Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
In response to 'The tragic myth of Sovereignty, Al-Jehad Case, Judges and Dictators By Yousuf Nazar'
Project Humanbeingsfirst.org Comment 1: February 18th, 2010 at 11:07 pm
To elaborate on that comment only briefly, in your (almost) glorification of the supremacy of the Parliament, the elected representatives of the people, and as you put it:
“according to the Objectives Resolution, sovereignty belongs to Allah and is to be exercised by the people through their ‘chosen representatives’ and not by the Army or the Judiciary. The Parliament, and not the Constitution, Army, or the Judiciary should and can exercise sovereignty in view of the unambiguous definition of sovereignty provided in the objectives resolution, which is an integral part of the constitution.”,
might I refresh your gentle memory of what has transpired in the mother of all democracy? The United States and the UK have systematically been converted into police-states, and all their “imperial mobilizations”, all of them, duly sanctioned and fully funded by, yes my friend, by its elected Representatives, the Congress, the Parliament.
If you analyze how the elected Representatives become beholden to other un-elected greater powers in order to become elected, which is clearly also the worst guarded secret in the world, that is even more true for the Pakistanis.
Every thug, moron, do-no-gooder feudal thinks being an elected Representative of the people is finally their ticket to a well-earned life, or a well-earned return to power if they are already from the feudal clans, the praetorian guards. All duly exercise the white man’s burden on its behalf.
Even for as brazen a crime as the fictitious trial of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui could not be called as such as an act of Pakistan’s supreme Parliament. The real power wielders all work for the white man, as is obvious in this editorial: The Only Truth About US Justice is that Justice is in the Service of Empire!
As one last note, one of sharing a bit of rather stale wisdom acquired from watching the practice of political science over these past 9 years since 911, and which can only be expressed in the well-worn diction of David Ben-Gurion: “what is inconceivable in normal time is possible in revolutionary times”!
And in Pakistan, any time the magician is about to conjure up an ill-fated dead rabbit from his tall hat, he distracts the audience’s attention towards the “revolutionary times” being fabricated by the left-hand while the real ‘magic’ of pulling the rabbit out is being accomplished with the right hand.
You are focussing on the left hand.
Project Humanbeingsfirst.org Comment 2: February 20th, 2010 at 7:12 am
Hello again. Continuing the above theme from my previous comment, I found these statements of United States Judge Andrew Napolitano rather pertinent. The pertinence is so huge that I had to leave a link to his speech here:
It is the elected Representatives of the peoples who have screwed the people the most!! I am not saying it as just another un-informed plebeian, even the US Judge is saying it! [Caveat: on the Judge's statement on 911, please see “My beef with the stellar congressman Hon. Ron Paul”]
And how are they able to do it?
Very simple – they do not follow the Constitution of their own land in service to the oligarchy which rules their land from behind the public-scenes.
It is indeed even far simpler in the UK than in the US – the former does not have a written one – so whatever the law makers say, is the new Constitution!
Well, in Pakistan, that oligarchy is beholden to the white man which alternately puts them in power and then sacrifices them, entirely according to their own pawn plays on the Grand Chessboard. This is hardly a surprise to anyone.
Why is none of that betrayed in the above article in its glorification of the Parliament?
In fact, in your previous two articles “Another example of unprofessional and substandard reports by the News International”, and “Rubbish and Trash published by The News International” you very forthrightly berated the pimpish newsmedia:
‘It has become a plague in Pakistan for reporters and columnists to not only get involved in partisan politics but also fancy themselves as astute and “ghak” political advisers with no regard to the responsibility they owe to the readers and viewers who have a right to expect unbiased and professional reporting and analyses. Little do they know, they are merely little and disposable pawns in the overall scheme of things and great games that are played.’
Very well put my friend in common cause for non-partisan truth and justice. Unfortunately, on your last sentence quoted above, is the pot (inadvertently) calling the kettle black?
Certainly one man’s analysis is another’s terrorism, and in no less measure than one man’s trash is another’s treasure.
But to continue on with the topic of what or who is supreme in statecraft, the Parliament, or the Constitution, I have found the following book incredibly insightful even on the subject of sticking religiously to a Constitution, and I encourage you to try and acquire a used copy, or locate it in a library as it’s lamentably out of print: Cracks in the Constitution by Ferdinand Lundberg. Steve Lendman also wrote a review of this fantastic book with extended excerpts and it can be found on the web with a search engine.
This book rather perceptively explains that even the most righteous Jeffersonian words on paper are not only just as good as their implementation by any people – otherwise they are only a “goddamned piece of paper” as George W. Bush once put it – but that even those righteous proclamations are open to interpretation of self-interest no differently than how the Zionists interpret the Ten Commandments!! (The latter characterization is of course in my own chosen vernacular)
The book eviscerates anything holy that is generally attributed even to the Constitution by its worshippers. It quotes Thomas Jefferson that even those chosen words of the mighty fathers of the nation must be open to being carefully re-considered, and perhaps tweaked as needed every generation and a half, for their practicableness and relevance to the time! For, as Jefferson states, a previous generation cannot justifiably presume to know all the problems to be faced by the succeeding generations better than their offspring! In fact, he called for a revolution every other generation to ensure non-complacency and pertinence to their time!
How commonsensical. And how remarkably perceptive of the very author of a written Constitution in the aftermath of their own momentous revolution, to state such a bold truism for any human-designed system!
Finally, please permit me to close this contrarian viewpoint with the very words of Lincoln, or was it Jefferson: “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”! Or is it “eternal vigilance is the price of democracy”! Both ideas work! And what that means in statecraft practice, is that nothing is sacred. The test of virtuosity of the elected Representatives, as well as of the governance system which they administer, is daily, constant! Otherwise, short of a Prophet of the Divine running the show, man is corruptible, and so is all that is manmade! This also means that even a lousy, imperfect and crappy system can be made to work better by the right set of people, than a perfect system with crappy people at the helm! As Thomas Jefferson had put it: “when people fear their governments, that is tyranny; when governments fear the people, that is liberty”! In our nation perpetually run by crappy rulers and their crappy instruments of coercion, people fear the government. And that's the bottom line regardless of the governance system!
Project Humanbeingsfirst.org Comment 3: February 23rd, 2010 at 6:01 am
I continue to have serious problems with your thought provoking article when I reflect on the word 'democracy' in the same breadth, including the “Charter of Democracy” text which you just reprinted. I have now read your article for which this is my third comment, more times than anything else you have written. It is both that much interesting, and that much problematic. The problems therein are far more fundamental than I have addressed in my previous two comments, and these cracks only emerge as one ponders carefully upon your axiomatic statement in the same breadth as the word 'democracy':
'That is the spirit of the constitution because according to the Objectives Resolution, sovereignty belongs to Allah and is to be exercised by the people through their ‘chosen representatives’ and not by the Army or the Judiciary. The Parliament, and not the Constitution, Army, or the Judiciary should and can exercise sovereignty in view of the unambiguous definition of sovereignty provided in the objectives resolution, which is an integral part of the constitution.'
However, instead of an ordinary plebeian expressing the fundamental problem, I am going to permit those far more learned – who far better understand constitutionalism, who far better comprehend what it means to be “a government of the people, by the people, for the people”, and who, ab initio, crafted the very concept of people governing themselves through their elected representatives – to respond to your afore-quoted passage. May I just preface what is reproduced below by saying that its sense of constitutional semantics may also be gleaned from the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America! Unsurprisingly, that very sense was commonsensically uttered by a brown man of the sub-continent in his eloquent opposition to Objectives Resolution of the Constituent Assembly, March 1949.
So, rather than always have the venerable white man articulate my theses, here is an opportunity for an equally venerable non white man, a non 'Negro' man, a self-respecting man, Sris Chandra Chattopadhya, to boldly state the truth of the matter in his own words:
I wish that Pakistan must be a great State. That will be covetable to Muslims as well as to non-Muslims who are living in East Bengal. A few people from East Bengal have left – may be five per cent and my calculation is not even that. Of course, there are other calculations too – somebody says ten lakhs. We are living in East Bengal peacefully, in peace and amity with out Muslim neighbours as we had been living from generations to generations. Therefore, I am anxious to see that its constitution is framed in such a way which may suit the Muslims as well as the non-Muslims. I have gone carefully through this Resolution and I have carefully, read made-to-order, nicely-worded statement of my esteemed friend, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan. But after reading the Resolution carefully and reading the statement, even after hearing the speeches of my friends, both the Doctors and others, I cannot change my opinion. I cannot persuade myself to accept this Resolution and my instruction to my party would be to oppose this Resolution.
Now as for the first paragraph:
“Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust”.
This part of the Resolution, I think, ought to be deleted. All powers, in my opinion, rest with the people and they exercise their power through the agency of the State. State is merely their spokesman. The Resolution makes the State the sole authority received from God Almighty through the instrumentality of people – Nemittamatrona, “Merely instruments of the State”. People have no power or authority, they are merely post boxes according to this Resolution. The State will exercise authority within the limits prescribed by Him (God). What are those limits, who will interpret them? Dr. Qureshi or my respected Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Osmani? In case of difference, who will interpret? Surely they are not the people. One day a Louis XIV may come and say “I am the State, anointed by the Almighty” thus paving the way for advent Divine Right of Kings of afresh. Instead of State being the voice of the people, it has been made an adjunct of religion. To me voice of people is the voice of God, “Jatra jiba tatra shiva.” The people are the manifestation of God.
In my conception of State where people of different religion live there is no place for religion in the State. Its position must be neutral: no bias for any religion. If necessary, it should help all the religions equally. No question of concession or tolerance to any religion. It smacks of inferiority complex. The State must respect all religions: no smiling face for one and askance look to the other. The state religion is a dangerous principle. Previous instances are sufficient to warn us not to repeat the blunder. We know people were burnt alive in the name of religion. Therefore, my conception is that the sovereignty must rest with the people and not with any body else.
Then about the Constituent Assembly representing the people of Pakistan. This Constituent Assembly was created by a Statute – Indian Independence Act – allotting one member for ten lakhs of people to be elected by the members of the Provincial Assemblies. The members were not elected by the people themselves. They are for the purpose of framing a constitution. They have the legal right to do so but they cannot say that they are the representatives of the people. They are merely a Statutory Body.
Then I come to the fourth paragraph:
“Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed.”
Of course, they are beautiful words: Democracy, freedom, equality, everything. Now about this portion I had some discussion with some Maulanas from the Punjab. What they told me must be from their religious books. I shall repeat here. If I commit blunder, I wish to be corrected.
In this connection you say “equal rights”, but at the same time with limitations as enunciated by Islam. Is there any equal right in an Islamic country? Was there any …. An Honourable Member: “There was in Islamic countries.” ……. It was not between Muslims and non-Muslims. We are now divided into Congress Party and Muslim League Party here for farming constitution and suppose after framing of this constitution we face election, and parties are formed on different alignment, there may not be Congress, there may not be Muslim League, because the Congress has fulfilled its mission of attaining independence and Muslim League has also got Pakistan. There may be parties of haves and have-nots – and they are bound to be – and have-nots party may have a leader coming form non-Muslims. Will he be allowed to be the head of the administration of a Muslim State? It is not a fact that a non-Muslim cannot be head of the administration in a Muslim State. I discussed this question and I was told that he could not be allowed to be the head of the administration of a Muslim State. Then what is the use of all this. The question is whether there can be Juma Namaz in a country with a non-Muslim as its head, I am told that a country where a non-Muslim is the Head of the administration – as was in India, the Britishers were the head of the administration – according to the interpretations of Muslim rules, and I do not know much of them Muslims cannot say their Juma Namaz. As an instance, I cite a case and I think, the Honourable President also knows about it – in the District of Faridpur, Dudu Mea’s party. They do not say Juma Namaz. His grandson, Pir Badshah Mia, told me that “in a country where the head is a non-Muslim, there cannot be Juma Namaz.” Therefore, the words “equal rights as enunciated by Islam” are – I do not use any other word – a camouflage. It is only a hoax to us, the non-Muslims. There cannot be equal rights as enunciated by Islam. If the State is formed without any mandate of the religion, anybody whether Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist who can get votes can become its head, as such there would be difficulty if a portion of a book – it is not my book, it is not a Congress book, it is a Jamat-I-Islam publication from Lahore and it was handed over to me. I read a few lines from this book – Page 20.
“The preceding statement makes it quite clear that Islam is not democracy; for democracy is the name given to that particular form of Government in which sovereignty ultimately rests with the people in which legislation depends both in its form and content on the force and direction of public opinion and laws are modified and altered, to correspond to changes in that opinion. If a particular legislation is desired by the mass of people steps have to be taken to place it on the Statute Book if the people dislike any law and demand its removal, it is forthwith expunged and ceases to have any validity. There is no such thing in Islam which, therefore, cannot be called democracy in this sense of the term”.
My friend, the Honourable Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, the other day said ‘What is in the name’? I also say, what is in the name? Name may be given to mislead people but it will smell theocracy.
Full text of the address of Sris Chandra Chattopadhya is available here.
To finally conclude my (gratuitous) commentary on your article (and thank you for the opportunity to extend the dimensions of the problem domain you sketched out), may I humbly suggest that one entirely drop the sham label of 'democracy' if one wishes to devolve man's natural powers to govern itself to Allah. In such a case, one might use the semantically more accurate label of 'theocracy'.
Or, one accept the principal concept of democracy ab initio, as it was intended to be: not a majority rule, not a mob rule, not a foreign power's rule, but a Constitutional Republic which derives all its rights to govern according to an agreed upon Constitution, solely by the powers accorded to the governing structures and to its elected/appointed stewards by the people.
The people are the Sovereign, not the Parliament, not the Executive, not the Judiciary, not the Military, not the Mosque, not the Banks, and not the Constitution.
The people can withdraw these powers, and thus the legitimacy they accord to the governing structures, if the governance stops representing the people's interests, stops protecting them, prefers the interests of foreign powers over their own, tyrannizes, kills, displaces, disappears, loots and plunders its own peoples, and auctions off their public commons for private gains.
The people may even amend the Constitution and the structures of their Republic, as necessary, to keep up with the needs of their time!
The government must fear its people! And that's the only fairest charter of democracy, don't you think?
Statecraft, the Constitution, and the Elected Representatives By Zahir Ebrahim