Feudal Lords and Politics: Thinking that the politics of Pakistan is grounded in the soil of democracy is a delusion. No matter if elections are conducted and people cast votes to choose their representation for provincial and national assemblies because the peoples representation in the country doesnt come from the common mass. The election in a feudal society is unauthentic because a tenant has to vote for his landlord or landlady. Otherwise, the tenants survival sinks into jeopardy. It is an irrational approach to politics to think that a tenant will dare go against the one on whom his survival depends. The same political picture of Pakistan has been drawn by Wasing Post in April 2003 in one of its articles. The reputed journal has put reality in the following words.
With a natural constituent base among tribal followers and tenants, the feudal lords moved easily into politics after independence, dominating provincial and national assemblies while building alliances with the all-powerful military. The nations few large landholding families wield substantial power locally and nationally.
The hegemony and utter monopoly of the state lie in the hands of feudal lords, also known as Waderaas. This ugly face of the country Pakistan has been beautifully sketched by Akeel Abbas Jaafry in words in his book Pakistan K Siyaasi Wadeyray. He says, In Pakistan, the feudal class bosses the elections, heads the revolutions, dominates the democracy and whatnot. Sometimes they just name themselves as Republicans, and sometimes under Convention League, they get together. Sometimes they set their mehfil up in the name of Islami Socialism of Bhutto, and sometimes they appear in the Majlis-i-Shoora of Zia-ul-Haq. They waderaasdo have the lordship of black and white of the state.
Washing Post further throws light on the powerful grip saying that Feudal lords, known as Waderaas, Sardars, and Khans, depending on their place in the tribal and landholding hierarchy, continue to wield more power than civil authorities. Astonishingly a few even run their jails.
Military and Money: From the lines, quoted below, of the book Military Inc. authored by Aashiya Siddiq of Pakistan, one can easily understand how the army of Pakistan which in its very foundation was meant to protect the country at its borders, is using its power to exploit the society.
Today the Pakistan military’s internal economy is extensive and has turned the armed forces into one of the dominant economic players. The most noticeable and popular component of Milbus relates to the business ventures of the four welfare foundations: the Fauji Foundation (FF), Army Welfare Trust (AWT), Shaheen Foundation (SF) and Bahria Foundation (BF). These foundations are subsidiaries of the defence establishment, employing both military and civilian personnel. The businesses are very diverse, ranging from smaller-scale ventures such as bakeries, farms, schools and private security firms to corporate enterprises such as commercial banks, insurance companies, radio and television channels, fertilizers, cement and cereal manufacturing plants, and insurance businesses.
It, however, is not the end of the story. On the institutional level, the military is also involved directly through its small and medium-sized enterprises. It is one of the least transparent segments, which makes it difficult to exactly calculate the net worth of the military’s internal economy. Operations vary from toll collecting on highways (motorways) to gas stations, shopping malls and other similar ventures.
In the same book mentioned above, the author with reference to Parvez Musharaf, ex-President and Commander-in-Chief of the army of Pakistan, has penned down some lines quoted below.
Then, we have the army welfare trust, we have Fauji Foundation. Yes, they are involved in banking … they’re involved in. . .Weve got fertilizers … we are involved even in pharmaceuticals. We are involved in cement plants so, what is the problem if these organizations are contributing and are being run properly? We have the best banks. Our cement plants are doing exceptionally well. Our fertilizer plants are doing exceptionally well. So, why is anyone jealous? Why is anyone jealous if the retired military officials or the civilians with them are doing a good job contributing to the economy of Pakistan and doing well?
Pakistan’s politicians and Pakistan army together form feud-armed nexus which is like a two-mouthed snake that bites 23 crores of people in their country.