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Are the election results of the 2024 election influenced by external forces and fail to accurately reflect the will of the people? Social media platforms are inundated with comments and complaints about the election outcome.

Is this beneficial for the country, and does it enhance people’s trust in the democratic electoral process? Do we prioritize addressing these concerns? Are we fully aware of the world we currently inhabit and comprehend the significant differences compared to the past, even as recent as the 2010s?

I have had the privilege of serving as an administrator at a polling station on two occasions. The first was in 1993, a time when internet access was not yet available.

The second was in 2002, when internet connectivity was still not accessible for transmitting results. Despite these limitations, we were able to efficiently compile and submit the results before 9:00 p.m. and submit them before 11:30 p.m. on the same day.

Considering the advancements in technology, particularly the internet and apps, it is reasonable to expect that the results of the 2024 elections could have been transmitted through apps by 9:00 or 9:30 p.m. on the same day.

Regrettably, our country has long endured the administrative rule imposed by institutions established by the colonial rulers of British India.

During the British era, these institutions were instructed to distance themselves from politics and view the people as subjects, while considering themselves as representatives of the Raj.

Sadly, these institutions have failed to evolve their mind-set over time, as their training facilities have perpetuated the same culture and training patterns. Their reliance on administrative solutions has resulted in severe consequences for our nation, including the dismemberment of the country and civil unrest in certain regions of the Pakistan today.

After Pakistan gained independence, the country’s leadership was already facing challenges. The Leader at that time was old and ill, making it difficult for him to effectively administer the new country. As a result, the civil bureaucracy, which had been trained in the traditions of colonial rule, took charge, while the political leadership served as more of a figurehead.

During this period, the Cold War had already begun, with a new socialist bloc led by the Soviet Union and a change in leadership among capitalist countries, particularly the United States, which had demonstrated its military power through the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The United States and its allies pursued a two-pronged policy in the region: first, the Marshall Plan, which aimed to support capitalist economies, and second, the policy of containment to counter socialist or leftist movements in the region.

In 1951, General Ayub Khan was chosen to lead the armed forces and help shape Pakistan’s strategic policies. He proved to be an efficient and loyal associate. Subsequently, Malik Ghulam Muhammad became the third Governor-General after the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan in 1951. Khawaja Nazimuddin, who had previously served as the second Governor-General and later as Prime Minister, was removed from office on April 17, 1953. Muhammad Ali Bogra, who was Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, was called back and installed as Prime Minister.

The first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, which finalized the draft of the constitution in October 1954, was dissolved by Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad on October 24, 1954.

The dissolution of the Constituent Assembly was challenged by Maulvi Tamizuddin, the Assembly’s President, in the Sindh Chief Court, and he won the case. However, the government, including a sitting commander-in-chief serving as Defence Minister in the new Cabinet, appealed to the Federal Court, where the judges, led by Judge Muhammad Munir, introduced the law of necessity and overturned the Chief Court’s judgment.

The One Unit Scheme was implemented on September 30, 1955, based on the principle of parity. It grouped together all provinces, states, and areas on the western side of Pakistan, while East Bengal (now Bangladesh) was given separate status as East Pakistan.

During this period, Pakistan joined two defence treaties under the leadership of the United States: the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) in September 1954, which included the United States, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Pakistan, and the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) formed on February 24, 1955, with Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom, with its headquarters in Baghdad.

From August 14, 1947, until the enforcement of the first constitution of Pakistan on March 23, 1956, Pakistan remained a dominion.

Between 1956 and 1958, Pakistan witnessed the tenure of three prime ministers. Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy served as prime minister from September 12, 1956, to October 17, 1957. Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar, on the other hand, held the position for a brief period of less than two months, from October 18, 1957, to December 16, 1957.

Lastly, Malik Firoz Khan Noon assumed office until the imposition of martial law on October 7, 1958. The imposition of martial law in October 1958 was motivated by the United States’ desire to pre-empt the upcoming general election scheduled for February 1959.

It was anticipated that the anti-US and democratic forces would likely emerge victorious in those elections. The process concluded on October 28, 1958, and received support from the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The purpose of providing this brief historical overview from 1947 to 1958 is to emphasize the importance of learning from history.

Pakistan has rarely been governed according to the constitution or the rule of law, often resembling a jungle where the powerful hold sway.

However, we must recognize a subtle but crucial distinction: we no longer live in the pre-Internet era, nor do we inhabit an era devoid of globalization, where access to information and awareness of domestic and international events were limited.

The advent of broadband internet, Wi-Fi, optic fibre connectivity, and smartphones with Android by 2010, along with mobile internet connectivity from 2014 onwards, has brought about a phenomenon I refer to as the globalization of information, knowledge, research, innovation, and development (IKRID).

This has given rise to four interconnected and mutually reinforcing forces: science, technology, globalization, and power development. These forces have laid the groundwork to erode administrative and dictatorial rule from within.

However, the introduction of generative artificial intelligence by OpenAI through the launch of Chat GPT 3.5 on November 30, 20 has thrust us into a new technological world where machines have begun to exhibit cognitive abilities.

Between 2023 and 2024, the following technologies have been objectively transforming the world across various fields:

1- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning:

  • Generative AI: Capable of creating new content such as text, images, and videos.

  • Multimodal AI: Processes and integrates diverse data types, including text, images, and sound.

  • Retrieval-Augmented Generation: Enhances language models by retrieving information.

  • Foundation Models: Large-scale AI models serving as the basis for applications.

  • Agentic AI: Acts autonomously with agency.

  • Open Source AI: A growing trend of open-source AI tools and models.

2- Robotics:

  • Humanoid Robots: Possess human-like capabilities and appearance.

  • Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs): Navigate and perform tasks without human intervention.

  • Robots in Public Settings: Interact with people in places like restaurants and hospitals.

3- Blockchain:

  • Blockchain for Digital Transformation: Enhances security and transparency in digital processes.

4- Internet of Things (IoT):

  • IoT in Space Exploration: IoT devices contribute to space exploration.

  • IoT in Manufacturing: Enables fully autonomous manufacturing processes by the 2030s.

5- Internet Connectivity:

  • 5G and Beyond: Higher speeds and lower latency for more connected devices.

These innovations are shaping our technological landscape and driving progress in various domains. Based on extrapolation, I anticipate that by 2025, we will inhabit a profoundly different world of technology and science.

Furthermore, I predict that by 2030, the issues of poverty, hunger, disease, education, health, energy, and others prevalent in underdeveloped and developing countries will be reduced by 60 to 70% through the collaborative efforts of the four aforementioned forces: science, technology, globalization, and brainpower development.

Hence, it is vital for us to wholeheartedly embrace this swiftly evolving new world and liberate ourselves from the limitations of our unremarkable history.

Our political parties and systems have become outdated and ineffective, necessitating the creation of digital political forces that can ensure tangible progress and prosperity for our children, women, students, farmers, labourers, small businessmen, and those venturing into high-tech fields.

By implementing a concrete and actionable agenda powered by these technologies, we can expedite the transformation of their lives. This objective is within our reach, and it is incumbent upon us to proactively work towards its realization.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

Dr Murtaza Khuhro

The writer is a retired Civil Servant and Advocate at the High Court. [email protected]


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