[Opinion] State, citizens and “treason”

by Quwat Khan Sunny

A country with good faith in its citizens and confident of its sincere service to them should take on the real enemy than selling the worth of doubt. Any mishap in Pakistan is followed by childish claims of an invisible hand to be the catalyst. Bad governance, Selfishness and ferocious failures to establish goodwill by the government likely result in mishaps. An unprepared and unaware lethargic, then, would jump in from a comfort zone with branded conspiracy theories and packaged doubts to befool the citizens. This conspiracy juggler calls himself a politician. Cashing in on the opportunities created by mishaps is a lucrative business for such people in more than one way. They have every kind of product to suit the situation. That’s how politics goes in this country.

The people of Gilgit-Balistan were pleased to some extent when they got an empowerment package from the government of Pakistan. Two citizens were tagged as Chief Minister and Governor. Optimism had prevailed that the destiny of the people will be changed. The elected representatives from this part of the country would bring forward their problems, push in their cause and create a niche for their identity. They were expected to focus on the issues which were lying unattended for the last 63 years.

Pathetically, the nature of politics around here, however, did not change. The same power politics, divide-and-rule policy and package-democracy continue here. The old version of citizenship and the by-default outdated systems; substantially, nothing has changed. Sad to say, even the locally elected representatives do not appear to represent what they belong to.

It appears the members of the assembly are running their prioritiees with the flow of politics in Islamabad. That’s why their public statements, rules of business and political tone is full of wording that has more to do with Islamabad than with the people of Gilgit Baltistan. It sounds like the parrots are still talking on behalf of their masters.

Recently, Mutaib Shah, a member of the Gilgit- Baltistan Assembly presented a resolution to be discussed in the house that suggested taking severe actions against the public in Hunza who recorded a peaceful demonstration during the visit of Prime Minster of Pakistan. The resolution suggested sedition charges against those who chanted slogans against Prime Minister of Pakistan. The resentments among the people of Hunza, Nagar and Ghizar were viewed as treason actions. It was specifically mentioned that there are people in Hunza, Gojal and Ghizar who are gnawing the roots of the principles of the state. Ironically, these are the very places that historically have been great allies against foreign encroachments especially against the Dogras.

What are the fundamental principles of Pakistan and where do they exist is pretty hard question to answer. It is also incomprehensible to borrow the word treason from a constitution and apply it on a territory which the constitution itself does not recognize.

There is no one to ask the question. Those who were mandated to ask critical questions about the fate of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan are now indulging themselves in practices which are virtually inconsistent with the mandate that they are held with.

Why is it so that a hungry chirping bird is opted to put into cage in no time, while the people who well qualify for treason charges are garlanded? Why 60-year long frozen citizens of Gilgit-Baltistan are being told to shut their mouth and bow to the people they don’t know? These and many more, are the hard-pressing questions which ought to be asked but there is no one who would dare to. All this is what the by-default obsolete systems have got to offer us.

It is customary in Pakistan to burn public properties, shooting innocent passer-by’s and using shameful language against any one, whatsoever rank of the country, when the public is in agitation. No body would term it treachery or sedition if that happens in any other province of the country. Altaf Hussain, a prominent political figure of Pakistan has said on the record that “The creation of Pakistan is the greatest, greatest blunder of the history” None was there to term it sedition or treason. This is a country where soldiers pop up and throw the constitution into the garbage and hog the nations for decades and gracefully exit, leaving the wreckage for the hungry vultures. No sedition charges! This is a country where Jiyalapan is more important than humanity. This is a country with leaders preaching pure sainthood and practicing acute corruption. It is that country whose leaders enslave its citizens and trade in them internationally. So there is nothing to surprise if a peaceful protest is viewed as treason and violence is considered to be the political expression (as it would be, in the case of Jiyalas and Leagues).One can expect anything here; leave that a side.

Acceptably, we are stranded by overarching national and international issues. We, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, also are going through the troubles of Climate change. We are the disenfranchised people, carrying half-a-century long set of deprivations. What is it that makes us so externally focused, that we have started blaming our own brothers and sisters. Is this a democratic news? Was this the mandate, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan had given to its representatives? I think this is a really bad start for a new beginning.

Why this very resolution was presented in the Assembly and whose dictation was behind it is a question mark. But Mr. Mutaib Shah needs a political schooling, for he has poorly performed on behalf of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. The people of this region should not let others to trouble their waters. Often, miscreants would do so, in order to fish in it. We should also expose the factors who engineer conspiracy theories to cover up their own gross negligence and vicious backdoor activities.

The demonstration of the people against bad governance and negligence is a genuine democratic exercise, should be encouraged, and must be carried on. The vultures would not stop uttering hisses and grunts, no matter how hard you try to appease them.

Originally published at epakhtoori under a different title

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  1. Dear very well said, nicely articulated, its indeed a great effort for coming up with such a comprehensive article. Good Work, Keep it up,

  2. It is indeed a nice article, where Mr. Sunny has come up with very important and relevant questions. The questions raised are pertinent but at the same time some ground realities should also be taken into account.
    1- We all know that our politicians are “shah se ziyada shah ke wafadar” and they have to perform their best to prove that everything is fine, people are well off and happy with government and they have been happy with the government for the last 63 years and irrespective of the treatment meted towards them during this period, they have no dissent voices. In other words they give to the centre the message of “sub acha hai.”
    2- These politicians have been privileged as compared to other people in the area and they know how to protect their interests and how to keep the situation favourable for themselves. These attempts by them have been supported by the mainstream political parties and thus they have been able to dominate the political scene.
    3- Our old generation has been more inclined towards being thankful for something the government does for the region rather than taking it as their right. Thus for example, Z.A. Bhutto is regarded as emancipator and the measure taken during his government are taken as the obligations and people feel themselves indebted to him and his party and they vote whoever is given party ticket. There is no change in sight until and unless there is change in this thinking pattern.
    4- Our political scenario is dominated by the traditional politicians and there is no threat to their dominance. The absence of threat to their dominance has made them believe to be “andhoon me kana raja.”
    5- Our political system has been less or no successful in attracting educated youth. Brilliant youth opt for opportunities abroad or stick to their professional careers and jobs and thus renounce politics.
    In presence of this situation who will raise the much needed to be asked questions and from whom the answer should be sought?

  3. Dear Sunny !
    Good job done and keep it up. Its about time our people have the political awareness. We need to know the sincere people and encourage them to lead us. We don’t want the leaders who address the poor and ignorant people by telephone sitting in Europe and America for decades for their personal gains. I don’t think they could ever realize the problems of poor people who starve to death. Yes, I mean leaders like Altaf Hussain, (The black sheep) who very conveniently said creation of Pakistan was a blunder in front of a crowd in India. The worst thing is he was not even ashamed of later once interviewed and literally tried to justify. Its very hard to find the ideal leaders who are sincere to the country, an ideal system and a government, but we should atleast find and choose the better ones. God bless Pakistan.

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