Senator Raza Rabbani, a former Senate chairman, and senior PPP leader admitted on Saturday that all significant political actors “look to the establishment even today” to gain power and allow the establishment to violate the Constitution for that purpose. This is despite the fact that mainstream political parties in the nation claim to be genuine democratic forces and entities.
The PPP veteran expressed sadness that the powerful establishment in Pakistan was now enjoying a “creeping control” everywhere in his stern words, insisting that there was “no exception” to this rule, including his own political party.
At the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs book launch for former ambassador Dr. Masuma Hasan’s memoir, Pakistan in an Age of Turbulence, Senator Rabbani openly discussed his experiences as a political activist, a member of parliament, and a concerned citizen. They had observed the rapidly shrinking space for the true democratic forces in the nation.
Ms. Hasan’s book discussed the culture of tolerance that had faded away and the state’s suppression of those social groups that could have developed an “alternative narrative.”
“To reach this target of suppression,” he claimed, “the establishment made a very loud and explicit strategy decades ago, and it’s still working and delivering the desired outcomes.”
“The establishment sat to contemplate what were those causes which brought down the mighty regime after Ayub Khan’s collapse,” he remarked.
He further stated that “The key differences in past and present is that, in the past our elders like Masuma Hasan and Fatehyab Ali Khan always challenged the status quo while these days we see activism as a way to pamper the status quo.” he said. “This book [memoir of Ms Hasan] as I conclude doesn’t only make you aware of the true history or political landscape, but it will also teach you experiences and give you inspiration to move forward.”