Pakistan continues to remain an easygoing and irresponsible state after 75 years of independence. It justified being labeled as a third-world nation because its leaders lacked the killer instinct needed to transform the herd of individuals into a proud nation.
Under the leadership of flamboyant prime minister Mr. Khan, hopes rekindled that country’s fading image will be repaired at last. Three years on and his fight against the forces of the status quo is dwindling.
He seems to have resigned to his fate as a lone wolf but is still unwilling to admit that his fanciful speeches and outlandish declarations were nothing more than a lollipop. Having averted a financial crisis two years ago his efforts got derailed due to his inabilities. He took the reins of the country with huge enthusiasm, but the ground realities show that optimism was misplaced.
Read more: Imran Khan: The man who loves the poor
Following are a few of the maladies Pakistan has always been beset with. Its self-serving lusty rulers used it as a rich grazing field and took turns to keep the nation under a state of subjugation.
From 2008 to 2013 almost $94 billion were siphoned by the ruling party, in corruption, tax fraud, and other fictitious schemes.
A most recent discovery of financial mismanagement in Rawalpindi Ring Road has shaken the PM and his inner circle of friends. His most trusted aide has been asked to relinquish his position pending the inquiry of the charges against him. If proved against him this will have a detrimental impact on PM Khan whose credibility is already on the line.
Locked horns with the judiciary
Pakistan’s judiciary has been severely politicized during the last two decades. PMLN used the state resources to turn the top courts into political weapons and tools to secure a guarantee for their future when not in power.
They had been heavily funded and blackmailed to sell their allegiance to the political lords and oligarchs. A malady that has become a stumbling block in the process of long-overdue reforms and accountability.
The government of PTI lacked the will and gusto from the beginning to set priorities. They got trapped in the quagmire of the country’s decades-old rotten judicial system.
It missed opportunities to mend fences with courts and gin up support in a strategic manner to achieve the reforms for long-term gains. Their persistent rants of favoritism and blame game ultimately antagonized the judiciary, so the time and opportunities to reform the system were washed away.
National and international issues rampant
Foreign relations continue to be on the downslide despite PM Khan’s wishful thinking as he came to power two years ago. UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait are at the top of the list of so-called friends who banned Pakistani citizens’ tourist, transit, business, and employment visas.
They blatantly cater to the wishes of their bedfellow India with whom they have multi-billion dollars of trade. Their treatment with Pakistan is influenced by their commitments with Indian sponsored international lobbies, and they are quite settled with that disposition, which is a serious development that faced our government’s connivance, keeping its citizens in the dark.
Begging in the capital city Islamabad has risen to new heights since the inception of the PTI government. Well-organized begging cartels are at the prowl and throng the streets, highways, shopping areas, and traffic lights. They have stormed the cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi undeterred by law which turns a blind eye at the behest of powerful lords in government and civil administration.
Car prices (both new and used) have exponentially skyrocketed over the past two years. It seems there is no monitoring and control of the government in the car business. It is being run by the mafia under the nose of the government and its institutions. A deadly sign of uncontrollable inflation is looming around the corner for the state’s already rickety economy.
A new wave of religious extremism
During the last 10 years, there has been an exponential rise in well-organized religious fundamentalist groups capable of challenging the state’s security.
This level of an uprising should have not been played down for so many years, but lack of farsightedness at the helm of national security agencies gave them time to flourish. A regular spate of the uprising against state showing their lethal power in the form of street violence, highway blockades, torching the public vehicles.
Blatant confrontation with and attacks on security agencies always leave a question mark on the preparedness of state agencies.
Read more: Is TLP dictating the state?
The state response should have been to shut the protests down, instead of engaging with zealots. No fundamental outfit deserves the right to getting VIP protocol from authorities and allowing religious protests always leads to the development that enhances “Mob intimidation” and public life disruption.
Over the past years, our cities and the rural areas are infested with a new wave of religious seminaries for young girls. Various ethnic clans are setting up Madrassas in thickly populated areas of cities, neighborhoods, and the ghettos, with the support of unknown philanthropists.
Those madrassas are used to attract naïve class of citizens to send their female members to study Islam for free. This is a dangerous trend that has taken the whole country by storm with no visible monitoring and accountability by authorities. Those young girls are brainwashed and molded into a rigid and fundamentalist mindset.
Read more: What’s causing extremism in Pakistan?
The way forward
The journal of leaders is incomplete without following three men of great wisdom. They are role models for me too because their unparalleled wisdom and “Tipping Points” changed the course of America forever.
America became the United States of America by the integration of 52 states. It was based on the dreams of visionary leaders who went through the cauldrons of struggle with a strong will to achieve their goals. They laid strong foundations of the judiciary, the rule of law, civil administration, health, education, and future planning to transform an embattled nation into a world leader.
Abraham Lincoln never went to a school but his quest for reading the law drove him to become the country’s top lawyer, then the leader of a political party and ultimately the president of the United States. His limited but extremely fruitful era of presidency gave birth to the United States of America and most remarkably, ending the North-South war and black slavery from his country.
Martin Luther King had a dream that he believed will be fulfilled one day even after his life, and it was materialized after his death. America became the homeland for white and blacks, bridging the chasm of rich and poor, ending the deep-rooted culture of slavery, and becoming an entity that rules the world now and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
Its building may be dilapidated with the vagaries of time and socio-economical upheavals, but its foundations are carved with honesty, selflessness, and killer instinct of those authentic leaders.
When the US Department of tourism decided to develop Grand canyons into tourist spot containing mega star hotels, theme parks, and much more, the words of President Roosevelt’s wisdom acted as a tipping point in the history of America, that still reverberates in presidential palaces and parliaments in coming times.
Read more: Can Biden repair American power?
Revamp the higher courts
The erosion of constitutionalism and democracy using arbitrary strategies will ultimately lead to further breakdown of the state institutions.
It is important to restore balance to the country’s highest courts which have been battered by decades of Norm-breaking. Premium courts that are fair, non-partisan, and independent can guarantee the enduring success of the country.
PM Khan ought to understand he is left with only two years before the next voting. If he must leave a legacy of his struggle and achievements to the next generation, he must change the course of his actions abruptly.
Time and tide wait for none, and so is in politics. History remembers only those who listened to their inner voices instead of their whims and used strategies to achieve their goals.
If a new Pakistan was his passion and a mission of life, then Imran Khan should resort to humility. He ought to pick the best team of legal experts to ramp up efforts in restoring the supremacy and dignity of the judiciary and administration.
Rein in the religious zealots
The evil needs to be nipped in the budding stage. It is still not too late for the authorities to cull the religious groups across the country. They must not be given a space to build their unique identity as a state within the state. And if allowed a breathing time they will return to armed violence to disrupt the cities and citizens’ life and force the authorities to bow to their demands.
It is already too late to start mulling over banning the religious fundamentalists in the country. Those clan leaders got unwanted attention in the form of huge cash and logistic support from government machinery.
It is time to unfurl from our defensive crouch and stand firm to guard against it. Any more concession to them will result in an incurable malignant wound for the state’s viability.
Restructure education to rebuild the nation
President Joe Biden announced a hefty sum of almost $3 trillion for the up-gradation of primary education and infrastructure. This was his first presidential speech in a hundred days that made the history that none of his predecessors did so far.
The U.S still leads the chart of the world’s best educational institutions, but vagaries of time and politics tarnish the image of even the best societies. His initiative received countrywide applause because he used his wisdom to start repairing the torn fabric of American society.
Pakistan is in a dire need of an educational and societal renaissance. It needs the government’s utmost attention and priority. But it takes an honest and patriotic mindset at the top that braces up for challenges and believes there is no way around hard work and killer instinct to create a turnaround.
The final call
It is necessary to emulate President Barak Obama’s approach when he won his first term. He honored his presidential race rival Hilary Clinton by taking her on board as the U.S secretary of state.
This was the most daring step defining the true essence of democracy and has a valuable lesson for leaders. Once you grasp the centre of the stage, the authentic leaders take only the decisions in the best interest of the country.
Elected Heads of states do not compete with anyone. They are absolute in authority and control over their decisions. PM Khan needs to take heed and rise to the challenges. He knows the road to success is rocky, but, to emancipate Pakistan from tentacles of corruption, lawlessness, ignorance, and lackluster attitude, he has limited time to act.
The states do not fail overnight unless you submit to the emptiness of your conscience and miss the boat in the delusion of a slumber, and remember:
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; The second-best time is today.”
The author is an Aeronautical Engineer and a current affairs analyst. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.