Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
A serious attempt to make a diagnosis in order to arrive at a cure is definitely the first step towards recovery. Therefore, in order to achieve complete recovery the diagnosis must surely itself be complete and the prescription offered must be effective.
Take into account the fact that despite being guilty of self inflicted wounds, our society is never the less subject to innumerable conspiracies that take advantage of our weakness and herd us towards situations that are in consonance with the designs and aims of these conspirators. As such they cannot be discounted but rather have to be included in our diagnosis. Is it not possible, as held by some responsible members of society, that due to “the long history of dictatorships, we have developed a strong culture for conspiracy theories” can read that as a result of long history of conspiracy, we have developed a strong culture for dictatorship!
It is important to first reveal as to who is referred to as ‘we’. Which part or whole of our society can be included in this mythical proactive ‘we’? Do we include the dispossessed; marginalized and exploited yet silent majority, desperate for some small modicum of relief in the never ending battle for survival and subsistence? Is the ‘we’ all inclusive or is it the exclusive and elitist few that are the real actors who determine the course that is set for the Nation to steer by?
Is it not possible that the root cause rests upon the failure to establish or rebuild a vibrant and home made ethos that would drive us towards progress? The present dispensation is that of a dying colonial establishment assailed by the masses that were recognized and empowered as a direct response to the socialist agenda of a political party and is this not the real power base of that party? The exclusive right, itself divided between so called religious, conservative middle class; feudals; industrialists and westernized elite hobbling together to pursue conflicting special interests, fails to attain majority without vested interest support at the ballot.
If we are to “fix responsibility” and “understand why we are where we are” it is important to first understand where we are in the first place! The social order of yesteryear consisted of the degenerated remnants of feudal imperialism subject to colonialism whose successors, the economic neo-colonial imperialists, won the Second World War. The evolved social context was that of rigidly stratified yet self reliant microcosms existing within a survival of the strongest and most ruthless milieu. With increasing awareness and the opening out of economic opportunities, this framework broke down to create a disjointed free for all attempting to attain personal self-reliance. In order to attain some form of a harmonious whole we turned towards the model of British parliamentary system at National and Provincial levels. With failure to attain National or Provincial self-reliance the experiment of Local Bodies was tried out twice and on both occasions on the behest of Military Leaders trying for some semblance of National cohesion, ostensibly to devolve governance to local self-governance, surely a contradiction in terms! The truism that any system is as good or as bad as the people who run it, overwhelms the intrinsic efficacy or otherwise of any system.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
The promise of “freedom, democracy, prosperity, and social justice in accordance with the principles of Islam that galvanized the Muslims of South Asia to launch (the) Pakistan movement” followed by “strong civil and military bureaucracy hijacked the state as political institutions were weak and in early formative stage.”
In order to attain the promise and eschew hijacking, which must include corrupt politicians, we need to consider the following. Should we not resolve the choice between westernized elitism and traditional culture? Will this step not include the vast majority of our populace who may have better leadership; vision; solutions etc. that could be tapped to achieve progress and prosperity? Secondly, can we establish Local Self-Governance at the Grass roots level that is the Village or Mohallah and not the Union and District Council level as touted by the late regime? In order to avoid replicating the divisive and competitive system of first past the post rule of the largest minority as a practical result of the democracy as practiced by us that is a masquerade for oligarchy or the rule of the rich, with Page-Rank Algorithm Social Network analysis that uncovers the ‘nexus of trust’ by highlighting the ‘flow-betweeness’ of individuals within a social network. This would quite easily avoid the self aggrandizement, abhorrent to the principles of Islam, with a rehabilitated and rationalized, egalitarian Panchayat/ Jirga system whose leaders are replaced by more deeply representative members who do not compete or vie for leadership? Can we engage in a dialogue to weigh the pros and cons of an alternate system that seeks to replace the exploitive structure with a truly participative and empowered local self-reliance? Given a workable mechanism and framework can we rethink our ‘Taqleedi” development with rational measures in consonance with our peculiar circumstances, culture, identity and history? Can we not establish a response to current challenges and imperatives based upon a rational development of Islamic society that would have been emplaced if it was not subverted by opportunists, plagues and external forces? Do we have to go through the rigors of re-evolving a modern society by repeating the mistakes of others? Do we change the system or just the faces?
Ah, Love! Could thou and I with Fate conspire?
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire!
Would not we shatter it to bits-and then.
Re-mold it nearer to the Heart's Desire!