Since its inception Pakistan is supposed to be a parliamentary democracy and a federation. But the rules of functioning for such a set-up have never been understood by the rulers. From the very beginning personal, family and group interests of the civilian rulers have ruled the roost and political parties have been created as a tool to serve the interest of families and groups.
Politics with a vengeance
With feudals becoming industrialists and individuals becoming feudals, both have entered politics with a vengeance to maintain status quo by controlling governance at the cost of the masses. That is one of the reasons why the Pakistan Army saw it necessary to interfere several times was they feared the country might break up in the middle of such machinations with the result that half of our existence we have spent under military rule which naturally did nothing to promote the process of democratic ideas and practices of governance thereby.
Even after more than 70 years the situation has not changed fundamentally. Until today political parties in Pakistan are rather a vehicle to promote the interest of certain families and groups together with their hangers-on than to serve the interest of the whole nation regardless of their individual political opinion or preference.
It can be even said that most rulers until today do not recognize the nation as such because it would imply that all members of that nation are equal, have equal rights and have to be respected by them. Such devastating analysis applies, unfortunately, to all political parties including the ruling one that is now shown over the wheat and sugar scandal to be torn apart by groups of vested interests that prevent a one decided policy to be followed and implemented smoothly.
Multiple current crisis
The multiple current crisis that has overcome Pakistan with the ongoing pandemic that like all other countries has hit Pakistan as unexpectedly has become more severe because of the weakness of our political system and its main players mentioned above.
The lock-down in this southern province decreed by the Sindh government was simply playing politics to defame Imran Khan. In the media is also supporting the malfunctioning of supply lines
In this situation that demand a maximum of solidarity and common ground to fight the adversities as efficiently as possible political players are using the opportunity to make the sitting government unstable by boycotting the implementation of their measures to the detriment of the people and the economy. Their side purpose is for their leaders to escape the jams of accountability somehow.
One sign that the idea of democracy is not understood and not owned is that the national interest and even its implications is not national security fully understand by the military. They certainly have comprehension that things are going wrong but use the cover of the Constitution to deny people the right of liberty and safety that the Constitution guarantee them.
Economic outfall of the corona crisis
The economic outfall of the corona crisis meaning the downfall of industries and agricultural produce as much as the loss of income for millions of people is a danger that is threatening not only those directly involved but also the very existence of the nation and the country as we have known it until today.
The disruption of industries and agricultural produce through the disruption of supply lines can promote the downfall of more industries and the loss of more jobs thus endangering the livelihood of even more people. With half of the population beneath or close to the poverty line already Pakistan is especially vulnerable with regard to provision of food to the needy for survival.
In case of failure food riots, attacks on grocery shops or food depots by desperate people or criminals can endanger law and order and bring about a state of emergency or even martial law. To prevent this is the duty of each and every citizen of our country. And whosoever is caught red-handed while trying to obstruct orderly supplies being delivered has to be punished.
One such example for the disruption of supply lines despite orders to keep them open by the government is the fact that in Sindh PPP for a time prevented the movement of cargo despite the fact that lock-down had been lifted for goods transportation. In the market missing items were not available because they used to come from Punjab and are not coming now.
Imran Khan must not let this happen. The ironic incongruity of it was that they tried to link the removal of 34 out of 38 NAB clauses by linking it with the FATF Bill, the very instrument meant for preventing money-laundering
Politics to defame Imran Khan
The lock-down in this southern province decreed by the Sindh government was simply playing politics to defame Imran Khan. In the media is also supporting the malfunctioning of supply lines. PPP proudly announces that it has suspended all unnecessary political activities but what about the necessary ones? In such a situation sitting tight for a party that thinks it can rule this country (better) is hardly the right way to prove it.
The same is the situation in Punjab where Shahbaz Sharif and consorts are more interested in proving the sitting government incapable to run the show than to help in the proper supply of population and industries. Even if the current PTI government should be making mistakes it is in the national interest not to extract political capital from this but to keep the greater good of the Pakistani nation in view.
Read more: Hoarding: Let’s be honest about this
Necessary for the ruling coalition to reach out to the opposition
In this situation it is necessary for the ruling coalition to reach out to the opposition so as to include them into the planning and decision-making process. However if they are not going to cooperate. While it would surely help to bring about a national front across the board because the interest of the community has to be put over and above the interest of an individual or a group interest in times of emergency, this country cannot be held hostage to their motivation and greed.
One of the greatest incongruities was to see Bilawal demanding the resignation of the NAB Chief. While I have a soft corner for him personally because of Ms Benazir, if this man does not know the extent of his father’s corruption and what he has done to Pakistan than either he is naïve or a hypocrite, or both. Trying to emasculate NAB and NAB laws is a means by corrupt politician’s to save themselves from conviction for corruption.
Implementation of law and order is essential to keep control in this situation. Responsibility for keeping control is with all. A crisis is not only a draw-back but a challenge that can forge new alliances and create new understandings
Imran Khan must not let this happen
The ironic incongruity of it was that they tried to link the removal of 34 out of 38 NAB clauses by linking it with the FATF Bill, the very instrument meant for preventing money-laundering. One hopes that the western countries that give refuge to ill-gotten loot from Pakistan will act in less hypocrite fashion. This country has been looted by its leaders, they must be brought to task.
A German court that recently rejected the complaint of a citizens about the violation of his proprietorial rights and ruled that in such extraordinary times the interest of the community is more important than any individual right. This is the basis on which civil rights like that of congregation have been curtailed all over Europe and infringement of the emergency rules has been made a criminal offence with monetary and even jail sentences applied.
That sounds harsh but it is the need of the hour and if other countries can do it – it should not be impossible for Pakistan. Implementation of law and order is essential to keep control in this situation. Responsibility for keeping control is with all. A crisis is not only a draw-back but a challenge that can forge new alliances and create new understandings. Let’s not allow this opportunity to pass.
Ikram Sehgal, author of “Escape from Oblivion”, is a Pakistani defense analyst and security expert. He is a regular contributor of articles in newspapers that include: The News and the Urdu daily Jang. The article first published in Daily Times and has been republished with the author’s permission. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.