The price of making history

Three extraordinary events took place last week. The death (murder) of Arshad Sharif, the announcement of the date of the long-awaited long march of Imran Khan and the appearance of DG ISI in the ISPR briefing. Arshad’s murder is the death of civic nationalism or what’s left of it in this country. His death is a symbolic representation of what I see as the revival of civic nationalism in Pakistan and one of the reasons the long march is being undertaken in this country. Arshad was a very passionate research journalist and a very brave man, but we all know that.

What we don’t know or don’t want to know is that it’s the story that connects the nation and the state — not just any story, but the real story. No matter how bitter its foundations, if it is not grounded in truth, we will never stitch together as a nation state. What was Arshad doing? He was trying to be real; he was objective in what he did, gathering information and data that exposed the remnants of the settlers and their sponsors in our country. He stood for what we all want to be – sovereigns and a sovereign state that would not be dictated to but would make all decisions based on the fundamental interests of this country; and that we should govern ourselves and be governed by the true representatives of the people and not by a regime of crooks and criminals imposed by the settlers.

What was the price he had to pay to bring about such revelations – he paid the great price with his life. He represented truth and was a son of the soil who rewrote history based on his true discoveries. Before moving on to the other two events – the long march and the presence of DG ISI in the DG ISPR brief – let me share with readers the recent statement that came from across the border of our biggest rival and biggest source of external threat, India. Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said, “India will achieve its goals when it reaches Gilgit-Baltistan.” He accused us of committing “atrocities against the people of Azad Kashmir” warning of “consequences for our treatment”. Rajnath’s language is similar to that spoken by Indian leaders during the East Pakistan debacle. Like many Pakistanis, for me it is not a surprise.

What is surprising is why Pakistan has not been able to produce a civilian leadership that can speak in the same language as the Indians. Why couldn’t we have one defense minister who could speak so boldly and people would be willing to listen and believe? Credibility is when internal and external audiences are willing to listen to you. Pakistan’s Supreme Court, hearing the petition to stop Imran Khan’s long march, said: “The court does not want to use its pen as a stick.” In this refreshing comment, the Supreme Court very objectively re-emphasized the true concept of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution. The role of transforming a society is a role that the politics of a country must play and there is no doubt in my mind that Pakistan today is going through a period of transformation.

The people in Pakistan no longer want hereditary dynastic and aristocratic politics based on nepotism; they fight for meritocratic politics that can produce defense ministers who can speak credibly in the same language to the Indians in which they speak to us. For that, these ministers must come from a government formed on the aspirations of the people. What has Imran Khan been asking for since he was ousted from power six months ago? He calls for the immediate holding of elections in this country so that a government represented by the people can be formed – not his government but the government which is elected by the people and not imposed on them. Pakistan had the height of nepotism where families and friends were favored in the past who made huge fortunes not because they understood what Pakistan’s core interests were and how they could advance those interest, but only because they felt entitled to benefit from it. a privilege.

For a very long time, our establishment has been involved in a role that it considered its due. No one questions its power, but its role and purpose. The DG ISPR briefing in which DG ISI made an appearance could have been avoided. The objective issues – such as Arshad being ostracized from what he was doing, the numerous FIRs registered against him which forced him to flee the country and the fact that he was a government scammers – were never discussed. The real question is not why the establishment became neutral or apolitical, but the critical moment it chose to be. It is the end of imperial rights that the people want. All of our strategic assessments stem from our history. Sadly, it’s bittersweet and has left us to become what we are – a nation with a dysfunctional government that’s under huge debt.

This country cannot afford a strategic rivalry between its people and its institutions. The only way forward is to let go of that and embrace the concept of coexistence. With the advent of the Long March, Pakistan’s renewed history is on the march. Grasping the scholarly and philosophical implications of a given political issue is not the job of men in uniform. This job falls to the real representatives of the people – the politicians. There is a lesson for all of us in the Stoic philosopher Epictetus who wrote, “We cannot choose our outer circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them. It is time for our institutions to side with people’s choice, because ultimately it is what people value and their aspirations that act as the great engine of change in the course of history. I hope common sense will prevail and a date for holding new elections in the country will be announced – this is the only proper way to solve the current problem.