“Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss.”
The concept of “equilibrium” is defined as a strategic management doctrine to maintain balance, stability, moderation, neutrality, equality, parity and symmetry in an organized system. In terms of leadership input, two fundamental factors are important in maintaining equilibrium in an organization. 1) Composure as a personal commitment of self-restraint in the exercise of power and decision-making. 2) Calmness as a personal leadership attribute towards making good judgments.
Social and behavioral scientists contend that for any social, political, economic, cultural or even moral-ethical system to survive and progress, it is necessary to maintain a qualified and sustainable equilibrium. When organizations, whatever their nature, are in a state of dis-equilibrium, they are most likely to collapse from pressures within and from coercion and strain from external sources. Dis-equilibrium in an organization occurs due to the lack of rationality and fairness in the conduct of its decision-making managers and when the basic rules of balance, equality and neutrality are violated by organizational leadership. Hence, leadership is of paramount importance in maintaining equilibrium or causing dis-equilibrium in an organizational system.
In today’s political Pakistan, organizational dis-equilibrium in the state’s affairs is conspicuously vivid and clear. The people’s mandate to its democratic representatives and leadership has lost all legitimacy and the top political managers of the country have time and again violated the terms of democratic engagement with the public at large. The state political organization suffers from a serious lack of organizational ability and competence to deliver equality, parity, balance and stability to its citizens; the leadership’s commitment to social-economic fairness and justice is altogether absent from the present political discourse in the country. It is hard to recall a time in Pakistan’s entire history when such gross socio-economic-financial-political disasters hit the nation. The incumbent leadership’s alienation from public issues has never been so glaring, so obvious, so fundamental, and so extremely reflective of basic failures in good political judgments and necessary public welfare policy and decision-making.
Consider the rising levels of poverty in the country. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people in today’s Pakistan live below the international poverty line of $1 a day, and the percentage is dramatically increasing on a daily basis. “In the 10 months to October 2011, about 1,600 people decided that suicide was the only option according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. The previous year 2,399 people killed themselves and poverty was a significant factor, the commission said.” And yet, the incumbent leadership seems completely oblivious to the plight of common citizens. A recent survey of the price index of consumable commodities, mostly used as staple food by common people, reveals staggering price increases. Dal at Rs. 1600 (20 kg); ghee at an unbelievable Rs. 200 per kilo, milk and meat shooting up at unheard of levels; gas, petrol, electricity at unaffordable prices, and yet unavailable; health, education and transportation prices skyrocketing beyond the capabilities of the majority of common citizens. “Critics say alleviating poverty has never been a priority (of this government) in the 2011-2012 budget, Pakistan’s government allocated 0.04 percent of spending on social protection schemes.”
The horrors of dis-equilibrium in Pakistan’s political system are mushrooming. Corruption, both financial irregularities and unethical-immoral conduct at the top level of political leadership, it seems, has been institutionalized, promoted and patronized for the political gains of the powers that be. Recent Senate elections have already been bought and sold and institutional arrangements are already underway through the 20th Amendment to preserve the political status quo in the country. To block a transformational change in Pakistan’s polity and maintain the rule of a few over the masses, the clan-family-braderie oligarchic political structures and alliances, behind closed doors, have already been systematically organized between the major incumbent political actors in the government and the opposition forces. There is not a shred of self-restraint in the exercise of power, and all of the political decision-making is focused on promoting the self-interests of the governing ruling elite and their allies in the shadows – while public sufferings multiply daily.
The decades-old and presently continuing dis-equilibrium in the political system has had staggering consequences for all major national institutions. The incumbent political leadership has ridiculed the judiciary; it has failed in carrying out 39 judicial decisions of the Supreme Court; it has been attempting to unduly undermine the military establishment; and its foreign patronage (especially US-Western Europe) has resulted in making foreign policy compromises that have directly damaged Pakistan’s vital national interests. The country has already suffered irrevocable harm to national security, loss of sovereignty, deteriorating law and order situation and turning the country into killing fields because of its alliance with the US-Nato in the so-called war on terrorism.
The question is: How long can the nation tolerate this skilfully-orchestrated and deliberately organized dis-equilibrium in Pakistan’s political structure? The fact of the matter is that no heavenly help from the skies will change the fate of a nation. It is always the people themselves who rise in unison and force a change in their national destiny. And that is precisely what today’s Pakistan needs – a people’s revolutionary movement to control their own future and destination as a nation.
Contemporary dis-equilibrium in Pakistan’s political system is an enemy of every Pakistani. The common citizens feel they are under siege; they have a shared feeling of doubt, fear and insecurity, and they have a common stake in the future. Consequently, people will have a common and natural reaction to the oppression of dis-equilibrium of their times and they will seek protection and reassurance in a sense of belonging – a people’s revolutionary movement. That is Pakistan’s destiny now to go forward – or plunge into the abyss.
One day soon, the Supreme Court, in order to facilitate the end of political dis-equilibrium in Pakistan, might have to play its constitutional role – and the military establishment might have to come to the rescue of people’s national predicaments at the call of the Supreme Court.
Indeed, “Within any important issue, there are always aspects that no one wishes to discuss.”
Pakistan stands at the crossroads.
n The writer is UAE-based academic policy analyst, conflict resolution expert and the author of several books on Pakistan and foreign policy issues. He holds a doctorate and a masters degree from
Columbia university in New York.