Thursday, 28 February 2013

QOTD: Ayub, Bogra and the bullet

One of the immortal myths that gets heavily promoted  by supporters of military rule in Pakistan is that the Army 'gives politicians a chance and stays away but they make a mess of things so they have no choice'. It is a fallacy and an excuse for military intervention often by people with little real belief in democracy. A reflection of a strong authoritarian streak amongst mainstream Pakistanis.
The reality is that Pakistans political process is deeply stunted and the reason for that is the playing field for politicians is rarely level, when there is always one side playing in secret and not playing by the rules.  Case in point the 1947-1948 era in East Pakistan:

Ayub Khan  ' would  recall the occassion when Chief Minister, Khawaja Nazimuddin sought his aid to stop an angry group of students from storming the assembly hall in Dacca (Dhaka). Inside the hall the Chief Minisrer who had a precarious majority, was busy delivering the speech of his life to save his government, and outside A.K Fazlul Haq and Bogra, both in opposition at the time were working up an angry mob. When things seemed to be getting out of hand Ayub walked up to Bogra, tapped him on the shoulder and told him to buzz off unless he was looking for a bullet. In the meantime he had arranged to smuggle the Chief Minister out of the hall. Ayub told the crowd "the bird has flown" and the announcement was greeted with a roar of laughter'
- Altaf Gauhar 'Ayub Khan'

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