The whole Pakistani nation is preoccupied with the fate of the no-confidence move against the present Prime Minister Imran Khan. Finally, the combined opposition has submitted the intention to present a no-confidence move against Imran Khan, this was being hotly debated all over the country for the last few months and yes no and no comment had been going on for a long time.
What will be the fate of the no-confidence motion is anybody’s guess, while the opposition is claiming the support of many more than the required 172 votes needed, the government is equally confident that they will defeat the move. It can actually swing both ways and the past history of moves similar suggests that all protagonists will play the cards close to their chest till the last day. So, we must wait for D Day to finally learn what happens in the next episode.
There is nothing illegal about it. No confidence motion is part and parcel of democracy. It’s legal and every opposition has all the right in the world to put the government through such a test. So, legality is not a question. Questions about morality under the present circumstances are frivolous as there is no morality in the politics of Pakistan. So it’s a normal democratic exercise being acted out with all legality and fairness.
The implications of the results are going to be long-lasting for Pakistan
Who is right and who is wrong? That kind of rhetorical question does not require a debate at this point, but the societal impact of the result is something that will last for a generation. We have had, in the past, been entertained by now allies & past combatants with different enactments of this exercise. It had the buying and selling of people (no less than members of national and provincial assemblies), kidnapping of people, people going missing, and whatnot. This time the whole exercise has been much less dramatic and somewhat mild in nature touch wood.
However, the implications and aftereffects of the no-confidence move will not have a ripple effect but a tsunami crash in Pakistani politics and society. In the last 15/20 years, Pakistan has changed dramatically. The intense campaign by one political party about corruption and the 24/7 drumming by the much more active media have resulted in a change of psyche in Pakistan. Political support or liking disliking is a separate issue but the mindset of Pakistani people has changed to a huge extent. The media, government and different political parties played a role to expose the violent side of MQM in such a way that now it feels almost impossible to reconcile that we tolerated that reign of terror.
Now if MQM instead of proper politics which they are practicing now, wants to revert back to the old ways that is not going to be possible. That mindset has changed and cannot be implemented once again. That has always been the case in history. I don’t think that slavery can be brought back anymore because the times have changed and people have moved on from that. Apartheid was frowned upon but accepted just 75 years back now there is no way in the world that anybody will accept that.
Pakistan has clearly moved past many things
The success or failure of no-confidence motion will prima facie just change the head of government. In Italy where most of the time they have a coalition government once the government changed thrice within a few months due to the fatal np confidence move. So, what’s the problem? It happens in democracy and is part of the democratically elected government process. But the way this is being dome will result in a mindset change that will last years and years.
Almost for the last two decades, coinciding with the exploding media access in Pakistan, the corruption of a few families has been so much hammered in Pakistan that it is now accepted by all and sundry. Both the government and the opposition have their merits and demerits. No question about that. Again, both merits and demerits can be debated depending upon the inherent biases and the thought process. An argument can be made upon the merits and demerits. But what the people have recognized, accepted and decided is the corruption of the two families.
There is no question in the mind of any Pakistani that both the Sharif and Zardari families are corrupt. However, some actually question the concept of corruption is bad. Because one they are themselves corrupt and two, corruption is a way of life in Pakistan. In the last 40 years, the rule of these two families has institutionalized corruption in Pakistan and removed the stigma attached with corruption & increased the individual acceptance of corruption.
This has a simile with what happened in the case of Trump in the US election. The US voters decided that Trump’s sexual exploits or below-the-belt comments are not serious enough to warrant him being disabled from leading USA. It’s exactly the same. Every institution, every process, everything in Pakistan is tainted with corruption and national role models who are leading the country are doing it.
So what is bad about corruption?
After almost two decades of hammering the public, a government came into power that was saying corruption is bad. Maybe they were not capable enough, maybe they were making mistakes but for the first time, the role models were saying that corruption is bad. The deterioration of society was just paused for a few years. However, the success of the no-confidence moves and coming into power of the same two families whom the public know to be corrupt will reinforce the idea that corruption is not bad. Pakistani society already has corruption infested in all its spheres & societal acceptance will be the fatal blow to the already fragile morale of the society.
The up-gradation or deterioration of society is never easily removable. The nation has to decide and stand determinedly to remove its flaws. The question of whether these two families are corrupt or not has already been decided in people’s minds now they have to decide whether they want corruption as their way of life. It’s the choice that is being made in deciding this no-confidence move against Imran khan and the world waits with bated breath, the well-wishers with trepidation and the enemies with expectations.
The author has worked for Unilever for 25 years. He is a professional translator/interpreter of five languages and is also a certified computer trainer. He is currently living in Virginia, USA. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.