By A Khokar 31 July 2009
The New Year 2008 was received amid high hopes in Pakistan that after decades of consecutive military as well as civilian dictatorial dark eras in the country, a candle of Democracy was seen lit in Pakistan with the hope that eventually it may bring the light of peace and prosperity for the people. In June 2008, this democracy was just few months old but seeing the absurd moves by the political parties;—– it was predicted that all the painstaking efforts that Mr. Pervez Musharraf took to groom and nurture this country to embrace an ‘Enlighten Moderation’ in democracy may be ditched all together. As per Musharraf plan a fully groomed and democratized country had since been handed over to the Politician in a plate and to be run on a turnkey basis. Somehow, the outcome of well sought democratic Elections held was that Pakistan could coin a Parliament run by unnatural coalition of two main Parties namely PPP and PML-N usually found sitting on opposite poles.
Although all the powers were transferred to the newly elected parliament but the government was being run by the authoritarian party leaders of both the parties (being ineligible for elections) while sitting outside of Parliament. Ever since the politicians have secured the Parliament and after capturing the rein of government are seen trekking the path of conceit and haughtiness. All the sign are there, that Pakistan is being turned into, an all out authoritarian regime. One may not feel it but a dictatorial style play let of coupe lead by Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, which was orchestrated by United States in Seventies in Chile, South America, is set to be repeated here.
President Musharraf when decided to hand over must have thought that he will see the country being run smoothly under his watch full eyes, progressing in leaps and bounds on his given lines but here we find that all together a different ‘Manual for Actions’ is opened.
This Manual contains the Doctrine of famous Economist Milton Friedman of ‘Chicago School of Economics’ which he prepared in late sixties for implementations at home specially for President Ronald Reagan’s term. This Doctrine was later tried and tested in Chile. The Manual tells that how out of blue, crisis full of shocks can be made to erupt and that how the crisis so occurred can be exploited to have a real change in society to achieve an economic outburst! This mechanism was titled as ‘Economic of Disaster’.
Friedman says that on the eruption of Crisis; there should be no let up for the public; Machiavelli also advices that injuries be ‘inflicted all at once’; other parallel crisis like hyper inflation, price hikes; shortage of essential consumers items like wheat flour, sugar, oil and Gasoline be hyped up; supplies be restricted and severely inflated to the critical exacerbating level and be seen beyond the reach of common man. Once crisis has struck, no real action should be taken which may bring some relief for people. All plans should intentionally be delayed and regime of by gone days be extensively maligned for it and exemplary punishment be announced against targeted opponents. Announcement of trial of President Musharraf for treason and awarding him death penalty is part of the game which is the talk of the day.
We can very well visualize that how Pakistan has been shocked by the man made crisis initiated even prior to Elections (in interim government days); within few months through an economic shock and Judicial turmoil a prosperous flourishing country was turned into impoverished one. Stock Markets experienced crashes on daily basis. There are shortages of commodities infested with hyper inflation across the board. There is acute shortage of electricity. Load shedding is imposed. Leaving aside the closure of big manufacturing factories; even the common artisan in the street are forced to close their businesses. One wonders that a nuclear state which can build a nuclear program of its own and is poised there haughty in the lines of nuclear powers of the world is unable to turn the simple wheel which can generate few joules of electricity. People spend their days lined up in queues under scorching heat for a bag of wheat flour or tin of cooking oil. When people set their foot out of their houses, Suicide bomb blasts are there to scare them with the loss of their lives.
But the teacher emphasizes that in order to achieve a ‘Full Blanking’ that People must be made to forget their past and to erase the memory of good old days; even the sadistic acts be committed with an deliberate intent of terrorizing the public and then be actively harnessed to prepare the grounds for the introduction of radical changes.
The professor of ‘Manual of Economic of Disaster’ also says that soon after this stage is achieved, it is crucial to act swiftly before the Crisis-racked society slips back into the ‘tyranny of status quo’. He estimates that a new administration has some six to nine months at hand to achieve major changes. In order to win it; it is a scenario of now or never.
It is worth mentioning here that same Manual was initially opened in Iraq but with an addition of a special chapter of ’savagery and violence’ added by a Milton Friedman’s student; Mr. Donald Rumsfeld. Mr. Rumsfeld termed the new chapter of this ‘Doctrine as ‘Shock and Awe’. The entire wacky world is witness to this that Iraqis were forcibly subjugated to achieve the required ‘Blanking’ and to ensure that their past memories are erased. No let up or any help which may avail any respite or rescue be allowed; says Friedman. Finding no way out the deluded peoples eventually submit to the will of oppressor and turn to submit themselves in for further exploitation.
Once the people are found fed up to the brim and are found desperately… gasping for some relief; a small window be opened first; followed by rapid-fire transformation of economy, like tax cuts, free trade, privatized services, cuts to social spending and deregulation. Eventually as Chilean people saw that their public school were replaced with voucher funded private one. In Pakistan ‘Benazir cards’ for the poverty ridden class are being introduced. We may be having the most extreme capitalist make over under the authoritarian’s regime of coalition of two extremist parties (PPP+ Nune league apparently showing to public that they are dagger drawn). Country is held to ransom for their dictatorial and authoritative exploitations. What next? There is nothing except an utter chaos and anarchy in the society and an absurd race to grab the seat of power.
It is worth pondering that to what avail is the high held democratic rule? When it brings only the horror in our lives and plunderers and looters are seen in the driving seats?
But probably the worst of the ‘Manual of economy of Disaster‘ is yet to come?