Choice between Villains...
Is it our destiny that we can only choose from a list of proven villains, each twice failed. Do we not deserve heroes? Or is it too much to expect? Perhaps. Where are the heroes? Who I consider as heroes is not the hero for others. There is only one undisputed hero and that is Mr. Jinnah. Every single leader after that is tainted one way or the other.
For me Ayub was a hero, probably he was the first Pakistani leader I heard about when growing up. I sort of liked him. But you talk to people they disagree. He is accused of derailing democracy and destroying the then existing institutions.
I even attended the funeral prayers of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. But no one agrees that he is a hero. He is accused of autocracy, arrogance, vendetta, lack of vision and above all integrity. For me his biggest blunder was nationalisation of industries that crippled the economy and stunted growth. He made many industries no more viable and Pakistan lost the world export market by overnight becoming uncompetitive. He is also blamed for dismembering the country into two.
Every thing that Zia did, I wonder if he did anything besides Umras, is over shadowed by his military credentials. It is a long story what he did and didn't.
However I can't recall any thing big he did on the domestic front in Pakistan. He may have had some successes on the international arena. His Kashmir policy was a failure so was Khalistan policy after initial successes. His crowning glory is the success achieved in ousting a super power in Afghanistan. But that did not help Pakistan but we fought a proxy war for another super power that has never been nor can ever be our reliable partner.
But the price we paid for America and Afghanistan is so great that for the next 50 years we are stuck with it. The Kalashnikov Culture. So Zia is most certainly ruled out also as a hero. I would have liked to call him a hero for his humility and his histrionic talents.
But one thing is clear in my mind and that is the regimes of Benazir, (now called moothorama by media) and Nawaz Sharif. My, what periods. Truely tumultuous for its incompetence and rampant corruption. They competed against each other in loot and plunder. If one was the patron of a 10%, later cent per cent, the other was a looter par excellence. Remember his "dollar bhijao and mulk bachao".
God alone knows where all that money went. The country went bankrupt in Nawaz's time and was about to be declared a default state. In moothorama's time her husband is on record as having said "things are good today, only 50 died." This is the state of our elected so called democratic leaders. Heroes? Where are they? Villains. Villains. Villains.
Don't we have a third choice? So far none, because whatever development Pervez Musharraf might have done is disregarded because he hails from the military. He is a very strong contender though from what he has achieved on the domestic front. An assembly completing it's full term is an achievement in itself. There has been development all over Pakistan even in remote towns and villages.
My driver who hails from a remote town in Punjab says they could never have imagined, roads and drainage there and he attributes that to the present people at helm and prays for Pervez Musharraf. People have benefited. The prosperity is visible. Mega projects have been completed in record time and the work goes on. If his policies reach there logical conclusion the country will benefit enormously. History will then judge if he was a hero.
There surely are the down sides like inflation that went uncontrolled. He did not introduce any measures to remove feudalism. He failed miserably to understand the Indian psyche in solving the Kashmir problem and did not even take advantage of 9/11 in solving the same issue. He did the dirty job that America should have done for itself. Why should we have been involved in problems which Arabs create for themselves by being inactive for past 100 years. Why should we pay for their follies when they do not even consider you as Muslims.
But what ever he may do he will never be accepted as a hero publicly although in heart of hearts of poor people he could possibly be a hero. So let us leave at that.
I have not the faintest idea how we could have a hero as a leader. I am clueless for the time being. If you have some ideas how we can have a hero as our leader please post it here.