History cannot be changed. Important and extraordinary events are imprinted on the minds and hearts of the people and cannot be erased, besides being recorded. The causes and effects of the events of history, however, are widely manipulated due to racial, religious, ethnic or political prejudices. History is full of examples where, in order to maneuver history, extreme religious or political sentiments have been attached to an event which mislaid the truth in diversified beliefs. Any attempt to change history is a total inanity as it is vehemently rejected by the educated segment of society. In the present times, the electronic media is the most potent instrument of distortion or disinformation, and is used to dispense grey or black propaganda to accomplish the political or covert schema.

Our history is twisted! This is the rhetoric in the electronic media in Pakistan which is repeatedly propagated by few opinion leaders in the shape of anchor persons/analysts appearing on different famous electronic channels. The oratory is so strong that a common man tends to believe it to be the truth. It especially influences the minds of the youth and the uneducated class, who get further confused. They seem to be inspired by the famous Nazi idiom to repeat the lie so many times that it starts being accepted as the truth. Their agendas seem to be either political or based on personal likes/dislikes or clandestine! Such a non-conducive environment has been created that no difference of opinion is accepted without the person being labeled an agent of the agencies or as having autocratic views.

Unfortunately, history has been twisted by none other than these same opinion leaders on the electronic media due to their extreme political prejudices. The great deeds of our leaders who actually contributed to the progress and development of our great country and due to whose policies we are still surviving as a nation, have never been recognized by them. Ironically, they are presented as traitors rather than national heroes. This great injustice has to be mainly attributed to the fact that these national heroes lacked legitimacy during their rule. In other words, due to the ambiguous legality of their rule, they have been debarred from getting any credit for their good deeds, loyalty and honesty towards the country. Who are these unsung, rather condemned, great leaders? The so-called military dictators as portrayed by these opinion leaders. Their good deeds cannot be erased from history on the pretext that their rules had been unlawful. They existed in history and did great jobs for this country. So let us put our history in the right perspective.

It would not be wrong to say that our basic survival as a nation has to be accredited to the first so called dictator, Field Marshal Ayub Khan. In the backdrop of the deteriorating political situation after the demise of Quaid-e-Azam, when Prime Minister Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan was murdered as a result of the Kashmir war of independence of 1947, Governor General Mr. Ghulam Mohammad dissolved the assemblies to retain his rule. Six prime ministers were changed between 1951 to 1958. Iskandar Mirza then imposed Martial Law and the parliament had become nothing less than a bunch of women fighting endlessly amongst each other on petty matters with total disregard for their national responsibilities towards the development of the country. Ayub Khan emerged as a messiah for the nation. He inculcated national respect in the citizens of Pakistan, fought 1965 war with India and unified the nation in an exemplary manner. Identifying the importance of Pakistan being an agriculturist country he constructed Mangla and Tarbela dams and laid the biggest canal system in the country. He constructed the beautiful city of Islamabad and introduced the new economic system: 5 year plans. He also introduced the system of basic democracy. Like a civilized nation, he planned and implemented family planning. He also concluded the Sind-Tas agreement with India for the distribution of riverine flows. The list of his contributions to this nation is very long and the entire nation is indebted to him. Shockingly however, an analyst was heard saying on one of the channels of media that Ayub Khan sold the rivers to India and gave Gurdaspur to India being a member of the boundary commission at the time of partition. What a distortion of facts! The gentleman either had no idea of history or he must be having clandestine aims.

This nation has also to be indebted to another so called dictator, Gen Zia ul Haq for saving this nation against Russian designs to reach the warm waters by invading Afghanistan in 1979. The proxy war Pakistan fought in Afghanistan was organized and conducted in a most effective manner, resulting in the defeat of the USSR, the super power, thus saving Pakistan from Russian occupation. Prior to his regime, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, being a very ambitious man, after having lost the election to the National Awami Party and having no desire to sit in opposition, played a discreet role in the separation of East Pakistan. His famous slogan, “Udar tum Idhar ham” bears testimony to this fact. He, besides making the Army the scapegoat for the great debacle of East Pakistan, subsequently employed it in Baluchistan for no viable reason but to keep it busy. After becoming Prime Minister, he nationalized all industry, which resulted in a massive setback for the economy. He created the infamous Federal Security Force (FSF) for use against his political enemies. He also imposed Martial Law in Sindh and was finally executed for a murder charge. Gen Zia ul Haq, although a military ruler, was wise enough to denationalize the industry. Although the nuclear program of the country was basically initiated by ZAB, the credit for the actual making of the nuclear bomb undoubtedly goes to Gen Zia ul Haq. It was undoubtedly a great achievement. His famous cricket diplomacy through which he forced Rajiv Gandhi, PM of India, to withdraw his Army from the Indo-Pak border from a strong footing is hailed worldwide. His execution is attributed to the reason that he had plans to capture Kashmir by inducting the Afghan Mujahideen who had become redundant in Afghanistan after the fall of USSR.

Gen Pervez Musharraf’s stint is also not short of achievements. He came to power in the backdrop of the corrupt political governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Besides political victimization of each other, both Nawaz Sharif and BB governments had touched the lowest limits of corruption. All national institutions including the police, Pakistan Railways, PIA and the judiciary were corrupted. There was no governance and nepotism was running rampant. Inefficiency, incompetence and corruption were the hallmark of these governments. The economy of the country had gone to the lowest ebb. Massive loans were being taken from the IMF and the World Bank. The public had been suffering due to high inflation during these inefficient governments. Horse trading and 10% commission were the open agendas of Nawaz Sharif and BB eras. Nawaz Sharif, who had been reluctant to test fire the atomic bomb at Chaghi in response to the Indians test at Pokhran claimed the credit when Army actually did it. He also disowned the Kargil war and did not mobilize the foreign ministry in favor of this war. Finally, Nawaz Sharif’s endeavors to involve the Pakistan Army in horse trading by dismissing the serving COAS while he was on a visit abroad and attempting to appoint another general as COAS were definitely not welcomed by Army and Nawaz Sharif had to face a coup d’état’. Gen Musharraf undoubtedly face lifted the image of Pakistan internationally, and also improved the economy and law and order situation of the country. He brought new life and strength to the country and negotiated peace talks with India from a position of strength. The entire nation has to be indebted to him for making the excellent system of NADRA, introducing multiple private TV channels, and forming the NAB, through which he recovered and added trillions of rupees to the national exchequer.

This is a brief account of our correct history which is hard to digest for these opinion leaders. Unfortunately for our country, the so called democratic governments have been marked by corruption, the worst kind of nepotism, inefficiency and poor governance. On the other hand, the military governments, although illegitimate, have always been effective in stabilizing the country reeling from the stints of these democratic leaders. That’s why we are still surviving. Every time the so called democratic leaders during their tenures brought the country towards the edge of disaster, the military leadership came to the fore as saviors. Unfortunately the Country is again passing through similarly dismal era of so called democracy for about 8 years now, and is facing the same unsavory issues again. The corrupt, the dishonest and the manipulative are portrayed as heroes and the honest, dignified and patriotic are labeled as traitors. It’s high time for us to realize that democracy can only survive if the nation exists and the situation seems to be ripe for history to be repeated once again.