Pakistan and National Security: the Constitution vs the State - BY: Saeed A. Malik

During the past fortnight some TV anchors [ prime among them Dr Shahid Masood, Rauf Klasra, Amir Mateen, and Mohammad Malick] seem to have woken up to the biggest national security crisis staring Pakistan in the face. This crisis is the prospect of bankruptcy of the state towards which eventuality Pakistan is now hurtling down at top speed.

Pakistan has been bedeviled by many an illness to have reached this parlous state of affairs. But none has contributed to this looming bankruptcy more tellingly, than the plunder committed on the state by the national leadership, including those in the opposition, those in government, and those hanging on to the apron strings of the government.

Except people that have been bought out by the government, there will be few who can deny the fact that Pakistan has been virtually brought to its knees by the very people who had taken the oath to defend and protect the national interests of Pakistan.

The question is, what can realistically be done at this late stage to salvage Pakistan from what lies just around the corner?
Can we expect the government to take any steps towards this direction?

This is probably the most stupid question to ask, because all energies of the gover ​n​ ment seem focused on how to salvage the halo ​​ ed behind of Mr Nawaz Sharif, who, utilizing the able services of Ishaq Dar has done the most to hollow out Pakistan.

When the government is not available to do the needful, the least one should expect is that our Supreme Court and the ​ Armed Forces​ , on whom all expectations now lie focused, will come to the aid of their country.

The least the Armed Forces should be doing is to have a team of the most respectable independent economists in the country give them a presentation on this subject. And follow this up by war gaming the issue to determine the means by which the damage to state security can best be contained and then countered. This is an absolute obligation on the Armed Forces now.

It does need a genius to guess that the conclusions to be reached after an in depth examination of the present situation would be that imposition of an economic emergency is the dire need of the hour. And as part of this ​, the most important step has to be the repatriation of Pakistan's stolen wealth. This will need a placement of honest bureaucrats and police officials in such positions so that as a first step they can stop the bleeding i.e the continuing theft being committed on Pakistan, followed by trials of the thieves.

But this will require the imposition of general emergency in the country under the constitution of the country. But the 18nth Amendment to the Constitution was not designed to safeguard the interests of the state. It was designed to safeguard the interests of the Prime Minister and his partners. And the only one who can invoke the power to impose an emergency, under our amended constitution, is the Prime Minister.

This would have been quite OK, had the Prime Minister been motivated to stand with the interests of Pakistan. However, it so happened that our Prime Minister was one whom the Supreme Court found to be a liar and not worthy of the trust needed to run the affairs of the state, and against whom there is mounds of prima facie evidence of massive theft of state assets.

So we now have a new Prime Minister. But this one openly acknowledges that he is no more than a puppet of the erstwhile thieving Prime Minister, and what is more, he is hugely proud and honoured to play the puppet. This he has openly stated ​ ​ and just in case the old thieving Prime Minister was not listening the first time, he said it again, and again........Lord, the unction and drivel that are required to meet the servile needs of "loyalty".

And the new Prime Minister has good reason for standing with the old one who has just been cashiered. This is because the new one is a thief himself, as the expose of the LNG deal, which cannot now be hidden for long, will certainly show up.

Therefore the situation should be pretty clear to even the most muddle headed dolt. The constitution has been so made that it can stand for interests of the country, ONLY if the Prime Minister decides to stand for national interest himself. But in case the Prime Minister is a thief, he can hold the Constitution hostage and deploy it to defend arch criminality against the state.

Therefore when the constitution is being held hostage by a thief, it cannot stand for national interest. It can only be diametrically opposed to the interests of the state.

Thus the situation which has arisen is that one may either stand with the constitution, or with the state. One cannot stand with both, because, in the hands of the current Prime Minister, the constitution is standing for his personal interest against the interest of the state. Thus the state cannot get from him the relief which it is crying out for. If such relief is to be given to the state, the Prime Minister has to invoke it and impose national emergency. And he will not invoke it, because if he does, he stands to lose all his plunder and is likely to spend the rest of his life in jail. And the same is to be the fate of the rest of his cronies,acolytes, and brothers-in-crime.

So, here you have the battle lines clearly drawn. On the one side you have Nawaz Sharif, Zardari, Altaf Hussain, Mullah Fazal, Asfandyar Wali and all their enforcers and pimps in the bureaucracy and police, while on the other are [if you go by the accusations of Nawaz Sharif, and a majority view of Pakistanis ] the Supreme Court and the Armed Forces.

The Supreme Court and the Armed Forces must therefore decide if they are will stand by by the Constitution which is hostage to criminals who are enemies of the state, or by the State. ​ If they decide that they are standing by the State, the first step has to be taken by the Armed Forces. It must make a case to the Supreme Court ​as to ​ why national security imperatives demand the imposition of national emergency, and why recourse to parliament will be all but futile, since it is the Prime Minister himself, along with the opposition who are responsible for creating very the situation which begs for the imposition of such national emergency.

To attain clarity on any issue truth is important. And the first truth which needs to be acknowledged is the one spoken to oneself. Thus I address the following questions to my readers and hope candour will spill forth from them.

--Is Pakistan standing at the threshold of financial c** economic catastrophe, if the independent economists are to be relied upon? And if so, has massive corruption by our "leadership" not been directly responsible for dragging the state to where it now stands?

--To meet a situation growing out of economic disaster and its implications for national security, does a state not need to be run under national emergency to tide the state over the period of this extreme hardship?

--If such emergency has to be imposed, will the causes of the disaster not have to be identified before being addressed; will such analysis not point a finger to the huge theft to which Pakistan has been subjected; and behind such theft will there not be found lurking the august figures who have provided "leadership" to Pakistan over the last few years?

--Except for the Prime Minister ​, does our Constitution allow anyone else to advise the President to impose national emergency?

--If the Prime Minister is likely to lose all his ill gotten wealth and see jail time as a result of imposing such emergency, is he at all likely to have it imposed?

--In such a situation ​,​ will the Prime Minister and his cohorts not sacrifice national interest to their own interest?

--If this be the case, for all practical purposes with the constitution being hostage to a gang of criminals, not be forced to stand directly in opposition to the interests of the state?

--In this situation should the state be sacrificed to save the constitution, or should the case be the exact opposite?

--If the state is to be saved, but the government and all agencies of the state over which such government has control, are deployed to the detriment of the state, should such institutions which are relatively free of the clutches of the government not step in to stand by the state? In fact would this not be absolutely obligatory on part of such institutions?

Just think over all this, and clarity on this issue may not be too hard to come by.

Posted on Sep 27, 17 | 6:01 am