The crisis in Pakistan is becoming more complex and severe. Corruption is not the cause of failure of this system, rather it is the fundamental necessity and creation of this system. The class contradictions are also expressing itself in the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. The country is moving to an inevitable social explosion.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan’s recent decision declaring the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) null and void is the latest explosion in the series of tremulous events which have been arising from the severe political, economic and social crisis plaguing Pakistani state and society. Instead of resolving this severe crisis, this decision will actually sharpen the contradictions and deepen the crisis and the anarchic situation. In August 1970 the veteran communist theoretician Comrade Ted Grant wrote, “we see the ruling classes of Pakistan swing from one form of governance to another, from military dictatorship to democracy and then the cycle repeats itself. This on their part is an attempt to avoid and escape the principle contradictions confronting them. But whatever is their form of government, military dictatorship or a ‘difficult democracy’, they fail to provide economic and social stability” (Unbroken Thread, Ted Grant, 1970, p 431)
After 30 years this crisis has become far more complex and severe. Corruption is not the cause of failure of this system, rather it’s the fundamental necessity and creation of this system. In this rotten system who is not corrupt? From pillars of state and politics to journalism and vanguards of social morality, every layer of authority is corrupt. In this state afflicted by the crisis of capitalism the pillars of state have no solutions. Just like western capitalism, the client politicians of the ruling elite and establishment do corruption like master tacticians; they leave no proof behind and no stain on their character. Their corruption is protected and safe.
Despite all this when one considers the different existential crises affecting every aspect of society and state of the so-called Islamic republic, corruption really becomes a non-issue. The judiciary which is being portrayed as holy, sacred and clean is historically one of the most corrupt institutions of Pakistan. Not only this, the judiciary has always given verdicts which have strengthened the strangulating grip of ruthless capitalism and the establishment on the people.
This decision is yet another addition into this long tradition of decisions given by the superior judiciary of Pakistan. Just like the Army, civil bureaucracy, parliament and the corporate media, the judiciary is part and pillar of the state. Just like these the principle function of the judiciary is to preserve this inherently unjust system at any cost. Sometimes, using brute force and violence and at other instances utilizing the farcical democracy or judicial and constitutional wizardry, the rotten social values and institutions of this system of ruthless capitalist plunder are given new life. The bitter reality is that this state and its institutions and all the political parties affiliated with it are slaves of international monetary capitalism. If the capital cannot be generated by fair means utilizing unfair means become a necessity in this system where capital is god venerated in the temples of state. In a system where every relationship, value and emotion has become a commodity, justice too is on sale at the judicial market. In this hideous play of the ruling elite, the imperialism is strengthening its grip and is continuously looting and plundering the national wealth and assets without any resistance.
Pakistan Peoples Party was the product of a revolution (1968-69 revolution) but it could never transform itself into a Leninist revolutionary party. This contradiction resulted in its adoption by the working classes and downtrodden people of Pakistan as their revolutionary tradition and at the same time, its real character being “populist” instead of “Leninist-revolutionary” makes it vulnerable to being used by the ruling elite and enemy classes for furthering their agenda and easing their difficulties. Despite having the ample opportunities to completely dislodge the capitalist system in 1968-69 and in 1971-72, the failure to do so and decision to operate within the constraints of this system, the party leadership is on a continuous swing of deviating from the party’s original and fundamental programme of Socialism. With this the slow infiltration of enemy classes in the party started and their grip on the party has been increasing ever since.
It is not to be denied that the present leadership of feudal, industrialists and petty bourgeois up starters has indulged in corruption but the question is which party and institution of Pakistan has not? Karl Marx once wrote those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it. In every crisis, the working classes and downtrodden masses of Pakistan have given their sweat, blood and tears to save this party. But the establishment and ruling class have always used this party to control the crisis of state and to diffuse the revolutionary insurrections of the masses and working classes standing behind this party.
On the return of Benazir Bhutto the monumental popular uprising completely exposed and discredited the so called “Lawyers Movement” and sharpened the class struggle. The sheer volume of popular uprising bewildered the establishment and ruling classes which were shaken to their roots. The epicentre of this movement, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated and by a fraudulent election, a setup was imposed on the people in which government was given to the Peoples Party but real power was vested with someone else under the tutelage of Washington. The credit of removing General Pervez Musharraf was granted to the Lawyers Movement by the national and international corporate media instead of the glorious sacrifices and class struggle of the people of Pakistan.
The petty bourgeois and elitist leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party, blinded by the lust for power and wealth were under the illusion that they have the power in the state structure. The governance of this system moved them to impose ruthless capitalist policies like the criminally deceptive concept of “Public-Private Partnership”, privatization and de-regulation, resulting in unprecedented rise in poverty, hunger, unemployment and load shedding alienating the masses which form the very base of this party. With this economic terrorism people were attacked and the movement started to diffuse, depriving the people’s party of its “use value” by the state and establishment.
As the leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party tried to strengthen its hold on the power structure, the holders of real power and the real rulers of this country have used yet another of their institution, the Judiciary, instead of the traditional bully, the Pakistan Army, to show the Peoples Party’s government their real worth. In reaching this situation, the Peoples Party government by its sheer incompetence and pursuit of anti-people economic policies has weakened itself and paved the way for the right wing assault. The irony is that even if Peoples Party government is kicked out the problems and crisis will not be resolved. Rather the situation will deteriorate and barbarism will plunder the society. The brutal assassination of Benazir Bhutto created a sympathy wave but the people burning in the hell of poverty, hunger and terrorism can’t wait forever spellbound by an illusion. Even if they don’t rise in a revolutionary movement, holding on to the dwindling hope provided by their traditional party, in the presence of such levels of poverty, humiliation, hunger and crisis any hope of stability is not tangible.
The crisis of society manifests itself in forms of contradictions within the ruling elite, creating an internal conflict within the state. Every system of governance created by the bosses, from ruthless military dictatorships to the controlled democracy of General Musharraf and the capitalist parliamentary democracy, has failed miserably. Every party and every institution stands exposed in front of the people. In this situation, it will be very difficult for the present leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party to use its traditional sympathy card. No doubt the people and working class will be saddened by the dismissal of the government of their traditional party but they will only come out to actively support and defend the government if the party returns to its original programme of socialism as rallying cry for a revolutionary movement. This scenario in the present situation is very unlikely keeping in mind the present leadership of the party. It will, on the other hand, create an ideological turbulence in the base of the party. Many expressions of this will be in the form of personal and opportunistic dissent but an ideological conflict within the party is inevitable.
The phenomenal question will surface in the party of which class this party represents and which class’s interests it pursues instead. The last writing and testament of Chairman Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto will re-emerge and new avenues will open for the revolutionary tendency within the party. The traditional party slogan of “Socialism or death” will once again echo in this party. The victory of revolutionary socialists in Peoples Party will pave the way for the socialist transformation of society with the permanent solution for poverty, hunger Islamic fascism and unemployment and this will become a reality.