By Ahmed Necip YILDIRIM
In Turkey we call Pakistan “brother country”. There have been friendly relations between Turkey and Pakistan since the country’s independence in 1947. Yet the close ties between Turkey and people of Pakistan have a much longer history. Also there is a good dialogue between current governments of both countries.
So far, I have visited Pakistan several times. Unlike all the academic articles and analysis I have read about Pakistan, the observation I have made on the field has always made me deeply sad and full of sorrow. Poverty and the huge gap between the poor and the rich are the most striking aspects of the social life the country.
This is the basic reason why The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has taken over “Food, Clothes and Homes” as the party slogan.
Since its foundation in 1967, the party is ruled by the members from Bhutto and Zardari family. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and her daughter Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007, are the most prominent figures in the history of PPP. Benazir Bhutto husband Asif Ali Zardari is current president of Pakistan.
Corruption, favoritism, illiteracy, bad infrastructure (especially in electricity supply), terrorism and health issues some of the major problems in Pakistan. Yet the most important problem is political instability. The people in Pakistan are severely suffering from this fatal problem. “Establishment” is a term that summarizes these problems. Establishment describes a kind of underworld organization which is not formal and legal and people who take part in this set of relationships control every vital department in Pakistan. We can think of it as a network of key positions spreading and dominating almost all the departments in the country.
Democracy is cute and nice curtain which offers a safe field for such non-democratic networks to flourish.
Yesterday, I watched Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, 24 year old Oxford educated chairman of PPP who is son Benazir Bhutto husband Asif Ali Zardari. It was interesting to see him on the headlines of nearly all Western media as the potential person who was going to lead next generations in Pakistan.
In his speech, he was promising “food, clothes and homes” to mostly uneducated tens of thousands of supporters of the ruling party. The year 2013 will be a crucial year for Pakistan, since the elections will be held in mid-2013. Will Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is praised as an “articulate” leader in world media, be able to get PPP reelected in the elections is question that we should wait and see.
By Ahmed Necip YILDIRIM
(Originally published in Turkey Tribune)