Dr Haider Mehdi Just a few years ago, a powerful ideology - the belief in free and unfettered markets - brought the world to the brink of ruin. Even in its heyday..American-style de-regulated capitalism brought greater material well being only to the very richest in the richest countries. - Joseph. E. Stiglitz, Columbia University Professor. A nations foreign policy has an intrinsic link to its domestic agenda, and this is true most specifically for a superpower, which has a manifest ideological approach to global affairs and a distinct political culture and socio-economic values that it wishes to promote worldwide. So in actual practice, a superpowers foreign policy becomes an instrument of its domestic objectives. It is, in this context, that we can understand and conceptually comprehend the global political behaviour of Western nations, presently led by the monolithic and dogmatic neocon America, vis--vis their conduct towards the Third World. The simple truth is that wars, global and regional conflicts, dysfunctional economies, propped up dictatorial regimes, civil-military dictators in the Third World, and overall dependence on Western patronage have tremendously contributed to what Professor Stiglitz has stated: American-style deregulated capitalism brought greater material well being only to the very richest in the richest countries. The most vital point is that the US and Western political-economic establishments wish to keep these prevailing dismal and catastrophic global conditions unchanged. They desire that the global, political and economic model of stalemate and status quo continue permanently, making the very richest in the richest countries richer and these nations unprecedentedly powerful. Pakistan and its traditional ruling political-military elite has been so intimately involved with the West, most specifically with the US-centric foreign policy, that for the last 62 years successive political regimes have practically and unabatedly practiced exactly what they were told to practice, did what they were told to do, and moulded this nation to a script written and prepared in Washington DC, London and some other European capitals. Consequently, true to Professor Stiglitzs economic model, Pakistan has become a nation where a selective class of political-economic elite have become richer and tremendously powerful, while the masses have been dealt injustice, dehumanisation, deprivations, unprecedented poverty and state-inflicted violence. The political saga of this national catastrophe is so dreadful that there are no comparables anywhere. Consider, for instance, the incumbent PPP regime and the major opposition parties in the present so-called democratic set-up are still latching onto the American/Western bandwagon of Islamist bogey and war on terrorism as Pakistans own war. This political trend is without merit and is simply to please their patronising masters in Washington, London, Paris, and elsewhere so as to go on begging for dollars, and thereby maintaining the political-economic status quo indefinitely. But this cannot carry on: Pakistans decades-old political structure and American-centric foreign policy stalemate has now become an existentialist threat to the nation. We can no longer continue to blindly thread the ideological, economic and political discourse that has been planned for us in Washington, London and elsewhere. If sustained, this will be a disastrous course - a political suicide culminating in national disintegration. Pakistan needs to espouse a revolution of the masses, as in other countries where the people are seeking change, freedom and social and economic justice. We need to completely disengage our nation from the politics of status quo and embark on a struggle for political renaissance, transformation of our political culture, self-reliance and independence, equality of nations in a global system, economic and social justice domestically, and an end to state violence, poverty and deprivations that have been inflicted on common citizens ad infinitum. We need to create a brave new world of our own, on our own, pushed forward by an imaginative and visionary political-economic management, dynamic self-reliant and self-sustained planning, and in constructing a culture of tolerance, mutual all-inclusive conflict-resolution structures at all levels of society with peoples socio-political engagement. This is a tall order in nation building, which is practically outside the domain of ideological capitalism and the US-Wests promoted politics of status quo (at times termed political stability) aimed at maintaining the traditional political class in power to do the Wests bidding at indigenous peoples expense. The vital questions are: Who will lead us to such a cherished dream of a political renaissance and peoples revolution? How will we get there? Let us for deliberative purposes, consider some options: Can the Zardari-Gilani PPP regime transform itself into a revolutionary nationalist political movement and deliver Pakistan out of its six-decade bondage with the US-Wests ideological capitalism and foreign policy global agenda? Can the PPP top leadership disengage itself from the US political patronage? Can the PPP disown America and NATOs war on terror? I am afraid not. The problem is that hens lay eggs only - they do not spit out pearls. Wheelers and dealers can make modest adjustments in their stated interests, but they can never turn into saints or political revolutionaries. The PPP leadership not only lacks the political vision required for such a dynamic national enterprise, it is so absolutely inadequate in its management and competency level even to imagine, let alone undertake, such a massive and impelling initiative. The partys three-year political performance (as well as past record) prove that in talon meh tel nahin (you cannot hope or expect them to have this kind of capability). Can the PML-N, the second largest party in the country, salvage Pakistans present predicaments? I think not. Its political manifesto and strategic approach to national management affairs is a half-mix of so-called pragmatism and vested interests wrapped in a half-baked loaf, neither fully cooked nor eatable. Its leaderships confusion and perplexity is bewildering. So, a peoples revolution aimed at altering the status quo in the country is beyond the possibilities of the PML-N leaderships political capabilities and ideological premises. Can Jamaat-i-Islami, the most organised political party in Pakistan, resolve the countrys ever-multiplying problems? Unfortunately, Jamaat-i-Islamis leadership is neither charismatic nor dynamic. It is a highly ideologically indoctrinated political organisation and the Pakistani voters have never in the past, nor are likely in the future, entrust it with national leadership. Can MQM, a truly peoples grassroot political outfit, rescue Pakistan? Not a chance. MQM still has a long way to go to attain national stature, and its leaders modus operandi (rightly or wrongly) has always been a question mark in the publics perception. Is Imran Khan and his Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI), the most potent political force presently, a CIA-implant in Pakistan? Rationally speaking, that does not seem to be the case: The CIA wants the war on terror to continue, but PTI does not want Pakistan to own this war and calls for its halt immediately. The US-NATO wants to impose a military solution in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan, but PTI wants a political resolution of the conflict and a settlement with the Taliban through dialogue, compromise and political means. The US-NATO and their allies wish to continue the Islamist bogey indefinitely, but Imran Khans party opposes this ideological pretext as bogus and without merit. The CIA wants the drone attacks to continue, but PTI wants an immediate end to them against the Pakistani citizens and Imran Khan considers such attacks as violation of the countrys sovereignty. And so on and so forth. The American political establishment considers global politics as a marketplace and will pay any price to acquire what they wish, that is, their political modus operandi I will bet top dollar that Imran Khan is not for sale and neither is the PTI And that is what Pakistan needs now: Personal integrity, leadership credibility, honesty, ethical and principled national politics and a qualitative change in its decades-old alliances - the US and Western powers - in which the nations sovereignty is upheld and dignity is restored That is how peoples revolutions are made Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insafs national political manifesto is one of change, freedom and social justice. Decide for yourself. What do you deserve? The writer is a UAE-based academic, policy analyst, conflict resolution expert and the author of several books on Pakistan and foreign policy issues. He holds a doctorate and a master's degree from Columbia University in New York. Email: hl_mehdi@hotmail.com