LAHORE - Dynastic politics imposed on the people against their will is dishonesty, says Council of Islamic Ideology Chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani.

“There is nothing wrong with the dynastic politics if people like it. But it is dishonesty if sons and grandsons are imposed deceitfully and against the will of the people. And dishonesty is dishonesty, no matter who commits it”, he said in an interview to The Nation at Chamba House yesterday.

The religio-political leader from Balochistan, who is due to complete his second three-year term as the CII chief on December 17, belongs to the JUI-F of Maulana Fazlur Rehman and was elected member of the National Assembly for a fifth time in 2013. He also remained a Senator.

Most of the political parties of the country, especially the major two – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party, have introduced dynastic politics, and public criticism has not made them change their style.

On sale and purchase of votes in elections, Sherani said it was unfair both from Islamic point of view and the common man’s perspective. “Those who sell their opinion (vote) become slaves (of the buyers)”.

On winning elections through rigging, the CII head said: The establishment and the government institutions promote crime and corruption as people involved in such vices can easily be kept under control. Such people will always serve their masters and never dare defy them.

He likened Pakistan’s establishment to the East India Company and said the former keeps the country under its control rather than being controlled by it.

In his opinion Pakistan is not an independent country. “Calling the (1947) partition as independence is like beguiling the nation”. Pakistan’s real master is still Britain which has leased it out to America, he said.

The system being practiced in Pakistan cannot be called democracy by western standards, and what is practiced in the west “is not democracy for us”.

Some of those who contest ‘elections’ in Pakistan promise to introduce Islam; others talk of democracy, and there are still others who talk of nationalism. Contests on the basis of such promises can at best be called referendum, not election, argued Maulana Sherani.

On the launching of development projects by sitting governments close to elections, the CII chairman said it was hypocrisy.

In Pakistan, he said, anybody who wants to win election beguiles people, and once he attains certain status he forgets about the promises made to the electorate and feels no responsibility towards them. This leads to the bidding (sale and purchase) of leaders.

Unfortunately, in the prevailing situation the difference between politics, hypocrisy and enmity is blurred. Politicians, he explained, personally suffer to steer the nation out of difficulties. But hypocrites serve their own interests at the cost of national interests.

Asked if Pakistan can be called an Islamic welfare state when health and education has been monopolised by private sector and the common man do not has access to both these vital services, the CII chief said Pakistan ‘is a security state, not a welfare state’.

A country where corruption and crime are promoted by establishment cannot be called a welfare state, he said. In fact, Pakistan is neither a republic nor an Islamic state, he added.

Sherani said he was at a loss to understand what model of democracy was in practice in Pakistan. There is no need for Pakistan to have a prime minister if the president is elected through vote.

“But we have a president to please the United States and a prime minister to please UK”.

The Nation asked him if the system was so flawed, as stated by him, then what was the JUI-F’s contribution which is a coalition partner with the PML-N, was an ally of the PPP, and was also part of the MMA-led setup in KP during the Musharraf era?

Maulana Sherani defended the JUI-F’s role in various setups. “Being Muslim it’s our duty to convey Islam’s message to the government. The best Jehad is to convey the message to oppressor rulers, he said.

The role of the opposition could be best played by a party that believes that it will replace the government in case it falls. But the one which doesn’t stand such a chance is left only with the role of conveying the message of Islam. A party in opposition can convey the message to only a few people, but the one in government can convey the message to more people.

About the payment of commissions by contractors to ministers and officials to have their bills passed, the CII chief said: This practice is against humanity. But the practice goes on because Pakistan is a security, not a welfare state.

In response to a question about the introduction of interest-free economic system in Pakistan, Sherani said it was very difficult as many things were controlled by the World Bank. He said he had once advised a State Bank official not to name any bank branch Islamic because of the niceties and requirements of the Islamic system.

Asked why the JUI-F could not get votes from people other than those in KP and Balochistan, Maulana Sherani said his party had a different nature compared to other parties. Speakers from other parties, at public meetings, want to be applauded and audience entertained. The JUI-F people could not do that.