At the time of partition Pakistan inherited a colonial establishment that comprised of Military (Khakis), Bureaucrats (Baboos) and Judiciary (Qazis). The founding fathers of the country had a vision for a progressive, democratic state. Initially it was believed the experiment would be short-lived as the first Islamic democracy was not considered viable. Despite a myriad of teething problems our parents dug in to build viable national institutions.

When Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan the first Prime Minister (PM) refused to sign on the dotted lines during his US visit, alarm bells started to ring in the West. The colonial establishment was given the signal to destabilise the democratic order and take control. The PM was murdered in 1951 and the political circus started. Khawaja Nazimuddin the Governor General and the stalwart of the independence movement was made to step down and replaced by Baboo Ghulam Muhammed. Ayub Khan, the first native Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C), was inducted into the cabinet as Minister of Defense. He started attending cabinet meetings in uniform.

Muslim League leadership in West Pakistan was fragmented. Most of the heavy weights had no local constituencies while the leaders from East Pakistan had a strong following. Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy was a brilliant lawyer with vast administrative experience as Chief Minister (CM) of undivided Bengal province. Then there were popular political players like Maulvi Fazl-ul-Haq and Maulana Bhashani. While the Muslim League wanted centralised power (Mazboot Markaz) the provinces demanded autonomy.

The tussle between the democratic forces and establishment continued. In 1956, the first unanimous constitution was also passed and Pakistan was declared a Republic. Khaki/Baboo Iskander Mirza was inducted as the first President with the distinction of being the last Governor General. Elections were scheduled for the later part of 1958 but instead there were two martial laws. The first by the President on October 7 to keep his position and second by the C-in-C Ayub Khan on October 27 to capture the Presidency, who then abrogated the constitution and sent all the founding fathers packing. Those who resisted were punished in the dungeons of the Lahore fort.

A new breed of corrupt political leadership was introduced together with an establishment party called PML (Convention). The Khakis, Baboos, Qazis and their hired ‘Siasis’ exploited the country and plundered its resources for over a decade. Finally we the students of the first generation of Pakistan came on the streets to topple the usurper. Zia the third Khaki dictator followed the same approach but introduced religion in the political equation. His ‘hired Siasis’ included amongst others, corrupt and unethical businessmen like the Sharif’s of Lahore. After the death of the dictator the new entrants decided to have it all and took on the establishment. With the power of authority and money they were able to crack the unified establishment order with major inroads and influence over the Baboos and Qazis. Musharraf, the fourth dictator, tried to cleanse the political mess left behind by his predecessors but badly faulted when he relied on tainted politicians. His NRO proved to be the last nail in the coffin of accountability and fair play.

Pakistan is very unfortunate to have not one but two establishments. The old order now comprises of the Khakis only while the new cult is led by the Sharif’s which includes Baboos (hired by them), Qazis (recruited by them) media (bought by them), political workers (paid by them). The struggle for control is now between Establishment (Khaki) and Establishment (Sharif). PTI is being used as a ‘Mine Sweeper’ to clear the political mess. Kaptaan remains the only hope for change but ‘Trojan Horses’ have entered the party and thwart the movement from within.

The country is ready for change. An honest ballot is the way forward as was conducted in 1970 to bring in credible political leadership. Since then it was decided to manipulate the electoral process for so called positive results. Ten elections have been deliberately mismanaged to deny peoples mandate with disastrous consequences for the nation. Both the establishment approaches are seriously flawed and not sustainable. The recent electoral contest in NA-122 was a proof of this defective approach. It was a one on one fight between the two establishment orders and the Sharif’s prevailed with a narrow margin.

As a party of change PTI has to lead a crusade comprised of untainted warriors not ‘Trojan Horses’ of the old establishment. An honest ballot is like a ‘Political Firing Squad’ to get rid of the dirt that has accumulated due to establishment politics. The vital institutions that were built by our parents with their sweat and blood have to be restored and rebuilt to move the country forward. PTI should emerge as a fresh option in this Establishment vs Establishment tussle otherwise it will be more of the same and business as usual will continue with detrimental consequences for the party and the nation.