Book Review

๐๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐“๐ข๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž: Rule by Fear

๐–๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ซ: Aamar Ali Jan

 In the book, the author have lambasted status quo and elucidate eight theses on authoritarianism in Pakistan.

 Beginning from the colonial era when the Corpulent mind-sets accustomed powers for own sake. In 1919, Punjab was centre of anti-colonial that shook the foundations of British rule. In the Jallianwala Bagh bloodbath General Reginald Dyer used the power and ordered soldiers to fire on the protesters who crossed red lines set by the colonial state which resulted into several deaths.

 Pakistan got independence in 1947 but unfortunately the role of General Dyer is seen in status quo. Ayub Khan declaring Fatima Jinnah as traitor because Fatima Jinnah challenged General Ayub Khan rule in presidential elections of 1964. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the architect of 1973 charter dismissed Government of Balochistan and started brutal military operations in Balochistan. Meanwhile calling National Awami Party (NAP) and left wing parties as foreign agents. Bacha Khan and GM Syed were among first called traitors and foreign agents. Pakistani leadership have used different instruments to suppress the popular movement. There is always unwritten consensus among all political actors on facilitating the oligarchy and reproducing of Security state.

 Pakistan economic constitution is sustained by foreign aid in exchange for country sovereignty and renter state to global powers. After the attack of 9/11, Pakistan transformed overnight from fort of Islam to frontline state against Jihadi groups. Pakistan loyalty is to be the financial flows from abroad and in the fight of others we have sacrificed 70 thousands lives of own people.

 Political figures are weaker that they canโ€™t resist against establishment. When Juenjo ordered inquiry of Ojri camp which took place on 10 April, 1988 and resulted in 93 deaths. The incident occurred to cover the involvement of illegal sale of British weapon. When Nawaz Sharif persuaded policy to better relations with India in a result was overthrown by establishment. Political leaders canโ€™t discussed internal security and military budgets in parliament. Establishment always wanted political actors to work under them using NAB and blackmailing there personal life.

 In Pakistan politics, one of the most important slogan used was accountability. Imran have used the slogan to came into power. Earlier Imran Khan accused military rigging elections, brutal military operations and selling country sovereignty but unfortunately when came into power remained silent of these matters.

 Political actors are major stake holder in the economy 1 percent feudal families own 22 percent of farmland while 3.8 million people in Pakistan are facing food scarcity. Pakistani democracy remains an intra-elite affair in which masses remain disposable. The land mafia disposing the naughty from land in the form of Bahria Town and Defence Housing Authority (DHA), factory owners violating labours rights and environmental laws. Pakistan chief economist, Mahbub ul Haq, showed that 22 families owned 66 percent of industrial assets and 87 percent of banking sector. Pakistan separatists elites wishes to remove itself from general masses because the Education, Health and Housing have a vast difference in between the elite and masses.

 Pakistan choses a definition of a Pakistaniat and primary identity recognized by the state was that of Muslim to cover different ethnicities of Pakistan under umbrella. The students are taught in curriculum to identify Muslims invaders in subcontinent from Muhammad Bin Qasim to Mughals but when a Pashtun nationalist identity with Afghanistan can lead to sedition charges. Post-colonial state of India and Pakistan both have liberally used colonial sedition laws against dissidents who invokes power. In India, Modi using sedition charges against students, farmers and journalists to suppress them while in Pakistan recently Hamid Mir and Asma Sherazi were booked of sedition charges.

 In the end we need to build organisation that can give the people a sense of collective belonging and generates radical political ideas that can sustain tradition and provides people movement a historical and ideological anchor. The coming together of different communities and movements under a common agenda transforms tears into courage, hate into solidarity and opening the opportunity of different kind of collective politics. We have seen the symbiotic relationship between social and political movements bringing a number of progressive candidates to power throughout a decade. It was witness on 6 June, 2021 Pedro stunned the world by beating a candidate from one of the wealthiest families in Peru and became the new president.

 This book is highly recommended for the young political workers and students who continue to dream and fight against status quo of Pakistan.

๐‘๐ž๐ฏ๐ข๐ž๐ฐ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ; ๐€๐๐ข๐ฅ ๐๐š๐ณ๐š๐ข

Student of Law, Quaid i Azam University Islamabad

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