged in alienating the simpleton Muslims from the true spirit of Islam and are weakening the Muslim brotherhood. The society is divided religiously into different factions, which results in social stratification. Sectarianism has the capacity to create hurdles in the way of national integration, if steps are not taken to sincerely tackle the issue. The phenomenal increase in number of deeni madrassas has not only increased sectarianism but also introduced militancy in the Country . There are more than 50,000 madrasas operating in Pakistan. Influx of arms/ammunition in the wake of Afghan imbroglio, and the financial/material support to certain organisations from outside, has accentuated the malaise.
11. Political Issues
a. Political Situation. For more than six decades we have oscillated between democracy and martial law, and within democracy between Parliamentary and Presidential System and within Parliamentary Democracy between rubber stamp Presidents and monarch like Presidents holding the sword of 58(2b). The Pakistani federation in its present territorial form has been struggling to keep itself intact against heavy internal fissures and external threats. Adverse political climate prevails due to lack of political accountability, uncontrolled and rampant corruption, absence of grass root level participation of the masses, and undemocratic attitude of politicians. The situation today is that we have a democratically elected government that is dealing with a number of problems, and none have been addressed by the government. Pakistan is vulnerable at this stage, and it is time for all political and societal forces to show a resolute front to those trying to blackmail the country.
b. Inequitable Distribution of Natural Resources. All the four Provinces are rich in cultural, geographical, and economic diversity. This includes the coastal wealth, minerals, petroleum, gas and vast areas of Baluchistan; mountains, hydroelectric opportunities, forests, tourism and marble of NWFP; agriculture, industry, technology, and human resources of Punjab; coastal wealth, agricultural, petroleum, coal, commerce and technological resources of Sind. However there are certain disagreements on sharing the national resources and there is also a need of addressing regional economic disparities to strengthen the Federation. Electricity is produced in NWFP and gas from Baluchistan but these have not been widely distributed in these very provinces. Even the royalty promised to the provinces has not been paid, especially to Baluchistan. According to the constitution, all wealth, minerals etc under the land belongs to the state, therefore no share could be legally paid to the people. This legislation in reality has been counterproductive and has brought in the element of blackmailing and corruption.
c. Centre -Provinces Relations. There has been a continuous tussle during the period when different parties ruled in the centre and provinces. Consequently all energies, resources, and strategies are being directed towards each other's removal with scant regard to the verdict of the electorate. This bipolar conflict is detrimental to the progress and economy of thecountry, as well as a source of divisiveness. Main causes are as under: -
(1) Political Intolerance. Lack of tolerance, which is the essence of democracy. Irrespective of the government policies, the opposition confronts ruling party for the sake of assuming power.
(2) Implementation of Constitution. Centre remains reluctant in granting quantum of autonomy guaranteed in constitution to the provinces.
(3) Centralizing Development Projects. Central governments have been initiating and supervising works programmes through federal budget in provinces, thus circumventing provincial governments.
d. Demand of New Provinces
(1) The debate on creation of new provinces in Pakistan is gaining momentum among the political parties and the media. Demands include the creation of Hazara and Seriaki provinces, partitioning of the Pakhtun areas of Baluchistan and merging them with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, division of the Sindh province, and enabling the creation of Karachi as a separate federal unit. The demand for more provinces and provincial autonomy re-emerged with the coming of the new government and the passing of the 18th amendment in the year 2010.
(2) The question is whether the provinces should be made on an administrative basis or on ethno-linguistic lines. In the words of Mazar Arif, 'New provinces, if created, will in fact be new 'federating units' representing social, cultural, linguistic and historical values and the aspirations of their respective peoples in the federation of Pakistan.' This complements the cultural and linguistic rights guaranteed under the constitution.
12. Economic and Social Issues
a. Economic Turmoil. The current chaotic state of economy of Pakistan is a cause of major concern. We are confronted with a myriad of economic problems, which has the potential to 'trigger' a serious internal security problem. Unsustainable debt burden, structural weaknesses in the economy, lack of FDI, shortage of electricity and inadequate Human Resource Development, inconsistent policies, mismanagement and corruption in handling the economic affairs, have led the Country to prevailing situation. This all has impacted the poor, who are more vulnerable and the difference between have and have-nots is increasing day by day.However, a major development in 2009-10 was a successfully concluded seventh NFC Award or NFC Award 2010, which affected the resource distribution formula. Given the past experience of several inconclusive NFC Awards, a consensus based NFC Award is in itself a big achievement. It is the first time after secession of East Pakistan that the distribution of resources among provinces is based not only on population but also on other factors like backwardness, inverse population density, and revenue collection/generation.
b. Collapse of Institutions. Prolonged mismanagement and lack of good governance has brought the state institutions at the verge of collapse. Lack of institutionalised decision-making, in-efficient, and corrupt bureaucracy and police, lack of speedy and impartial justice and no meaningful accountability are some of the major contributing factors. An overall situation of demoralisation prevails in the society.
Worsening Law and Order Situation. Law and order is a matter of concern as the security of the life and property of citizens is the primary duty of the state and is continuosly threatened. Insecure citizens are vulnerable to anti-state and anti-social elements, thereby becoming a liability to national integration. Improving law and order is a major challenge for the nation's socio-political integration.
13. Miscellaneous Issues
a. War Aqainst Terrorism.
(1) Pakistan decided to side with the USin fightagainst terrorism in 2001 when Taliban regime was attacked. Though Pakistantook a principled stance in the best interest of the country, many quarters in thecountry believed the decision was taken under the USpressure. As a whole, thecountry has been subjected to increase violence initiated by international terroristgroups with some support from banned extremist groups of the country.Especially the law and order situation has been seriously affected in the NWFPand Baluchistan. Moreover, the drone attacks in the tribal areas have further split the nation and majority of population have concern with regard to operation being carried out and drone attacks.
(2) Inability of successive governments to integrate the region of FATA into national mainstream brings to fore certain key issues, which have directly or indirectly contributed to its prolonged isolation. Negligence on the part of state institutions, parochial political interests and the naivet?? of the rural folk have given birth to a militant culture that thrives on vandalism, brutality and anarchy. These are the areas where people are deprived of economic development, political voice, and social justice and are far behind other areas in terms of infrastructure, social services, and employment. Though situation in Swat has been normalized, however in FATA, displaced persons are creating another breed of frustrated youth in IDP Camps due to military operations. Considering the demographic changes that have taken place in the years since 2001, question arises how strong is the support in the tribal areas for fusion with Pakistan? An even more vexed question that will have to be settled is: is Afghanistan willing to recognise the border with Pakistan? What about tribes with members on both sides of the border? These are the questions Pakistan has put of for a long time. Now it has to find answers in a hurry. It is a daunting task, but must be undertaken.
b. Baluchistan Issue. The situation in Baluchistan is a cause of concern for national integrity. Spearheaded by the sardars, the insurgency in Baluchistan raises its head at regular intervals. Visibly, the Baloch nationalists are mooting the insurgency as a struggle for greater political autonomy and enhanced control over the region's abundant mineral resources. However, socio-political factors are only a fa??ade behind the real reasons of this insurgency. Seeing the pronounced activities of Baluchistan Liberation Army, it is easy to appreciate that the insurgency is sponsored and financed by foreign hands. Who are these foreign hands? The answer is simple: these are the international players with serious reservations to the two strategic projects based in Baluchistan - Gwadar Deep Water Port and the gas pipeline from Iran. However, absence of concrete measures to address a political issue of Baluchistan by the federal government has further alienated the people of Baluchistan.
c. Judiciary. Judiciary is supposed to interpret constitution in the right spirit and protect the fundamental rights of citizens. Only independent judiciary can guarantee this, which in turn ensures national integration. Putting judiciary on the right track so that it regains the lost confidence of the citizens is a reckonable challenge. Citizens disillusioned with their judicial and law & order system are unlikely to contribute positively in a situation of crisis. Absence of sound judicial system gives way to parallel system of justice as had been adopted in Swat.
d. Middle Class Non-Representation. The middle class plays an important role in meeting the challenges of creative and dynamic living in the contemporary world. Amongst this class, there is always a desire for more opportunity to participate in a democratically based political system. The middle class consists of intellectuals, persons gifted with talent who are keen to cultivate the faculties of their mind and body with honesty and sincerity. It is, therefore, imperative that the interests of the members of this class are neither ignored, nor adversely affected. However, in our case, it has been the upper class i.e. the military elite, civil services and politicians who have always been at helm of affairs
e. Decayed Education System. Pakistan spends only 2 % of its GDP on the education system, which is insufficient to meet the demands of a comprehensive education system. Deep ingress of political parties into the educational institutions is causing divisions amongst Pakistan's future human assets along ethnic, sectarian, and linguistic lines. Parallel education systems are further segregating the society into classes.
14. Pakistan would have emerged as a great nation of the world, if the people and leaders of Pakistan had followed the principles of justice, fair play and impartiality. However, despite surface tensions and confrontations, there is an unmistakable trend of greater inter-dependence among ethnic communities and society as a whole, which can contribute to national integration. Few aspects which strengthen the national integration of Pakistan are as under:-
a. Relevance of Historical Approach to National Integration. Historical approach to national integration has relevance even today. All Governments since 1947 have tried national integration by emphasizing India as an external threat. So they heavily relied on pointing across the border to promote national unity. Hostility towards India and the struggle for Kashmir has been important tools to stress Pakistan's unity. This notion of common enemy, India, is still alive among the whole nation. Besides India, the other most important tool to establish unity instead of fragmentation has been the common religion, 'Islam'. Again, all governments have utilized religion as a unifying force but in different forms. Although this factor alone could not avoid the unfortunate tragedy of 1971 and hence proved not a sole reliable integrating force, yet it still has relevance in contemporary society, along with the political and socio-economic factors.
b. Common National Identity. Despite the diverse nature of society there is still hope of being united by a common national identity. We have strong ideological attachments, so there should be a confidence in sustaining Pakistan on the basis of common political identity and representing a 'unity in cultural diversity'. Majority of the people share a common political base and believe in the supremacy of national interest.
c. Common Territory. After the unforgettable incident of 1971, the whole population, unlike past, lives within the same common territory. Hence it makes communication easy and there is greater mobility of population and resources. So there remains no logic of geographical dictations to socio-economic developments in different parts of the country.
d. Increasing Literacy Rate. Though the literacy rate is going up at slow pace, but there seems to be a growing awareness among the general masses inside the country. People are more aware of their political and socioeconomic rights, and are able to differentiate between the right and wrong. This would, no doubt, be helpful to understand the national problems and the importance of national unity. Media, both electronic and print, can play a vital role in this regard while providing the public with a sound knowledge of happenings around them. This will help establishing a democratic tradition in the country while utilizing the public awareness in the wake of free media and education.
15. In the succeeding paragraphs, a way forward to find answers to ideological, political, economic, social and miscellaneous issues has been given, based on the above discussion..
16. Religious and Ideological Issues
a. Strengthening Religious Harmony. Ulema and religious scholars in particular be asked to present Islam in its true spirit and to remove the curse of sectarianism. Some of the recommended measures to strengthen our religious integration and to mitigate sectarian conflicts are:-
(1) No sect to use any negative utterances against the religious personalities of other sect, either in writing or in speeches.
(2) Islam's message of universal tolerance, of peace and respect should be propagated to foster harmony among various religious schools of thought.
(3) Every individual to follow his belief but be strictly forbidden to interfere or criticize belief of others.
(4) All the religious militant groups are disarmed with a highhanded policy.
(5) On external front, steps be taken for tracking down verified terrorist groups and the concerned countries be diplomatically perused to take necessary steps against these groups.
(6) The minorities must be allowed to practice their religion freely as per the injunctions of Islam.
(7) Already chalked out Madrasa Strategy be followed in true letter and spirit. Property and funds of these Madaris and religious leaders be subjected to thorough scrutiny through regular audit.
b. Ideological Orientation. Fresh ideas aimed at finding new common grounds should be explored and additional cohesive factors identified in order to hold the nation together. National integration in the case of Pakistan cannot mean creating ethnic or national homogeneity throughout the Country. It can only mean establishing a common citizenry, common political and social structures, a common State, and an additional sense of identity, of belonging together. It means building commonality on top of the existing linguistic, ethnic, religious and geographical diversity, and not substituting an artificial new identity for the old ones.
c. Inculcating Concept of Nationalism. There is a need to develop Pakistani nationalism which should give people the feeling that despite differences, they are people destined for common statehood. Diverse groups may also combine in a common state for reasons of economic and other advantages. This can be done if we keep reminding ourselves that :-
(1) Parity is an inalienable right of all the regions and provinces of Pakistan. There should be no regimentation on ethno-linguistic or regional basis ' and no straitjackets.
(2) The rights of the provinces and autonomy consonant with national interests and agreed in 1973 constitution have to be assured. We have to pay ever-more heed to Quaid's motto: 'Unity, Discipline' and Faith (in the same order).
(3) The economic and political interests of all regions have to be guaranteed and taken care of. The provinces must have a sense of belonging and participation vis-??-vis Pakistan and the national affairs. They also have a right of optimum self-government within the overall framework of a strong, progressive and prosperous Pakistan.
d. Revival of Pakistani Brotherhood/Nationhood. General apathy prevalent in the society needs a fillip for patriotic fervour. There is a requirement to revive the spirit of Pakistani brotherhood and patriotism. The intellectuals, Ulemas and thinkers should come forward and not only confront the prophets of doom and gloom, but also devise means to keep the people insulated from propaganda of our rivals. Through the media, people must be motivated to keep the interest of the Country supreme and above sectarian, regional, racial and linguistic considerations.
17. Political Issues
a. Political Structure. After practicing all forms of governance, the draw is in favour of a parliamentary form of government. We must endeavour to establish true democratic norms and unswerving patriotic values in the Country in letter and spirit. Parliamentary democratic form of government, as envisioned in the 1973 constitution (in original shape) is more suited in view of provinces having particular linguistic, cultural and historical identities. Representation of matured politicians from all classes of society can play a more positive role suggested as followed:-
(1) Pakistan's leadership may need to update and even revise its 'strong centre' ideology in favour of more pronounced regional autonomy and bigger authority for the provinces in a spirit of pragmatic politics.
(2) Re-demarcation and increase in number of constituencies to enable middle class to play more active role.
(3) Establish autonomous and independent Election Commission.
(4) Establish powerful, reliable and neutral accountability body.
(5) Bar on minimum education qualification for candidates to contest the elections be lifted.
b. Political Parties. The mushroom growth of political parties, which is a common phenomenon in our country, is dangerous for democracy. Political parties do not have democratic culture, and less one odd, most of the political parties are being run as family empires. Inculcation of democratic culture in political parties would greatly contribute to overall democratic environment in the Country, reduce despotism and nepotism, and widen political base. Legislation to this effect would be particularly helpful. Political parties must follow a laid down code of conduct including:-
(1) If political party obtains less than five per cent votes in general election its registration with Election Commission be terminated by law.
(2) Political parties must be made to organize themselves on democratic lines with transparency in their party elections, discipline as well as accounts.
(3) Political parties must not be allowed by law to influence the working of political activities of student unions in college/universities.
(4) Politician elected to hold a government office to relinquish party portfolio.
c. Federal System of Government. Federal system of government is indispensable for Pakistan, as entrusted in the 1973 constitution. For it reconciles the national unity and will help keep the units satisfied, narrowing the gap of trust deficit, increase inter-provinces and centre-province relations and reduce separatist tendencies. So, decentralization and deliverance of provincial autonomy is a concrete step to satisfy the nation
d. Demand Of New Provinces. The creation of new provinces must take into consideration the concerns of the people rather than being just a political stunt for the election. The proponents for the creation of provinces should also pay respect to the constitution's Article 239 (4) which 'lays down that no bill to amend the constitution that would have the effect of altering the limits of a province can be presented to the president for assent unless it has been passed by the provincial assembly of that province by a two-thirds majority. It then also requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament in order to pass muster.' Such an important matter of carving out provinces mandates the active participation of both political parties and civil society.
e. National Consensus on Important Issues. We have to seek national consensus on every issue of strategic importance to form a unifying front. Political parties need to rise above purely party interest and look for the best interest of the nation. This will help resolving the problems in a much smooth and convenient manner thereby injecting mutual confidence and find combined solutions to the common problems. It is not the time to outwit all the others but it is time to use wits of all to outwit the enemies of state and to counter their designs byfinding true solutions to our problems.
18. Economic and Social Issues
a. Economic Policies. The broad economic parameters of our economic development should be framed with national consensus based on equal equation amongst the federating units and given constitutional backing. Some of the measures in this regards are as under:-
(1) An increasing development budget is essential to overcoming the negative effects of social fragmentation and illiteracy-fed Islamic fundamentalism.
(2) Every effort must be made to do away with disparity and economic disequilibrium between the various classes, regions, areas and provinces of our society and country.
(3) The full exploitation, exploration and development of natural resources is essential.
(4) Cooperative economic ventures between regions and provinces and the sharing of resources and benefits are bound to be beneficial.
(5) The economically backward areas should be brought into the mainstream of national life through education, modernization, mass media of communication, general economic developments, well-being, and progress and through an effective system of roads, transportation, and communication.
b. Social Justice. While total abolition of quota system may not be prudent, the open merit quota should be gradually increased. Similarly, problem of rising unemployment needs to he tackled in a pragmatic manner. Social action programme for education, health, empowerment of women, and population control, is the need of the hour. To avert the social conflicts turning into communal conflicts, establishment of social equilibrium is an essential condition for national integration. Once this is done, socially deprived groups would begin to develop a strong sense of commitment to the integrity of the Country. If the scramble for personal acquisition of the few goes on unabated without caring for the sufferings of the many, it may be difficult to prevent the society from falling apart.
19. Miscellaneous Issues
a. Baluchistan Issue
(1) Frustration resulted due to years of spate of unrest, where right reasons were exploited for wrong ends. Foreign involvement to exasperate the sit is beyond any doubt.
(2) Baluchistan is more of a political problem and, therefore, needs a political solution. Instead of marginalizing the nationalist elements, we need to bring them on board.
(3) Two-pronged strategy of 'Dialogue' and 'Development' is the only way to address deprivation. Where applicable, selective use of limited force may also be undertaken as last resort, to nab the non-state actors acting against the national interests. Dialogue to win back the people and break the foreign access and selective application of force to deny the liberty of action to the unenviable forces.
(4) To address the grievance of the Province, there is a requirement for the Federal Government to invest heavily in raising more job opportunities in the Province. It will not be a bad idea, if the Province is given partial ownership rights in some of the federally administered enterprises like NSGP, PPL and Gawader Port etc.
b. Improvement of Judiciary System Judiciary can play an important role in nation building. Timely and unbiased justice brings peace and tranquility in the society. In this regards, following may be considered:-
(1) Judiciary be given constitutional guarantee of its independence to work free of pressure.
(2) Judges of superior courts be paid handsomely keeping in view the sensitive and critical nature of their duties.
(3) Appointment of superior court judges be on non party basis and free of political strings.
(4) Promotion based on seniority will help to keep impartial judiciary.
c. Cohesive Education Policy. One of the major reasons for all the disharmonies in the society is the lack of adequate education base of the society. Education institutions play the most dominant role in shaping and integration of a nation. Following be followed in form of education reforms: ??-
(1) A two-pronged mass programme be launched by the provinces to improve literacy among children as well as adults by integrating local bodies, politicians and well-to-do people.
(2) Conditions of service and emoluments of teachers should be revised and steps taken to elevate their status to its proper place in society.
(3) Maximum incentive to private sector to open schools in rural areas. Their fees and standard may, however, be monitored.
(4) Rural education be looked after by public sector at district level under provincial arrangement.
(5) Curriculum be made realistic and uniform for all provinces with better quality textbook at subsidised rates.
(6) Mismatch between educational preparation and job specification be reduced through vocational training.
(7) Cleavages between traditional Islamic educational institutions and modern educational institutions (including elitist pattern), be removed as it is disrupting the sense of belonging to Pakistan.
(8) Urdu language should also be employed as a vehicle to develop cultural unity, common identity and a shared future.
(9) Provinces may be allowed to retain the regional languages as a subject after primary level.
d. FATA Situation. We have to redress the situation in FATA sincerely in a planned, systematic, and scientific manner instead of the perfunctory and ad-hoc approaches. The government should follow the multi-pronged strategy of political, military, and socio-economic development to counter the militancy in FATA. We have to bring FATA into mainstream by initiating process of Land Settlement and promote urbanization, increased focus on Human Resource Development, exploit drivers of growth i.e. minerals and horticulture, development of industries on fringes of FATA and facilitate early creation of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones. The issue is so serious that if we fail to tackle it soon, it may spread out to other parts of the country, which would be detrimental to the integrity the country
e. Eliminating Unemployment. In order to alleviate the grievances of the masses and to give them their basic right to earn their living, following steps be taken:-
(1) Economic Revival Package for the revival of industries to stimulate production and investment.
(2) Government should announce a package for the development of agriculture sector.
(3) More Technical and Vocational training facilities should be provided. In this way unemployed people will get the chance to enhance their skills and become able to earn reasonable income.
(4) With a view to reduce educated unemployment; self-employment schemes should be encouraged in true manners.
f. Addressing Ethnic and Linguistic Divide. To promote equity and harmony, necessary for national unity and integrity, we should treat equally all ethnic groups, and ensure the protection and promotion of their languages and cultures. Just economic developments in all the provinces need to be ensured. So far we have achieved nothing through violence, thus we have to adopt diplomatic approach to meet national agendas.
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