Pakistan: kleptocracy with weak foreign policy
By Dr Ali Ahmed
Pakistan and India gained independence in 1947 from British rule and unfortunately emerged on the world map as independent rival states.
As sovereign entities, both states drafted their own foreign policies on the basis of their ideological, socio-political, economic and military dimensions, adopting different strategies for dealing with the international community . At that time the world was divided into two blocks: capitalism and communism championed by two superpowers: the United States and Soviet Union respectively. These super powers made different military and economic pacts to enhance their alliances. India gathered economic favours and military advantages from Russia. On the contrary, Pakistan aligned itself with the USA. Though the principal motives to join the block were to boost its economy and military strength but the alliance turned into severe dependency in which Pakistan is still seen to be entangled.
The etiology of this dependency synsdrome is the corrupt political leadership which purposely corrupt beauraucratic set up. Pakistan is run by a civilian elite that steals all it can and pays almost no taxes. Pakistan has always been ruled by a kleptocratic set up and not by a democratic one. This corrupt political set up has always used the beuraucratic machinery for personal promotion.
Kleptocracy ( rule by thieves) is a government with corrupt rulers (kleptocrats) that use their power to exploit the people and natural resources of their own territory in order to augment their personal wealth and political prowess. This system involves the embezzlement of state funds at the expense of the wider population. The political class monopolies state resources and spends them on their personal interests whereas the beauraucracy works to deny people their rights and state services, while the judicial system becomes injudicious.
Kleptocray allowed politicians in Pakistan to grow as literally thieves. Pakistan ex-president Asia Ali Zardari and current PM Nawaz Sheriff are amongst the most corrupt leaders and great thieves of Pakistan. The recent Panama Paper leak and BBC report, showing Nawaz Sharif”s family being the owner of off shore companies and Upton Lane London flats brings ample testimony to the corruption of Nawaz Sharif.
This dependency created by Pakistan”s kleptocrats has led to Pakistan’s foreign policy having been considerably influenced by the USA. In fact, Pakistan has never managed to get out of this dependency web, even enmeshing itself more and more into it. Theives thrive and the nation is increasingly becoming deprived. Polticians are corrupt, lacking any sympathy or empathy with those they represent in the assemblies.
Is there any hope left for redemption? Yes, but Pakistan needs to adopt a fair anti-corruption system in order to ensure the coming of sincere leadership to Pakistan’s national and provincial assemblies.