• Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Pakistan: an ‘overdeveloped’ post-colonial state, every Pakistani should read

Discussion in 'Pakistani Siasat' started by Goku, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Goku

    Goku FULL MEMBER

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    IF Pakistanis want to understand Pakistan nad its problems in post colonial rule and its probable causes

    When it comes to political debates and discourse, Pakistanis, like many other nations, believe that they know just about everything regarding the state of affairs and politics in their country. Very little, or no, attention is given to the pre-partition political past, and how the country ended up with weak democratic structures. Also, our oversimplification of major politics dilemmas and state crises also help little in our understanding of the larger picture.

    This larger picture might point towards our colonial past and its present traces in the state machinery. A further analysis might also bring us to the conclusion that Pakistan’s problems might have started as a consequence of our colonial legacies. Such thoughts might attract theoretical and academic interests, but would repel common citizens, relying merely on sensationalised news stories for their ‘political knowledge’. Hence, it should come as no surprise that very few in the country might have heard, or read, about Hamza Alavi – an internationally acclaimed Marxian academic, activist and scholar.

    Alavi propagated the notion of Pakistan’s Postcolonial symptoms in the early 70’s when limited scholarship on the topic was taking place in the country. He believed that Pakistan’s inheritance of overdeveloped colonial machinery, in form of the military and bureaucracy, and its cooperation with three major elites – landed-feudal, indigenous bourgeoisie and metropolitan bourgeoisie – resulted in what became a complex postcolonial state. His thesis also explained why cracks still exist in Pakistan’s civil-military ties. Where developed countries of today progressed from having a strong nation transitioning into a strong state, the process in Pakistan was somewhat in reverse. Our independence from the British Raj gave us a weak nation – Vis a Vis East and West Pakistan – and a strong state – the military and bureaucracy.

    Postcolonialism does not suggest a period ‘after-independence’ or after ‘colonialism’, rather, signifies an ongoing process, where the state and its machinery still reflects certain features of the colonial era. These reflections are often visible when a majority of the country believes that the only institution capable of leading Pakistan is the military. Further reflections could be seen when peripheries like tribal Pashtuns in FATA are still governed under special administrative regimes. The Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) is one such regime, which, even with its human rights shortcomings, is still actively in place. Hence, the concept of the ‘superior us’ vs the ‘inferior others’ is still put to practice.

    Also, colonial narratives of the past, especially against the tribal Pashtuns, have resurfaced since the 9/11 attacks and the global war on terror in 2001. The Pashtuns were again branded as ‘savage’, ‘violent’ and ‘barbaric individuals’, similar to what the colonial military writers had portrayed them in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Even today, the ‘metropolitan’ province believes that the individuals belonging to the ‘periphery’ should be profiled in their own country, due to their ‘propensity towards violence’. Additionally, Alavi’s argument of the ‘salariat class working for the British Raj with diminished job quota’ playing a major role in Pakistan’s independence, also explains why bureaucracy still holds more power compared to elected representatives. It was Alavi who, in 2001, warned us about the rise of religious fundamentalism, and how religious groups, who strongly opposed Pakistan’s creation and PML’s secular leadership, were wrongly claiming that they struggled for a theocratic Pakistan.

    Many believe that Pakistan may have transition from a Postcolonial to a Praetorian state. A praetorian state, or democracy, is where the military plays the key role in the political sphere, ranging from the exercise of a veto over decisions of a civilian government to the replacement of a civilian government with one that was completely or substantially military in character. Pakistan’s praetorian state has recently included a key section of the religious right in the power nexus. This also explains why major hurdles still exist for Pakistan to accomplish a full western democracy model. Alavi’s ideas, therefore, even in current discourse help us understand and analyse Pakistan’s political and administrative problems, coupled with the growing influence of the religious right.

    It’s a pity when the country’s academia is busy churning out papers after papers in local journals on eye-catching topics like ‘CPEC’, ‘Indian involvement in Pakistan’, and ‘Pashtun terrorists in FATA’, very little attention is, and would be, given to scholar’s like Alavi. He aimed to inspire a generation of young thinkers who could understand Pakistan’s problems through critically analysing the country’s colonial past, and initiating constructive debates on how to make things better. The current progressive-intellectual decline of the left in Pakistan is a point of concern. This concern is aggravated with the fact that progressive scholars and activists rather than teaching the future generations are ending up in prisons. Thus, Pakistan, more than ever, needs an academic revival of Alavi’s works and his social thought which could help students, activists and academics in correcting the wrongs of Pakistani political narratives.
    https://dailytimes.com.pk/18662/pakistan-an-overdeveloped-post-colonial-state/
     
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  2. 313ghazi

    313ghazi SENIOR MEMBER

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    Which Pakistan does this guy live in? Everyone knows the legal system is archaic and not fit for purpose.
     
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  3. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles SENIOR MEMBER

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    Pakistan's problem are very simple Pakistan is poor country and population is too large
     
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  4. Goku

    Goku FULL MEMBER

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    That photo is not of Hamza alavi but is of the author of this article in the paper
    Hamza alavi was a famous social activist , political theorist who studied post colonial states like India , Pakistan , Bangladesh and charted out their characteristics post independence , if u read his theory you may understand current state of Pakistan
     
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  5. New World

    New World SENIOR MEMBER

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    what you said is the disease and that disease can be cured but until and unless you don't address the causes of this disease, you will get again this disease with other multiple symptoms.
     
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  6. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles SENIOR MEMBER

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    It's not disease Pakistan simply don't have any resources is not poor but it's resources are not enough for large population
     
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  7. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    Mismanagement! We have plenty of resources! Alhamdulillah...but we have terrible management and those who manage think about their pocket over Pakistan!
     
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  8. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles SENIOR MEMBER

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    What resources? For example
     
  9. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    minerals
    manpower
    fertile land that grows fruits and cereal of all sorts (just need research in the field to improve yield and improve crop resistance)
    culture - handicraft/ tourism

    Not every country has these 3...

    Many countries have a larger older population while we have a lazy working class that refuses to produce anyting or venture out of their comfort zone!
     
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  10. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles SENIOR MEMBER

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    Pakistan have fertile land and I think is only and biggest resource of Pakistan
    man power is biggest problem because Pakistan don't have enough resources for this large population
    Pakistan don't have any minerals like coal Petroleum iron etc
     
  11. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    we do...we just havent been able to manage it...

    You see 1 of the problems with Pakistani people in general is...uskay paas hai tou meray paas kiyun nai?

    This hassad has caused more problems than not! People are trying to behave or show what they are not...and this has resulted in alot of people falling in debt...many behaving like goray and it has led to a real mess!

    Otherwise if everyone behaved as they are instead of in an effort to show off what they dont have...alot of problems would be solved!

    While I was growing up - knowing students work part time...and when I told my family in Pakistan they laughed and "felt pity" that European "students" had to work coz they got "kicked out of their homes"...they laughed at the fact that students in Europe or USA work in Mc.D, coffee shops and what not from O/A levels!


    The same families raise children all the way till they are married, then raise the grandchild ...basically nothing wrong but the "child" has no sense of responsibility, no idea of the worth of money (baap dayra hai asaam say paisa ara hai)....

    So it isnt just mismanagement from the state but also families!
     
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  12. Zulfiqar

    Zulfiqar FULL MEMBER

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    Those leftist teachers may rot in jail for all i care.

    They are one of the reasons behind PTM and all those pseudo marxists that live lavishly in posh houses, study in LUMS and other expensive universities especially ones based in US/UK and then preach others on wealth distribution, dissent and what not.

    They are one of the reasons that our economy is in shambles.

    They conveniently forget that socialism is dying every where. They also forget how USSR the epitome of socialism massacred its own citizens in tens of millions.Leftists are not as peaceful as they let you think they are. Their hands are equally bloody.

    An idea no matter how euphorical is crap unless it can evolve with time.
     
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  13. Clutch

    Clutch ELITE MEMBER

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    The writer lives in his own enclave... The neo-liberal elitist that dreams of being a western trapped in the skin of a Pakistani. Trying hard to appease his Western ideal.

    Just like those islamic elitists that dream of being an arab/Iranian trapped in the skin of a pakistani. Trying hard to appease his Wahaabi/Shia/ ideal.

    Very few of these pseudo-intellectual are actually pro-Pakistan patriots.
     
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  14. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles SENIOR MEMBER

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    You mean Pakistanis should adopt a simpler lifestyle this is what I was saying Pakistan is a poor country and can't afford current lifestyle of it's people
    Poverty and richness are relative to each other in front of billionaires a millionaire would consider himself poor
    And someone who is barely surviving would consider someone who is relatively better than him a rich person
     
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  15. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    Agreed...a simple lifestyle...

    Many who retire realize it at their retirement age...what really matters is simplicity!
     
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