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Posts Tagged ‘republic’

Missing Persons Case, Nationalism and Islam Ka Qila

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

I hope people who support agencies on missing persons issue will either get hidayat or suffer the same in this world to see how it goes.

There were people in Nazi Germany who suppored such acts and supported Hitler’s crimes in the name of nationalism. It is surprising to see our nationalists also claim for Pakistan as “Islam ka Qila” and forget the principles of justice and humanity given in Quran and Sunnah.

Most of these nationalists like fake liberals support these acts due to their sectarian and social class prejudices. The only thing is that they add nationalist flavor to it.

This nationalism and worship of army cannot be associated with any country using the words “Islamic Republic” and I see it as another form of Shirk as teachings of Allah are being sidelined for new Gods like State, Army etc. Iqbal righly said:

In taza khudaon main baRa sab se watan hai
Jo pairhan iss ka hai, woh mazhab ka kafan hai

Yeh bott keh tarasheeda-e-tahzeeb-i-navi hai
Gharat gar-e-khashan-e-deen-i-nabawi hai

Baazu tira tawheed ki quwwat se qawi hai
Islam tira dais he, tu Mustafawi hai!

I often criticize the hypocrisy of fake liberals but today I want to remind those nationalists who consider Pakistan as Islam Ka Qila that Islam doesn’t allow these type of unjust actions and violations of human rights. If some of these missing persons have done some crimes then even in that case army, government and security agencies cannot deny them of their rights including the right to defend themselves in court. If they believe in Islam and consider Pakistan as Islamic Republic then they should know what are the principles of justice in Islam. Islam doesn’t allow injustice with worst enemies of Islam:

“O ye who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Informed of what ye do.” [Quran : Al-maeda ,8]

Democratic Centralization vs Rule of Law based Decentralization

Our political dynamics are changing drastically with new players emerging and old players losing their positions. We are also seeing a power struggle between so called Rightists vs Leftists or Seculars vs Theocrats and somewhere there are parties which place themselves in-between. People are even talking about Judicial Martial Law.

But over all out look shows that the focus is on putting together a centralized system with some aspects of democracy. Our feudal culture, history of martial laws and domination of state institutions have restricted our minds to run things from centre with iron fist or authoritarian ways.

What is lacking in this approach is the realization of our diversity in the society. We are a country with diversified ethnic, sectarian and other social classes. Many of us cite China as an example and consider their Democratic Centralization as an ideal concept for Pakistan. We need to know that China has a dominant socialist ideology and their culture is pretty much same throughout China. They have a civilization which can be called as a Chinese Civilization. On the other hand Pakistan doesn’t have a single Pakistani Civilization. Pakistan is on the meeting point of several civilizations on both sides of Indus and which show different cultural and demographic colors if we move from Karachi to K2.

We cannot have a same system for Karachi and FATA or Islamabad and Dera Bugti. Attempts were made by Military dictators like Zia, Musharraf and Ayub who tried to implement their personal ideologies on the whole country and ending up creating a mess. Similarly civilian feudal-corporatists also tried to implement their vision on the whole country and again added to the mess. Even those who talk about liberalism have their own sectarian, ethnic and social class prejudices backing their ideals.

We need a decentralized system where federal government has minimum authority to run defense, dispute resolution and few other things. Even with them a concept of voluntary involvement and local considerations need to be taken into account. We need a system where decision making is brought to the local level which will also ensure merit among different localities selecting their leaders. It is unfair for those who don’t elect a corrupt government but they also have to face the bad consequences of its actions. To keep things in tact we can have a constitutional setup where rules of engagements should be mentioned between different constituents of the country. In short we need a “Rule of Law based Decentralization”.

This decentralization should be in Governance, Legislation and Economics. This is not something impractical; we can see some colors of it in countries like United States or Australia. Obviously for that we need to consider the ideology which dominated at the time of the creation of the country which is also reflected in the Objective Resolution. If we talk about Islam then “Meesaq e Madina” can show us how Muslims and Jews made an agreement by accepting each other as a reality. Even in a centralized country like China, they had to make adjustments in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. Even Russia has different Republics with some autonomy. In Pakistan’s case Quaid e Azam made agreements with our tribes which resulted in the tribes becoming part of Pakistan. These agreements allowed the tribal people to maintain their autonomy and also accept few fundamental laws of Pakistan. We also need a loose central structure to avoid the class clashes.

At the moment power is concentrated to center and everyone wants to control it either through the power of masses or power of gun. We even cannot afford a democratic system where 90% decides to suppress the remaining 10%. It will create the sense of alienation and hopelessness in the parties not in power and so can result in an undesirable retaliation which can be damaging for all.

We need to come out of the copycat mentality and be genuine in our approach as our problems are genuine and bit different from where we are trying to import the solutions.Mutual existence can only prevail through mutual acceptance of each other as a reality.

Note : A bit edited version is also available on http://blogs.thenewstribe.com/blog/66276/decentralization-a-solution/

I have respect for the will of People but I am a bit reluctant to use the term ‘DEMOCRACY’..!

March 10, 2010 1 comment

The US elections grasp attention of people all over the world and for a period of time, the two terms “Democrats” and “Republicans” become the most iterated of terms. In Pakistan also, it creates a lot of buzz with debates and discussions all around. But my intention to refer US elections is certainly not to debate over “Why Obama won?” and “What should Republicans do?” Here, I am more concerned about the differences between the two terms i.e. Democracy and Republic; or are these terms synonymous enough to be used interchangeably?

Literally, the word Republic is  derived from a Latin words res and publica, which mean everybody’s thing or interest or a public affair. Whereas the word Democracy has its origins from Greek, with Demos meaning people and kratos, meaning Government. Literally, democracy means Government by or of the people.

In modern political science, republicanism refers to a specific ideology that is based on civic virtue and is considered distinct from ideologies such as liberalism. Democracy is a political government either carried out by the people (direct democracy), or the power to govern is granted to elected representatives, without the restraint embodied in a fixed body of law. The law is whatever an official organ of government determines it is.

Considering our case i.e. of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, we follow a specific ideology that is based on civic virtue as prescribed by Islam. For us, as mentioned in the Objective Resolution “Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone but He has delegated it to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him as a sacred trust.” Consider an extreme case of an ideal Democracy in Pakistan; if a law is passed by majority which is against the teachings of Islam or which goes against the fact that “Sovereignty belongs to Allah”, should we consider it as a law? In my opinion, I would have a vocal ‘NO’ against that. Now refer to our constitution where it is clearly prescribed tha Islam is the state religion which means in any case the principles described in Holy Quran have to be upheld, we can say that it does not exactly fit into the definition of the term ‘Democracy’. So it is necessary to keep distinction between implementing a complete Democracy and keeping some principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice fully observed as prescribed in the constitution.

In order to have an idea of the will of people, consider the survey conducted last year by British Council of Pakistan which suggested that almost three-quarters of the Youth in Pakistan (which currently constitutes two-third of the whole population of Pakistan) define themselves as Muslims First then a Pakistani. Moreover, according to a survey conducted by Maryland University, almost 71 percent agreed with requiring “strict application of [sharia] law in every Islamic country.” Despite more than six decades of our creation, the debate still continues amongst the masses, on which side we fall but what is important here is to realize the difference between being a Democrate or a Republican, as this misunderstanding is becoming a major reason behind the dichotomy that exists within our society – a society which faces extreme opposition from many scholars regarding ‘Democracy’ and on the other hand extreme proposition from various circles. So the bottom line is instead of imposing a system which is executable in any other part of the world, we should work out in designing and implementing a system suitable for our needs and which rightly addresses our values. Now surprisingly, Urdu being our national language and the language of masses; has the same word “Jamhoriat” for both Democracy and Republic. Yes! The word Jamhoriat, a word which echoes repeatedly and amplified by various political personalities, is also reflected in the name “Islami Jamhoria Pakistan”.

So it should be kept as two distinct approaches whether the leader or party, for whom we keep on chanting slogans, wants a “Democratic Pakistan” or will keep it “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”?

As John Marshall (Chief Justice, The US Supreme Court 1801-1835) observed: “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”

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