Stand Up Against Colonisation Of Pakistan
Pakistan will remain a colony until the politics are not liberated from the dictatorial status quo political parties. The existing system is built to keep us colonized, writes Abdul Qayyum Kundi.
A few days ago during a discussion, a friend asked a question as to why in Brazil and Mexico masses speak Portuguese and Spanish respectively as former colonies while India and Pakistan retained their local languages. Spain and Portugal were the first modern empires to develop colonies. Their approach was the decimation of local populations and siphoned off local resources rather than developed local economies. They also brought with them new germs and viruses that resulted in the introduction of plagues that eliminated almost half of the native population easing the task of the colonizers to subjugate local culture. Third, these South American countries were not as populated as South Asia. All these factors contributed to the almost complete elimination of local culture and languages.
The British approach to colonization was different. America became the first-choice destination for Protestants that were voluntarily migrating to new lands because of their differences with the deeply entrenched Catholic culture of most of Europe. These emigrants fought for land and resources with native American tribes. They had sophisticated weapons that made the natives easy prey with their antiquated bows and arrows.
This is the reason American culture is more Anglo-Saxon and European. Colonization of India, on the other hand, was led by East India Company which was driven by the motive of profit rather than religion. It may sound strange but India was colonized by a corporation rather than a country. It was only later that the British government stepped in and took control of the affairs but even then profit remained a dominant incentive. At the height of its power the whole of India, with an estimated population of 300 million, was occupied by a meager 20,000 officers and bureaucrats (source national archives of UK). This overwhelming number of local versus a minuscule presence of British raj helped retain local languages and culture.
The East India Company model of colonisation by a corporation eventually survived and still practiced by multinational companies and development finance institutions like IMF. They generally serve the interest of the global elite and keep the local populations subjugated through proxies.
There are three sources of political power: money, gun, and institutional authority. Any foreign power that can infiltrate these three can colonize a country without being blamed for it. Traditionally America and UK exercised influenced over Pakistan because they had deep penetration in the three sources of power. Their influence has waned gradually which is now replaced by Saudi Arabia, and to some extent, UAE.
Saudi Arabia has practically colonised three large Muslim countries Egypt, Sudan, and Pakistan. Not just that, most super-rich oligarchs hold large properties in Dubai, and it creates conflicting loyalty. Many retired military officers are also working as advisers in these countries which also works as a back-channel.
Saudi Arabia also exercises influence over the politics of the country. The PML-N majority in the previous parliament refused to support the country’s participation in the Yemen war, and this was one of the reasons for its fall from power.
Sudan’s Gen Hemmetti, on the other hand, sent troops to participate in it and was rewarded with a substantial aid package. There are also speculations that Saudi Arabia also provides funds to many center-right political parties. No one has ever dared to investigate that and find facts.
The emergence of the establishment controlling political power has proportionately resulted in the loss of sovereignty in foreign policy. The government is hesitant to stand up to the Saudi interests and annoy them. The boycott of the Kuala Lumpur Summit is a recent example. The government not only agreed with the Saudi position but also lent substantial support to it.
Pakistan is now colonized by three competing powers: Saudi Arabia, America, and China. Each of them controls a portion of our sovereign power. America exerts influence through economic colonization and is also now trying to re-establish contacts with Pakistani officials.
China has colonized the infrastructure through CPEC and has also aligned their interests with the military. Saudi Arabia has colonized us through controlling the energy tap funded by petrodollar aid as well as deep penetration into the military institution. We should not blame these foreign powers for this state of affairs. The fault is ours.
For example, when American Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage called General (r) Musharraf, in the aftermath of 911, he did not expect that most of his demands would be accepted and was surprised when most of them were without substantial negotiations.
Another example is Pakistan’s refusal to support Saudi aggression against Yemen. This resulted in a backdoor campaign to oust an elected government. It is because of this fear of losing the title of a PM that Imran Khan’s government completely surrendered to Saudi interests and boycotted the Kuala Lumpur summit.
Pakistan will remain a colony until the politics are liberated from the status quo dictatorial political parties. The existing system is built to keep us colonized. We need to replace it with the second republic that is sovereign, democratic and independent.