Pakistan was founded with the vision of being an Islamic state in which everyone could live freely. Consider the case of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who became ill and was recommended by physicians to travel overseas or seek treatment from a foreign doctor, which he rejected. We now live in a Pakistan where the privileged flee the nation even for a routine flu screening.
Political dynasties have wreaked havoc on Pakistan, and the trend continues. The current political climate in the country is more like a game of dirty political Ludo than a game of chess. I would also disagree with those who claim that politics is a clever game that requires respect. That is not the case; politics in Pakistan and throughout the world has always been a nasty business. The only thing that has changed is the medium through which you are exposed. Back then, you could get away with any wrongdoing in politics because only word of mouth could hurt you; the only difference now is that you’re exposed in front of millions of people, and what hasn’t changed is that you can still get away with it.
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You can get out of jail and enjoy a fantastic life in London by deceiving the whole system, and no one will hold you accountable. You may be out on bail and yet participate in politics. When an accountability court summons you for a hearing, you can bring thousands of thugs with you. By surrounding oneself with thousands of madrassa students, you can threaten to come and question yourself. Pakistan was not created for this purpose.
Cheating the system
Our political elites use vulnerabilities in the system to benefit themselves. Everyone nowadays interprets article 63A in their own way. Who am I to make a comment when politicians aren’t on the same page, but I would wonder why that is? It was created to prevent horse-trading; but, if it cannot be executed before the crime is done while you are aware that it will be committed, what good is it? It was created to prove a certain point and to gain from it. When you know a bank is going to be robbed by a group of thieves waiting outside, you won’t wait for them to loot the bank and then bargain their release; instead, you’ll arrest them because the robbers will be visible.
In Pakistan, the amount of money a criminal must pay as punishment, in addition to prison time, is greater than the amount a corrupt member of parliament must pay after selling his or her vote. The irony of our country is that a member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Javed Latif, supports and accepts horse-trading live on television and defends it by saying that everything is fair to get Imran Khan out of power. Former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s son was caught in the act of purchasing votes in senate elections. Former Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi claims that MNAs from the governing party are being detained in ‘safe custody’ by the opposition. Despite this, the electoral commission or any other appropriate institution has taken no action. There hasn’t been much dispute in the media.
People who are to blame for this disaster and for bringing Pakistan to a point where it is becoming increasingly difficult for the country to stay steady are now proposing a national government in which everyone would have a say and try to tackle Pakistan’s problems. They are the ones that created the problems. They made up stories about each other and cried about them, yet they’ve discovered a long-lost love in each other. A shattered love for the prospect of losing money and power.
Pakistan should move on
This system is so corrupt that anybody who attempts to fix it becomes a victim of the Mafia, which operates across the country. When it comes to safeguarding their plundered political dynasty, parties that trash each other every time they run for office are always together. There is no economic strategy, no governance plan, only a plan to go into power and enjoy the comforts of ministerial offices. Everyone will get everything except for Pakistanis, who will receive nothing.
The question is whether this country will return to these individuals who have robbed every last penny of it. Surely, money spent in horse-trading is not halal, money used in extravagant million-dollar vacations isn’t kosher or money used to hold cabinet meetings from London. It is for Pakistanis and other stakeholders to consider and decide whether they wish to return to sad times or go forward with hope.
The writer is an MPhil scholar, analyst and journalist with expertise in national and international politics. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.