Pakistan Needs A Referendum To Change The Current Political System

Pakistan Needs A Referendum To Change The Current Political System

By Dr Maqsood Jafri

I have decided to occasionally share some of my life experiences and views with a humble request to share them with your friends and promote my reflections in our younger generation in national interest. So many people have asked me to write autobiography. As I had been interacting with great national and international literary, intellectual and political personalities and have enjoyed friendly relations with them, my writings on them may interest some circles. Presently, in segments, I would write on the matters and events that intermittently strike my memory. Today, I want to share an experience that may enlighten and inspire our youth in understanding the secrets of life.

I was the student of MA English class of Professor V. K. Mall in 1969 at Gordon College, Rawalpindi. Besides, being the Chairman of English department, he was the Principal of college. He was a very learned professor. He was an Oxonian degree holder and had written dissertation on the poetry of William Wordsworth. It was nice of him to gift me this book on its publication. He appointed me as a lecturer of English, when I was the student of MA English. In the history of such a prestigious college, it was my honour to be the First Student Lecturer.

Gordon College was an American college and has produced eminent poets, scholars, journalists, politicians, civil and military high officials. If, I cite their names, it requires pages and pages. Suffice it to mention that the present Army Chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa is also a Gordonian and was my student. Once in the presence of so many generals, he embraced me and addressing him I said: “I am proud of you”. He retorted: “Sir, I am proud of you. It is my honour to be your student.”

I have mentioned this with an intent to advise the younger generation that when you achieve some prominence in your life, respect your teachers and elders. Pride hath a fall. God showers boundless bounties, blisses and blessings on them who are humble and respectful. Always respect your parents and teachers. Your father is your physical father and your teacher is your spiritual father.

Once, I visited the District Accounts Office, Rawalpindi. I had to see the Account Officer who was my friend. When, I entered the building, I saw my school teacher Moulvi Abdul Hakim Sahib, sitting in a chair in the office of a clerk. He was my teacher of Arabic at Muslim High School Said Pur Road, Rawalpindi. He mostly said: “Maqsood, one day you will be very famous for your creative, literary and scholarly pursuits.”

On seeing him, I stopped and bowed with respect. He was very happy to see me. I asked him about the reason of his visiting that office. He had come there regarding his pension matter. I smelt, he was unnecessarily being bothered by the clerk. The clerk knew that his boss was my fan and friend, so he promised to get the work done before I ended my meeting with his boss.

I feel pertinent to mention this tragic side of our wretched society that we sink deep in the abyss of bribery. From clerk to federal secretary, everyone is a leech who sucks the blood of everyone who comes in contact with them. We are a dishonest nation. We are looters and plunderers. Bribery is an integral part of our life. Exceptions are there. I salute those officers who have ample chances of financial corruption but they are God fearing and honest government servants. Their life style is simple while the corrupt government servants are living like Arabian princess.

Our politicians belong to rich class. Majority of them is morally and financially corrupt. The Anti- corruption department is virtually a Pro- corruption department. In my opinion, the people who receive bribes and are involved in the embezzlement of government exchequer must be publicly hanged as great Chinese leader Mao had controlled corruption by giving capital punishment to the corrupt elements.

Pakistan has totally failed in providing justice to its citizens for being in the tight clutches of feudalism, capitalism, bureaucracy, sectarianism and dictatorship. The parliamentary system has totally failed. The chips of the same bloc are still our rulers. The politicians belong to upper class. They change parties and sell loyalties. They are mental dwarfs and pigmies. The Intellectuals have no role and place in the present political scenario. We need Presidential System. The day the nation succeeds in electing a Man about whom Dr Allama Iqbal had said:

گریز از طرزِ جمہوری غلامِ پختہ کاری شو

کہ از مغزِ دو صد خر فکری انسانی نمی آید

Refrain from present democracy and be the follower of a Perfect Man.
If two hundred donkeys brood over, they cannot match the decision of one Wise Man.

Dr Iqbal rejected Western democracy based on feudalism and capitalism and ardently dreamed for the revolution of masses led by the men of knowledge, character and wisdom. I am sorry to say, in the present lot of our politicians, we don’t find the men who can save our drowning skiff.

In America and Europe basic education is free and compulsory. In our country, illiterate majority cast votes as we don’t have free and compulsory basic education. It is not democracy. It is mobocracy. No non- matriculate should be allowed to cast vote and no non-graduate should be allowed to participate in the provincial and National Assembly elections and in senate.

Last night, I watched the panel discussion of some professional journalists and analysts who were discussing the political issues. I was wonder struck when a retired general, Major General Ijaz Awan said that he does not support Martial Law and believes in democratic process. He criticized those selfish and conscienceless politicians who welcome Martial Law and share the power.

He rightly said that if the politicians resist Martial Law and don’t become beneficiaries and lackeys, no army general can impose dictatorial rule. I fully support his daring and honest opinion. I have seen the politicians licking the shoes of generals during the Martial Law regimes of Field Marshal Ayub Khan, General Zia and General Pervez Musharraf.

No military and civil agency opts to interfere in political process without the support and succour of politicians. One thing is self-evident and that is until and unless, we change the present political system, no one can stop the direct or indirect influence and intervention of government intelligence agencies. The only remedy of this political evil and ailment is to replace Parliamentary System with Presidential System. But the question is how to bring this change?

The present parliament and senate will never opt for any change as they are the beneficiaries of this corrupt system. The only way is that the members of civil society or some lawyers should file a writ in the Supreme Court for general referendum whether we require parliamentary system or presidential system?

If General Zia and General Pervaiz Musharraf could hold fake referendums to linger on their illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional governments, why can’t we have referendum to make Pakistan a state based on the ideals of Islam, Dr Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam? On such national matter, if the honourable Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan takes sue motto action, it will be definitely hailed by the nation.

I don’t visualize any Lenin, Mao, or Khomeini in my nation. Their revolutions emerged from bullet not from ballet. To stop bloodshed, we must go for peaceful democratic change and that lies in Presidential System. (New York – December 19, 2021)

Keeping in view the present political crisis and chaos in Pakistan, I once again share my blog which was written one year ago. The country is heading towards civil war. The Chief Justice of Pakistan is requested to take Suo Moto action and issue the order for Referendum: Presidential or Parliamentary System.


Categories: Current Affairs, Pakistan

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