Dissipating authority

ByDr. Tahseen Mahmood Aslam

Designation: is an educationist with wide experience


June 1, 2023

Dissipating Authority

Dr. Tahseen Mahmod Aslam talks about a serious

Dissipating Authority – The garrison state run in Pakistan has over the time devised methodologies aimed at dealing with frequent eruptions depicting signs of resistance against it. Autocratic forces of the garrison state managed to decisively control the society through a mix of patriotic jingoism and heavy doses of foreign funding obtained through loans by exploiting the strategic location of the country. They thought that these tactics reduced the resort to expensive inducements and brute violence to control society. That this transactional approach would prove harmful ultimately was deliberately ignored. Besides, the costs of this transactional process proved highly damaging with the country now paying through its nose. Apart from their short term measures to keep their hegemony intact the autocratic forces also managed to apply large reservoirs of tactics that ultimately succeeded in diffusing any emerging dissent and gradually getting very confident about their efficacy. Events of the last year have brought in their wake many challenges with tremendous intensity spread over long duration. It was very obvious that these tactics were used to quell the ongoing uprising but to the chagrin of the guardians of the garrison state these came simply unstuck. This lack of success has virtually created a deep void in the decision-making and implementation process with no one knowing who will fill it and how. Resultantly it seems that no overarching authority has the necessary wherewithal to come to grips with the ensuing chaos. The unipolar system of authority has suddenly transformed into a multipolar one with a plethora of stakeholders pulling it in different directions exacerbating the chaos.

It is indeed a worrying aspect that the umpire that has, rightly or wrongly (mostly wrongly) decisively interfered in all national matters in the past is unable to impose its decisions on the burgeoning demands of the civil sector and is now facing the dilemma of either withdrawing or trying once again to wrest control with scant chance of doing the later. It is observed that the erosion in the status of the decisive authority has come gradually with forces uniting to force it on the back foot implying that the corresponding inefficacy of its tried-and-tested methods were aptly countered. Ironically, the latest proxy it employed to do its bidding played a large part in reducing its dominance. That it did not see in coming is an intriguing fact pointing to the deep inertia pervading the ranks of this unitary force. Overconfidence also played a large role in the denouement suffered by this once albatross-like structure. Curiously, the decisive authority went out of the way to pamper the latest proxy it created, nurtured and brought to power and lingered on with it despite this association turning sour. To begin with it dominated the hybrid system it created but its latest proxy outfoxed it quite quickly and started to embarrass it profoundly. Despite such setback, the decisive authority did not terminate its relationship with its proxy sustaining incalculable harm.

The decisive authority was otherwise under pressure particularly after the ignominious withdrawal from Afghanistan of the forces of Western alliance led by Americans for what they held Pakistan responsible. It was quite obvious that they were going to retaliate and soon they did. They entangled Pakistan with an extremely uncompromising FATF closing many avenues of finances that were exclusively utilised. They also froze the financial assistance that propped up the state for more than six decades putting Pakistan into a downward economic spiral that has endangered it existentially and made the lives of its people a misery. The only financial way out the country find itself was the IMF but that is specifically controlled by the western world and it is abundantly clear that it is consistently shifting the goalpost and unwilling to help Pakistan come out of its economic quagmire. The other financial doors also appear to be closing their doors citing that they need the IMF’s nod to come forward. Another traditional source of financial assistance was the oil-rich Arab world that was provided the covert military assistance by the autocratic forces that gradually had become self-sufficient militarily, and mindful of the perils of engaging in antagonistic foreign policy, has started to end their regional tensions. China was rebuffed by the Pakistani autocratic controllers succumbing to pressure of the western world that wanted them to part ways. China had gone out of its way to help Pakistan by committing a huge amount through CPEC but the Pakistani autocrats trashed it not only disappointing China but also making it deeply skeptical about their duplicitous policies.

To add to the woes of the autocrats the scourge of terrorism resurfaced covertly supported by Afghanistan, a country that accuses Pakistan of its double-dealing. It openly blames Pakistan for the incessant war it has been subjected to since decades and is now paying back in the same coin. Unfortunately, the terrorist insurgency has got a wide support within two of Pakistan’s vulnerable provinces that feel the burden of the country’s policies pursued by the autocrats. The terrorism is on the rise seriously discomfiting the autocratic apparatus as they are subjected to growing clamour of the people denouncing them for creating and then sustaining the Jihadist proxies to subjugate indoctrinate society, and in a Frankstein-monster like shift, they are consuming their perpetrators. Greatly encouraged by the support of the autocratic segment of Pakistani state the terrorist outfits have now made dangerously tall demands on the territories of the country they want to hold sway in their own fashion that is otherwise an anathema to the their compatriots inhabiting the same piece of land. Highly frustrated these civil elements have now risen in unison to fight the terrorists creating mayhem in the crucial border provinces.

It is also witnessed that the highly self-absorbing policy of the autocratic forces has finally dented the judicial segment of the state that is now engaged in internecine tug of war. This was a bastion of state that was consistently exploited by the autocratic forces to legalise their hold on power and in the process went out of the way to support to the usurping autocrats. In times of democratic governance the judicial mandarins did the bidding of the autocrats seating and unseating elected heads of government with relish thereby acquiring a quasi-autonomous position in the state presuming that were unassailable. It is a historical quirk however that the internecine struggle within the judicial circles coincided with internal rifts within the ranks of the autocrats. The supreme irony of it that these rifts were caused by the masterly crafty tactics of the political proxies it shaped into what they are today. All vicious tricks of trade including audio and video leaks, legal cases, incarcerations, horse-trading, intimidation and forced exile are in play today to best humble each other. The game of thrones is played out in Pakistan currently and no one knows who will emerge victorious. What however has become palpable is that there exists a huge vacuum in decision making apparatus and it is very well known that nature abhors vacuum. Though it is clearly discernable that the old system has completely broken down but unfortunately no force is now visible in Pakistan that may help in the formation of a new system. For the moment no one should expect steady governance and stability. The Weekender


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