From our correspondent in Pakistan
The floods in Pakistan have made the sorry lives of those affected a lot more desperate. The government’s response can only be described as inept, incompetent and contemptible. If truth be told, the poverty stricken never really expected or indeed received much from government – democratic or military – in any case.
While mainstream politicians argue and score political points over the relief effort the real issue of so many millions in such extreme poverty is ignored.
The floods have exposed the total failure of successive Pakistani governments in its 63 year history to address the mere basic needs of the great majority of its citizens.
If government can not be expected to provide for basic needs what’s its point.
The government blames the floods but the extreme poverty existed long before the floods.
The poverty is in fact the product of the feudal zamindar (land owning) system which is how the hinterland of Pakistan, home to over half the population, is administered. The handful of zamindars maintain their riches and power by keeping tens of millions living on their lands as bonded labour in effect. Generations of families have toiled to make zamindars like Zardari among the richest in the world and yet themselves remain indebted and therefore unable leave the zamindars’ lands. And at election time it is these populas poor who must vote for their zamindar or his elected democratic candidate to ensure they keep a wretched roof over their heads.
The west, the British in particular, have cultivated the zamindar system upon which Pakistani democracy is based and which underlies the desperate living of the poor.
Thus with democracy and the zamindars intrinsically linked the current system provides no hope for Pakistan whatsoever. Similarly, the military which has ruled Pakistan for about half of its history have only reinforced the status quo time and again.
Only a new system, the Khilafah, based on the principals of Islam which is in accordance with the belief of the people of Pakistan can end this vicious and ugly decline and provide hope and a future for those in most desperate need.
As an example just one of the Shariah rules from Islam related to the automatic disposal of agricultural land after 3 years of none-utilisation would re-distribute the vast swathes of unused zamindar land giving vital land wealth to those in need, providing livelihoods as well as the incentive to increase yields and cultivation, which would benefit the whole of the country. This simple yet powerful hukum from Allah (swt)would at a stroke improve the futures of the agricultural poor who are at present so clearly in desperate need.
This is according to what Bukhari related from ‘Aisha (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Whosoever cultivated a land that is not owned by anybody, then he deserved it more.” Al-Baihaqi also narrated from Amir ibn Shuaib “that Umar made fencing for three years,” i.e. if one left his land (without any work undertaken on it)for three years and another person cultivated it then he becomes more deserving of it.