The problem is our diseased colonial constitution, not its symptoms


The only cure is Divine intervention


I had promised to continue with my life after death articles, but I feel I need to pause awhile before carrying on, especially when Pakistan is suffering multi-sectoral failures caused by chronic, but not yet terminal, diseases. It’s called systemic failure. The question is: how to bring it back to health? Conscious of the fact that Maverick and my wife call me a doom and gloom artist, sadly or happily I cannot speak lies. The truth is hard to tell if you are trying to please people. It is easy if you don’t have a personal agenda. Showing green gardens is a great disservice to people. So doom and gloom it is whether anyone likes it or not.

Removing this government or that is tantamount to curing the symptoms, not the disease. Remove a government and very soon the old diseased system will find another terrible government sprouting more festering sores and boils oozing pus. You don’t cure a headache caused by brain cancer with aspirin. You cure it with bombardment of radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.

Our disease is our colonised minds that have given us this odious constitution. Colonised minds that think that symptoms are the problem when they are actually secondary cancers when the real problem is our primary cancer, our constitution of questionable legitimacy that begets all our secondary cancers in the form of all our systems, political, economic, judicial, educational et al. Our constitution is plagiarised from Britain’s unwritten constitution and primarily by tweaking the British India Act of 1935, a colonial document crafted to keep the natives quiet and steal the maximum ‘revenue’ from them. We do exactly the same while letting loose the pejorative propaganda that Pakistanis don’t pay tax. In fact, the tax they are talking about is only income tax, not realising that the constitution prohibits application of income tax on the huge agricultural incomes of feudal robber barons. Shameless anti-people propagandists don’t have a leg to stand on. The truth is that all Pakistanis pay unconscionably high indirect taxes on almost anything and everything. They hate these taxes because they know the government gives them little in return for their money, not even their basic needs and their God-given fundamental rights. Why should they pay taxes?

We forget that our plagiarised constitution does not reflect our social contract given to us beautifully by our founding father Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on August 11, 1947 in which he called for making Pakistan a democratic Islamic Welfare State. Islam is rived with democracy because God asks us to choose our leaders from amongst ourselves and from amongst the best. The word “choose” is democratic, is it not? But our electoral system forces us to choose from amongst the worst because only the worst are on offer, a few honourable exceptions notwithstanding. If you ask people to choose from amongst ten donkeys, they will perforce have to choose a donkey. Even if they choose the least bad donkey he is still a donkey, not a horse. A donkey and a horse are different species that can only produce infertile offspring called ‘Mules’ or ‘Asses’. You can see the same happening to western democracies where their electoral systems are throwing up the worst (can you believe Trump and Cruz and Hilary with her cupboard full of baggage?) because their systems have got tired and stagnant and will soon become decadent because they have not kept up with the times. Decadence combined with hubris herald the end of empire.

Thus it is imperative that we return to our original social contract and make a constitution based on it. If we follow it and our fundamental Islamic principles on which no ‘Ijtehad’ can be done, like the first principle, “There are no go gods but God”, the Unity and Oneness of God, forgetting the diverse interpretations of clerics, it is only then that we will be able to craft a native, contemporary pro-people constitution and pro-people systems. Don’t judge countries as ‘successes’ because they have held endless elections while their people have got poorer. The only yardstick for success is improvement in the human condition. The constitutions and systems that we try to ape are systems of the colonisers that are not relevant to our lands and countries. We desperately need mental decolonisation, the cure of our multifarious, multidimensional chronic diseases. If not done soon it will lead to total systemic failure with horrific consequences.

  1. Pakistan being declared a failed state, which can make life very difficult for the people and what passes for their governments.
  2. Chaos and anarchy.
  3. Chaos and anarchy sometimes leads to revolution against the existing order, but that seems unlikely on the face of it.
  4. Army intervention, but for a while, before the army too fails and falls flat on its face again.
  5. Anarchy makes the ground fertile for militant religious extremists to take control of either the whole of Pakistan or by carving it up between themselves. Either way, it will lead to disintegration.
  6. If you wishfully think that disintegration is so much poppycock, recall how India disintegrated when Pakistan was formed and how Pakistan disintegrated when Bangladesh was formed. Or take a look at Syria, Iraq, and Libya today, all in pieces, with Turkey and Saudi Arabia not far behind. Recall the disintegration of a superpower called the USSR. It is not outside the realm of possibility that Afghanistan could eventually be divided in two that will have a huge seismic effect on Pakistan’s integrity leading to a seismic effect on northern India and west Asia with China and perhaps Russia to fill the voids.
  7. Let natural societal evolution wrought by historical forces naturally continue and wait to see the outcome.

It would be foolhardy not to see events in Pakistan within the context of the great global change that is taking place. America and Europe are changing fast for the worse. Turkey is at the cusp of systemic failure and the possibility of the emergence of a Kurdish state carved partly out of its land, partly from Syria and Iraq. Terrorism has started in Turkey and all the Turkish government’s bombast and bluster does not hide its confusion. They didn’t realise that shooting down a Russian jet, which violated Turkish airspace for only 17 seconds, was inviting death by a thousand cuts. If Saudi Arabia becomes even more worrisome, the other Gulf States will be run over. Extremist forces are waiting in the wings to occupy unstable, chaotic lands.

The unexpected Russian of pullout from Syria means that there has been a deal between Russia and the USA to let Syria’s Bashar al-Assad continue in office. That means victory for Putin, Assad, Iran and Hezbollah and a major setback, if not defeat, for Saudi Arabia, its allies and Israel. It remains to be seen whether America has thrown Saudi Arabia under the bus or is just cutting it down to size.

It remains to be seen too whether it was a sensible decision for Pakistan to join the 34-country military alliance that Saudi Arabia has formed to fight terrorism. With the Russian pullout from Syria it seems rather facetious now. However, with Saudi inviting our army chief to head the coalition, we have officially declared war on what was a particularly Arab problem, namely ISIS. We could have invited another spate of terrorism in our country even before we have finished with our home-grown terrorists. God help us. How many other people’s wars are we going to fight, or for the imaginary Muslim ‘ummah’ divided in 73? ISIS has already positioned itself in Afghanistan and fashioned a network in Pakistan too, formed by some of our own terrorist groups promising it allegiance. The mullah of Islamabad’s Red Mosque, who our government is loath to arrest despite court orders, is apparently the point man of this network.

So now we know for whom the bell tolls. If Pakistan is to be saved from a second death, the bell has to be tolling for its odious constitution and its man-eating systems. Can’t you hear it? Just look at the condition of the USA, Britain and Europe and you will know what I am talking about. After the Brussels attacks Europe will change what remains of its old character. In a sense, the west is reaping what it sowed years earlier.

The death of the constitution and rebirth of a better one with pro-people systems will save Pakistan. From death comes life. What is the song the tolling bell sings? It is a requiem. The day of reckoning could be nigh.

Last week my wife, Maverick and I had a pretty rough conversation. Both of them are impatient and think that the army is busy contemplating its navel while the country dies. They are wrong. The army is fairly aware of what is going on but not necessarily why. It knows how desperate the situation is becoming on all fronts, especially the economic and political, and how close we are to heading for multiple mutual divorces. When the choice is either to save the constitution or let the country go to the dogs or save the country and let the constitution go to hell, for any army sworn to save the country first and foremost, the decision is easy. However, there is no guarantee that in saving the country they will indeed end up saving it instead of accelerating its centrifugal forces. They must know exactly what they are doing and how they are going to do it. Having made three terrible constitutions already, we can finally make a good one. What will make it good is that it delivers. All three constitutions we had before this one (I am including the British India Act 1935 which was our basic law for nine years after ‘independence’) were bad because they didn’t deliver to the people, disenfranchised the majority, made four provinces into one, didn’t reduce poverty, ignorance, disease, malnutrition, homelessness and wretchedness, make the country economically strong or give any of the universally recognised basic human needs. Those who say that the country’s salvation lies in making the constitution work better are living in cloud cuckoo land. For them wishes are indeed horses; our sky is littered with flying pigs.

God help us is a spontaneous saying. But now it is our only hope – Divine intervention.


  1. Divine intervention is out of question because all the trouble the humankind is seen to be enduring is due to only ONE reason. The reason is the defiance of Laws, Lord Almighty gave mankind to keep them out of trouble. Did Lord Almighty not call all the believers to come to forge unity among them by rallying round no one but Him? Come to unite in the localities where they live. Unite to organise. Organise to work collectively to eradicate vices and replace it with virtues. Organise to make Udl wul Ehsahn predominant part of habits and practices of the people. Do we see people obeying the Lord anywhere, thus? No we do not. So why the people will not endure what they create for themselves by disobeying the very worthy and beneficial commands of the Lord?

Comments are closed.