Chairman Bilawal Bhutto’s plea to the political leadership of all hues to prioritise their strategy and wholeheartedly support army operation against terrorism is the dire need of the hour. It explicitly implies to leave other considerations in the periphery for the time being. His instructions to his party to observe birthday anniversary of Shaheed Benzir Bhutto without festivity reflects him as a leader of substance. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), accordingly, observed the birthday anniversary of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto on June 21 this year by setting up blood camps throughout the country where PPP workers in large number donated blood for the brave soldiers of the army now fighting against terrorists in Wazirstan. The decision of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto to set up blood camps for donating blood was indeed the manifestation of his conviction to extend support to the soldiers in salvaging the state. The idea clearly calibrated with a vision of Benazir Bhutto who considered the menace of extremism and terrorism as the biggest and immediate challenge to democracy and indeed to the bright future of the nation. It also measured up with the state of affairs of the nation that is now in a state of war and the festivity under the circumstances would have been misplaced.
It was an appropriate choice of the leader who was committed to the realisation of the vision of the great leader; it was a decision that represented the leader’s insight that understands and appreciates the sensitivities of the people; it was a decision which would earn legitimate acclaim of all segments of the society; it was a decision projecting the rare gesture of solidarity with the army by donating blood when it is engaged valiantly to save our way of life and the Constitution of Pakistan. Blood donation by the PPP workers for the soldiers is the distinctive tribute to the vision of Benazir Bhutto who wanted the empowerment of the people of Pakistan for the resurrection of a democratic, plural and tolerant Pakistan. But she was assassinated by terrorists with the connivance of those who ordered the hosing of the site soon after the heart-wrenching incident on December 27, 2007. But her legacy will live on and will keep on hunting the terrorists and extremists because their redundant and retrogressive ideology is bound to be replaced by “modernity” reflective of the aspirations of the people. This inevitable course of history cannot be hampered by these handful religious demagogues who live in a dreamy world.
Her adversaries eliminated her in person but her political philosophy will remain afresh in the minds of larger number of people of Pakistan who will overcome the black tide of extremism and terrorism at the end of the day. They will track down the retrogressive forces to submission because a social order on sustainable basis can only be built with human values those reject exclusiveness, discrimination and dehumanisation. She was absolutely right when she uttered a prophetic observation,’ democracy is the best revenge’ from the anti-people, anti-democratic forces and perpetrators of extremism and terrorism. Its inevitability is written in stone. It is the course of history because people right across the world have been incrementally retrieving the space usurped by the dictators and their pawns at the expense of the people. Their elected representatives should be the captain of the statecraft instead of men of straw.
The good news is that the democracy is on the rise and dictatorships have been falling like ninepins all over because these were bound to meet the fate they deserve and indeed being declared redundant and catastrophic in all cases. It is not possible to find even an exception. The eras of dictatorship from Indonesia to Chile and from Turkey to Pakistan had been eras of decay and decline with irreparable national losses, dictatorships triggered the reverse gear of retrogression, fragmentation and radicalisation and thus sapping the fundamentals of social order. The process of social development and national integration were impeded unabatedly for decades. Some countries have recovered from the losses under the continuous democratic dispensation while others are still grappling to extricate them from the aftermaths of their dreadful past mired with dictatorial rule.
As mentioned above, success stories of democracy are being written all over the world. Brazil, Chile, Argentina and host of other countries have been making significant strides since the rerun to democracy, giving much needed confidence to the people and in the system that has been delivering handsomely. In Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia, the countries are on the consistent trajectory of progress since they have got rid of dictators and dictatorship in the respective countries. In Pakistan, the disruption in the democratic process in quick succession had deprived the nation of the democratic dividends, the realisation of which would have made qualitative difference in our collective and individual life. Today, our heads hang in shame because the country is known for the wrong reasons. The latest stigma is travel restrictions on Pakistanis because the country failed to control polio virus as per the deadline of the UNO. Pakistan failed to achieve the goal due to terrorism which is the terrifying by-product of flawed strategic policies pursued by dictators through the annals of history.
Shaheed Benazir Bhutto fought against General Ziaul Haq who executed the great leader in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who was an answer to the prayers of the poor masses. The nation had not recovered from that trauma when second trauma in the form of martyrdom of Benazir Bhutto devastated the nation to the hilt, exposing the federation to dangers. But, former president Asif Ali Zardari cooled down the fire with the slogan of Pakistan Khappey. The statecraft of Pakistan started regaining the stability and speed thereafter to brace the 2008 elections. The elections were held and democratic government came into power which was mainly attributed to the arduous struggle and intense negotiations of Benazir Bhutto with relevant quarters leading to dawn of democracy on the political horizon of the country.
The good news is that democracy is getting popularity all over the world and its approval rating is destined to upward mobility with every passing day. Larry Diamond of the Stanford University in his paper has written that rise of democracy is unstoppable. He substantiated his argument by quoting the figures that clearly suggest that democracy is the future and dictatorship will be thing of the past, for academic interest only. In 1974, according to Professor Larry Diamond, the electoral democracies were around 30 percent in the world and now are more than 60 percent or more in the world today. So, the people of the countries living under hereditary dictatorship or imposed by usurpers should not get frustrated from their bleak today but should look forward for better days ahead.
Source: The News