111 510 510 libonline@riphah.edu.pk Contact

Purpose and conviction

An American author Robert Byrne had once said, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose”. Similarly, another wise person had also once said, “The way you live is your message to the world. Make sure it inspires”.

After Quaid-e-Azam’s unfortunate early demise and later on Khan Liaquat Ali Khan’s brutal assassination, the lifestyle of our leaders, almost across the board, left much to be desired and could least inspire our people – especially our youth.

The purpose for the creation of Pakistan, as we all understand is: “To establish an Islamic, social democratic order, in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, enabling its people to order their lives in accordance with their aspirations, beliefs and values.”

From the above flow our vital national interests which are enshrined in our constitution. These, in essence, are: protecting the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Pakistan; strengthening the democratic order based on an Islamic ideology; protecting fundamental human rights and improving quality of human life of people in Pakistan; fostering friendly relations and deep rooted economic ties with all countries of the world, especially neighbours, superpowers, OIC ,ECO and SCO; and formulating proactive diplomatic skills for the solution of the Kashmir issue in light of UN resolutions.

To protect such vital national interests, nations usually set aims and objectives for themselves. Those could be: building and strengthening democratic institutions with a view to establish an egalitarian society based on the injunctions of Quran and Sunnah. Second, an aim could also be to reform the judicial system to ensure quick justice, rule of law, and strict across-the-board accountability. Third, universalise literacy and improve quality of education. Fourth, control and reduce population growth. Fifth, make Pakistan self-sufficient in food and energy.

Further, promote national integration, enhance economic development both in industrial and agricultural research sectors and achieve a more equitable distribution of national income by reducing the gap between the rich and the poor. Seventh, ensure potent defence capacity to deter aggression or threat of aggression. Eight, promote stable political equilibrium in the region to defuse external threats. And, ninth, encourage various media associations to carve out self accountability policies based on journalism ethics.

To achieve such objectives, governments need to formulate policies and carve out potent strategies to implement their policies. Such aims and objectives are no rocket science; we have to as a nation pursue these goals by rising above our small egos and petty political ambitions.

My humble recommendations in this context are: The government in power has tremendous responsibilities on its shoulders to deal with the current internal political quagmire. It is true that more than the opposition, it is unfortunately the government in power and its unelected and unwise advisers who miss no opportunity to create an embarrassment for the government and bring a bad name to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Imran needs to concentrate on governance, economic revival, judicial reforms, and strategies to deal with coronavirus attacks. Besides containment attempts against China in the South China Sea, the Palestinian conflict, Kashmir issue, Afghanistan peace, BRI concept implications and power transition in the US all have global dimensions which are transforming the international scene with incredible alacrity. Instead of harping on about the NRO, the prime minister should concentrate on domestic governance while ensuring that the corrupt are not spared but that accountability is done religiously across the board.

The opposition must also show patience. Relentlessness and frustration make one lose composure, rendering you incapacitated to identify your limitations which if crossed will surely be politically very counterproductive.

The armed forces are sacred the world over but that does not mean that the commanders who handle them don’t make inadvertent or advertent mistakes. For that, there are inbuilt accountability mechanisms. Officers up to the rank of Lt-Gens, air marshals and admirals can be sacked within 24 hours for any irregularity. For eg, very recently the COAS inquiry team has fixed responsibility on one ISI and one Rangers officer for their high-headedness in the matter of the alleged abduction of the IG Sindh.

Any complaint against any of the service chiefs is handled by the sitting PM. After retirement, all are accountable under the prevailing civil and military laws. One service chief was repatriated from abroad and he had to go for a plea bargain, losing all his perks and privileges.

However, pointing to key serving armed forces officers by name by anyone other than the competent authorities is tantamount to eroding the credibility of the institution. Our army is second to none in professionalism. Their will to fight is derived from their commitment to their country’s ideology,

The PM must select his team based on his own vision. Borrowed wisdom can also work at times but it is devoid of a leader’s own courage of conviction and intuitive power.

A leader has to be honest and very sincere to his national cause. However, this alone is not at all enough unless supplemented by his/her own blessed leadership traits and outstanding state-person acumen, desired maturity, and broadminded proactive approach to complicated state craft challenges.

US president-elect Joe Biden is a highly respected and very experienced world leader. In his victory speech he called for healing and cooperation – despite bagging 75 million votes. Our ruling party got only about 15 million (32 percent) votes against its opponents who got about 35 million votes (68 percent) in the last elections. Yet, the government has the audacity to not even sit with its political opponents .This attitude needs to be changed immediately.

Senator Lt-Gen Abdul Qayyum, "Purpose and conviction," The News. 2020-11-12.
Keywords: Political science , National integration , Agricultural Research , Islamic order , Democratic order , Civil laws , Military laws , Palestinian conflict , Economic ties , Accountability