Women from across London gathered at a seminar in Walthamstow, East London on Saturday 2nd October 2010, organised by the women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, to condemn the failure of successive Pakistani leaderships to secure the needs of the country’s women and children.
The first speaker, Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, Women’s Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain explained to a full audience that suffering, hardship, and misery had been the recurring nightmare for Pakistan’s women and children since its establishment. This was due to generations of incompetent leaders, indifferent to the pain and plight of their people, in addition to the rotten, oppressive feudal system re-enforced under the banner of democracy. She discussed how in its 63 year history, successive Pakistani governments – whether military dictatorships or secular democracies – had failed to fulfil the basic needs of their citizens, provide adequate healthcare, develop the infrastructure of the country, or invest effectively in disaster management planning – all of which had transformed the current floods from a natural disaster into a human catastrophe. Consecutive leaders had been bereft of any economic vision for the country other than placing the finances of the nation in the hands of the IMF whose strangulating capitalist policies had placed an economic noose around the necks of the people and sucked the country dry. The addiction of rulers to foreign aid and bail outs laden with millions of dollars of interest had effectively mortgaged the country away.
Dr. Nawaz described how the corrupt, oppressive feudal system dominating Pakistan’s politics and designed to serve the wealthy elite and class of landowners had for too long enabled politicians to feed themselves to the wealth of the nation in parasitic fashion rather than use it to feed the people. She highlighted how the ‘D’ for ‘Democracy’ in Pakistan had in truth always acted as a smokescreen for the ‘D’ of dynasties where power had been handed down like an heirloom between generations of selected families and used to cement the political seats and wealth of an elite few. It was a system shaped upon self-preservation and securing self-interests of politicians rather than preserving the lives, land, livelihoods, and wellbeing of the people. A political finger had not been lifted by any government to seriously address women’s welfare including honour killings, the victimisation of rape victims, female illiteracy, or improving the education of girls.
She argued that a radical alternative in the form of the Khilafah state, an Islamic leadership was required to break the cycle of corruption, incompetence, oppression, and suffering. The focus of this system would not be in filling the pockets of a few but in sincerely taking care of the needs of the people, feeding the hungry, raising the standard of living for its citizens, protecting their lives, and defending the sovereignty of its lands.
The second speaker, Umm Ammar, a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir then detailed in practical terms how a future Khilafah state implementing Islamic laws would effectively manage future natural disasters. She described how it was a system with a vision of greatness that would cut the dependency on foreign aid and use the rich resources of Pakistan to make the country self-sufficient, fight poverty, invest heavily in hospitals and public services, and establish the state as a leading international power. She gave inspirational historical examples of the Islamic Khilafah, where the application of Islamic principles enabled the state not only to effectively manage its own natural disasters but to also alleviate the humanitarian crises in other nations. This included the Great Irish famine where the Uthmani Khalifah Sultan Abdul-Majid was able to deliver 3 ships of food to Ireland, reflective of the economic prosperity and wealth of the state resulting from an Islamic political and economic system. She ended by motivating attendees to deliver a message to family and friends in Pakistan of the need to support the establishment of the Khilafah to create real positive change for the women and children of Pakistan.
Umm Adil, a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir also delivered an Urdu summary of both talks.