Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ICG Report on Pakistan

The International Crisis Group (ICG) has issued a news report, a piece of information or line that the Pakistan Army can again take over the government. The group has emphasized on bringing reforms in the corrupt bureaucracy and said that if the rumors and anger created by political elements and corrupt bureaucracy were not handled, the Army can find justification to occupy the government.

Corruption in Bureaucracy
The group has particularly targeted the Pakistani bureaucracy and suggested that the bureaucracy should be brought in the sphere of accountability. The dangers being faced by the government are due to inadequate salaries, political interference and corruption without any proper accountability in the civil bureaucracy. Samina Ahmed claims that such reasons provide the Army an opportunity to interfere in the democratic process.
The International Crisis Group has warned by releasing this information that the Army would get a justification for capture the power. Every year the group issues reports on various occasions, but this time it has targeted such an institution at an occasion that can provide a complete the so-called justification for the Army to take control of the government.
In the recent months, the government, opposition and judiciary have belittled themselves by engaging in one dispute or another. Only the Army and judiciary were left, but the International Crisis Group delivered this service as well. We will wait, and appreciate, if Samina Ahmed issues a report on the imbalances in the Army as well.
Now that the report has come out and bureaucracy is being targeted, let's discuss the issue openly. The International Crisis Group has rightly brought the corrupt bureaucracy into the attention by issuing its report, but the Army has never felt the need of taking power merely on the basis of the bureaucracy's corruption; in fact, the bureaucracy his made to do wrongs by the corrupt and incompetent politicians, and then a wave of anxiety hits society; but who is responsible for this? The corrupt and inept politicians? Or, the strong and powerful hands that use them [politicians]? And these hands don't need any justification, but they themselves create justifications.
Was there any justification for the Army to take over power on October 12, 1999; still the Army took control of the government, and it continued for nine years. But when the Army rule ended in the year 2008, it came to light that the government had created a nine-year-long history of malpractices, mismanagement and corruption.
Corrupt politicians are always [and frequently] blamed for plots and permits, while the dollars have increased after the departure of General (retired) Pervez Musharraf. In his rule, the plots, permits were distributed, and divided, but General (retired) Pervez Musharraf himself admitted to have sold humans, 15,000 per head.

Policy of Accountability
The ICG has informed that the bureaucracy is receiving inadequate salaries; this piece of news surprised me much. The salary is, by the way, a bit little but the ICG forgot to mention the facilities that the bureaucrats receive with their "little salaries": more than one vehicle, a driver, servants, house, electricity and telephone bills, many allowances, medical facilities in the country and abroad, and much more. It can safely be said that the salary is little, but the things that they receive in the name of allowances are not less than the earning or profit of a big businessman.
As a police officer out it, "I cannot have a chicken in my salary, but the constables and inspectors of our police station eat a chicken daily." Needless to say that little salary is the major reason for misappropriation. As regards accountability, the suggestion to bring bureaucracy in the ambit of accountability is right. But the ICG knows that whenever an attempt is made to bring the politicians, rulers or bureaucracy in the domain of accountability, what happens: the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) is a pain in the neck!
Whenever there is an allegation in any part of the world, the minister resigns. But here, the convicts and respondents (in court cases) are leading a honorable life under the umbrella of NRO.
The policy of accountability should be for everyone, whether the Army, police, parliamentarians, government, opposition, consulars, nazims, etc, otherwise there are a lot of excuses for interference. Someone has rightly said: muddying the waters is easy when needed.
The ICG report that has analyzed the Pakistani situation, has tried to make the very point that the Army interferes as a result of mismanagement and corruption. The question is that why is the corruption and misappropriation let prosper?

Lacking Sense of Belonging
If one sees the whole affair, it becomes clear that the Pakistani people have been deprived of the sense of belonging to Pakistan. When the hearts and minds of the nation lack this concept, then the same happens. One may light the fire, do corruption, enter the corridors of power or relinquish power, the nation would not care. Because the majority knows they have no concern with the country's exchequer. The amounts, allocated in the budget, would remain nobody's share if we don't receive that.
The ICG and other organizations may be right, but the purpose of their release, their timing and methodology are based on ill-intentions. Set aside the reports of this organization, the Pakistani nations will have to make joint efforts to solve the problems. This country should not only save itself from the faults of some people or institutions but also the nations should also keep itself aloof from the affairs.

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