In India there is a wide spread condemnation of the recent proclamation of Emergency. For Pakistani’s it’s ‘Just Once Aain’. To them it’s a routine affair.
The current emergency was needed to save Pakistan and Musharraf and not Musharraf alone. The country has been in the throes of terrorism for quite sometime. After Lal Masjid fiasco, attack on Benazir’s cavalcade, the capturing of Pakistani soldiers by terrorists in NWFP and holding them as hostage for months amply indicated the impotence and helplessness of the Pakistani Government. The impending Supreme Court Judgment was only the last straw on the camels back.
Talibanisation of the society has been going on for quite sometime. Majority of the Pakistanis had favored and voted for a Shariah based constitution. The recent statement of Pakistani Cricket captain on TV that the entire Muslim world was supporting him was an extreme hyperbole and reflected a total Talibanisation of society. The national level cricketers have started to wear religion on their sleeves. Growing a beard, Praying enmasse in the Plane etc., depict a deep rooted fundamentalist attitude.
The current emergency seemingly has been proclaimed by Musharraf to get rid of the Mullas and ISI combine Raj. The flip side is that the person responsible for the things to come to such a pass is none other then Musharraf himself. Musharraf the predator can hardly be relied upon to be the deliverer. The concept of a Benevolent Dictator (A phrase given by Mr. Churchill) is absurd. All dictators' benevolence ultimately gravitates to his own kith and kin. Ideally state has enough Power to fight any unholy alliance such as this one. Musharraf had both the civil forces of state and army behind him to suppress any uprising. The state should be able to maintain law and order with in the domain of legal constitution. Any suspension of constitution , muzzling of press, suppressing of Judiciary speak of inherent weakness in the system. Musharraf inspite of being chief of army and president of state is a weak Head of State. He has been hunting with the hounds and running with the hares. He has been holding on to his seat of power only with an active support of the greatest ROGUE nation i.e., USA. Such people are seldom made of STERNER stuff.
Broadly there are only two ways to run any state. These are counting heads (democracy) or breaking heads (dictatorship). Democracy may not be an ideal form of Governance for an uneducated state like Pakistan, yet its a shade better than Breaking Heads i.e., proclaiming of emergency or Dictatorship.
I believe in Pakistan there has never been even a semblance of democracy. The Army with the mullahs have been ruling the state. When terrorists like MQM form a segment of the coalition Government, Emergency is a necessary culmination. Now Musharraf under the guise of emergency would try to shake of the Mullah regime. Godspeed to him. Yet Musharraf would be a bad choice to rule Pakistan unless he faces a PROPER ELECTION and obtains a popular mandate, which I doubt he ever would. Musharraf is a product of Pakistan Army. In Pakistan Army perceives it demeaning to go to people and seek mandate. They have an inherent right to rule or lord over people.
In India we have had a functional democracy since last 60 years. We continuously moan about its deficiencies. We quote Lord Wavell that “Indian can be ruled firmly or not ruled at all” desiring a more firm form of governance. A Democratic but Firm Government is the appropriate prescription for India. Inspite of all the deficiencies, the delays and corruption its lot better then any authoritarian or Army rule.
We have our own blind spots viz., ‘Criminalisation of Politics’, ‘Corruption in Bureaucracy and Legislature’, ‘In effective Judiciary’ and ‘sensationalisation of TRIVIA by an irresponsible MEDIA’ nearly covers the entire spectrum of any society.. All the four pillars of democracy leave much to be desired. Yet I would not even for a moment seek an authoritarian form of Governance as a substitute.