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Call it political poetry as it calls for considerate and patient reading.

Today, Pakistan approaches a general election for setting the National Assembly of the Parliament of Pakistan.  The run up to the event, which is to be held on or before March 18, 2013, is fraught with ambivalence over the direction of the country, overshadowed by the presence of Islamists, especially groups within the Pakistani Taliban, continuing to bring their intimidating and violent acts to the innocent of Pakistan, and haunted by memories of military dictatorship and fear of recurrence.

Mobarak Haider, who has long produced work in the area of political psychology, published the following with the Rationalist Society of Pakistan and on his Facebook page, and I’m please to post it here with the author’s permission.

Where is the End?

How many more do you wish to kill?

All Hazaras and Northern Shiites first?

Yes, they are comparatively easier to kill because they can be found in a herd, are peaceful and have no horns to hit back with.

Then all Shiite in smaller towns, followed by stronger ones in the cities? Then Christians en masse, if need be?

Good strategy by our strategic assets!

We must salute you Brave Lions of the Desert, before we salute the Men at their best who follow you to restore peace! Then will be a period of calm; vacation for you to eat in your cages your well-deserved meat and pats from the boss. Our great warriors in khaki will be admired for their immense courage and nobility in sparing their helpless brothers from carnage.

Our hearts ache in helpless frustration when we see you perform massacre after massacre with holy impunity.

We bite our lips in impotent rage when again and again our army manipulates our constitution against our constitution and brilliantly arouses civilians against civilians: “Well if law and order is to be restored by us , then what use are you?” asks the innocently bored general, “Now then, sit aside and face the cases of corruption which brought the nation to the brink of disaster”!

The politicians who have saved their skins by obediently playing second fiddle for five years will now save their skins by submitting confessions for pardon.

Great work!

As first step defeat the police and civil rule through your strategic assets, then get invited by an immense national clamor, to take over as interim or hopefully permanent government.

We are more aware than ever before that as a people crowd, we do not have the democratic option to have representatives.

We have to salute a savior.

Two of them, are available: Army Generals or Taliban Generals.

In fact it is not a choice but a possibility.

They will settle affairs among themselves; such is our destiny. In fact Allah seems to have chosen kings and soldiers as destiny of all Muslims for all times. In past centuries we had king like others had. Generals and Jihadists have appeared to combat the heretical trends of democracy and human rights. Perhaps that is why Muslim immigrants are struggling against representational democracies of the West, to attain their destiny of life-time rulers.

It is not true that generals and jihadists overthrow every rule they serve.

They are loyal to kings and sheikhs and Imams. They hate only modern Muslim rulers who choose heretical path of power: democracy.

Let us see some close cases.

Muslim kings ruled for centuries the Indian population which was deeply hostile most of the time. Throughout these centuries there were tiring wars, mass armed revolts and deep unrest which army alone handled, because no ‘darogha’ or ‘Kotwal’ could handle them.

But no general ever took over.

The British, foreign rulers with a foreign religion ruled us with a few thousand English soldiers and a large army of Muslims and other locals. Muslims soldiers faithfully fought to defend the British rule against Muslim jihadists led by Syed Ahmad Shaheed and others for half a century.

They finally fought for them in WW2.

The British hanged Muslim Ulama, they massacred in Jallianwala, they hanged freedom fighters, they hanged Ilm Din, a far greater hero of All India Muslims than is Mumtaz Qadri; he had acted over a book that strongly and directly insulted the Prophet of Islam, he had been defended by Iqbal and Jinnah, but he was hanged without the need of a Martial Law.

Musaddiq of Iran was easy to overthrow because of his democracy.

Ayatullahs rule till their death with an authority of Allah. They hanged hundred thousands, they plunged their people in a meaningless war of a decade. No protest from a general, not even grumbling.

Unlimited rule of kings, holy men and foreign rulers has been a norm because no general interfered with political power and no agency created independent civil brigades of assassins to create anarchy as a pretext for takeovers.

Isn’t it grotesque that an intelligence network which wrestles with CIA and KGB, locates and sends out their highly covered agents, fails in this godforsaken land to get hold of its own leashed Lions of the Desert?

As helpless observers of our disaster, we can just observe: “It is not wise to destroy your people, any people, for prosperity and power which already overflows from your coffers. Pain and disgrace will be the final reward of misdeeds”.

It would seem to take a general with a well comprised army to empower a president with a fairly elected government, and nowhere may this be more so than for Pakistan, a state naturally inclined to drift west toward peace and prosperity only to find itself several times yanked back toward medieval oligarchy embalmed by the honeyed venom of Islamic dogma working through the veins of some impassioned young and many venal and well positioned elders, all glorious in their mission, frequently bloody in fact.

Such an impression, however, may overlook assaults against Pakistan’s defense and other security elements on the ground as well as the effects of a sustained and still within-bounds presidency and perhaps an equally persistent drone-and-missile program targeting Taliban leaders and clarifying both a human message and a form of conversation and its influence.

Out of habit, we may perceive strings and puppets and some, say, Qatar-to-Pakistan connections — or, say, a Pakistan military and ISI mainline to Taliban — but autonomy and autonomy-seeking behavior and politics may play a stronger role in Pakistan’s restive frontiers than so many other invasive forces.  One might read — and I have read — a devout Pashtun’s equivalent of “they went that-a-way” in reference to the hotter heads in the area.

However Pakistan may wish to walk, one hopes it will be upright and down the middle of the street as opposed to slouching menacingly at one hour and  obsequiously the next down both sides of it for decades to come.

Related Reference

Ahmad, Riaz.  “Execution: Taliban slay 21 tribal policemen in FR Peshawar.”  The Express Tribune, December 30, 2012.

Ahmad, Riaz.  “Late-Night Offensive: Six policemen killed in attack.  The Express Tribune, October 16, 2012.

Ali, Zulfiqar.  “Car bomb kills 17 in crowded market in Pakistan.”  Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2012.

Bangkok Post.  “Militants kidnap 22 Pakistani soldiers: officials.”  December 28, 2012.

Imtiaz, Shah.  “Pakistan gunmen shoot 5 workers from anti-polio campaign.”  AlertNet, December 18, 2012.

Kouri, Jim.  “Terrorists kidnap and execute 21 police officers in Pakistan.”  Examiner, December 30, 2012.

Reuters.  “Bomb Kills 14 Pakistani Soldiers in North Waziristan.”  Updated News, January 13, 2013: “The court order came as an enigmatic preacher turned politician, Muhammad Tahir-ul Qadri, addressed thousands of supporters outside parliament and repeated calls for the government’s ouster. In earlier speeches, he said that a caretaker administration led by technocrats should take its place.”

Rosenberg, Matthew.  “Taliban Opening Qatar Office, and Maybe Door to Talks.”  The New York Times, January 3, 2012. Note: the article seems to deal with the Afghanistan side of Taliban political interest.

Walsh, Declan.  “Pakistan Supreme Court Orders Arrest of Prime Minister.”  The New York Times, January 15, 2013.

Zahra-Malik, Mehreen.  “Gunmen kidnap seven Pakistani soldiers.”  Reuters, January 2, 2013.