New Social Contract between Federation of Pakistan and Balochistan

The driving force behind a social contract is that people think that under the new dispensation they have a better chance under a federal structure; deliverance of their needs, their aspirations, their respect and honour and above all a secure future for their families, their children. That is their stake in the state.
So to make the state work they agree to cede part of their sovereignty and certain powers to the state to run their affairs. If the state stops delivering, the social contract evaporates and people lose their stake in it.
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MORE POWERS TO PROVINCES

WOULD SUSTAIN FEDERATION

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by Nayyar Hashmey

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This post by Humayun Gauhar when read in conjunction with the one by Sikander Hayat, throws ample light on what is happening these days in our land of the pure. And mind it dear readers! This is not only a happening of today. It has already happened with us before. Forty two years past we had a similar situation.

While going through this piece I noted in particular and I quote: The driving force behind a social contract is that people think that under the new dispensation they have a better chance under a federal structure; deliverance of their needs, their aspirations, their respect and honour and above all a secure future for their families, their children. That is their stake in the state.

So to make the state work they agree to cede part of their sovereignty and certain powers to the state to run their affairs. If the state stops delivering, the social contract evaporates and people lose their stake in it. This is what happened in the Soviet Union.

Gauhar has quoted in this context the case of the erstwhile Soviet empire, the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics. But why go so far. It happened right within our home too, when the former East Pakistanis thought they were being marginalised by the very Islamic Republic to whom they had ceded part of their sovereignty and certain powers to run their affairs. But when it did not happen, it didn’t work, they started agitating against the very state they had voluntarily opted to become a part during the 1947 partition.

Unfortunately even after the 1970 debacle, things have not happened as sanity would suggest. Circumstances something similar to what happened in the then East Pakistan are prevailing now in present Pakistan as well.

Take the case of Balochistan. In this beautiful, resource rich province, right or wrong, a significant chunk of people now think that state of Pakistan is no more able to deliver; no secure future for their children.

Under such circumstances when centrifugal forces are on the rise, as I said, sanity should have prevailed, but it did not. Instead of pondering inwards, identifying our pitfalls, our errors and our blunders, we started blaming outward forces, some time it was India, another time the US and yet at other times, again some hidden powers conspiring against us.

What we forget is that for us its the high time now to be pragmatic, and, therefore let’s ponder:
1. What went wrong with our governance.
2. Why the people take up arms against the state to which they already have volunteered to be a part of, just like our East Pakistani brethren did.

In this context I venture to recall similar feelings of bitterness that were being expressed once by our Pakhtun brethren. Those were the days when many people used to clamour for Pakhtunistan. Why?

For the same reason. In those days, the Urdu speaking Mohajirs and the Punjabi bureaucracy had full sway over administrative affairs of the state. The Pakhtuns had a scant representation in the armed forces, and the bureaucracy, the two powerful wings of state administration in Pakistan.

I remember a guy who had once been a student during the early days of Ayub’s Raj, the president was in Turkey on a state visit. When introduced to a group of Pakistani students, the Field Martial asked each of the students which area of Pakistan had he belong. One by one he was asking and the reply came forth that every one was from Karachi. The president astonishingly remarked, is Pakistan only Karachi.

Such happenings cause embitterment and so did they cause. Not only that the Pakhtuns of the KPK were feeling strangers in the federation of Pakistan but also the East Pakistanis. The latter were at such moments of frustration that they decided to cede their allegiance, their loyalty to the state of Pakistan.

After 1970’s, representation of Pakhtuns in the armed forces as well as in the bureaucracy increased to such an extent that the same Pakhtuns are now one of the most patriotic elements in the federation.

However, such positive development did not take place in respect of Balochistan. As stars would have it, things are still moving in a totally wrong direction. While we shout on Indian army’s atrocities in Indian controlled Kashmir, we close our eyes to similar happenings in Balochistan. When we say India cannot rule over Kashmiris’ hearts and minds, why do we forget in Balochistan too, we have our own people. If some kids in the family are angry, are agitating against the elders, do elders shoot at them? Let’s not forget, yesterday it was East Pakistan, today it could be Balochistan.

Should we not be recognise at least for now to grasp why Baloch is at arms against us. Do think over this!

 

Next: Concepts and their Meanings 

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. [...] contract in Pakistan between Federation and its components 2. Concepts and their Meanings 3. New Social Contract between Federation of Pakistan and Balochistan 4. Genesis of the [...]

  2. [...] contract in Pakistan between Federation and its components 3. Concepts and their Meanings 4. New Social Contract between Federation of Pakistan and Balochistan 5. Genesis of the [...]


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