As the country struggles to establish true democracy in Pakistan, the specter of past and future army interventions loom large in the shadows and in the minds of our leaders as the nation sinks deeper into despair and chaos.
While in India, the largest democracy in the world, despite corruption, poverty, lack of basic facilities, etc., the citizens exercised their constitutional right and cast their votes. Over 500 million citizens voted peacefully, with a 65% voter turnout, in 687402 Polling Booths across the country.
The whole exercise took over 30 days to complete and the two most powerful parties of India were defeated, but yet the results were accepted by all without any fuss or calls of FOUL. In contrast, the election results in Pakistan have always been disputed and challenged and never accepted with grace by the losing candidates.
Narendra Damodardas Modi, despite of being anti Pakistani, with a shadowy track record as CM of Gujarat, for which he was denied an American visa, he has emerged as India’s political phenomenon.
Coming from a humble background, he was born in a family of grocers and helped his father sell tea at Vadnagar railway station. He rose to become Chief Minister of Gujarat which he governed for 13 years and turned it into a success story. Today, because of his successful development programs, he is the leader of the largest democracy in the world, winning the Indian 2014 elections with an undisputed ‘thumping majority’.
He will now serve India as its Prime Minister, with the goal of implementing the Gujarat model of development throughout the nation, which is the main reason why he succeeded in defeating the star studded line up of Indian politicians.
In Pakistan, the challengers to the throne are already beating the war drums, wanting to remove the government through protests, long marches and a revolution, but it is not clear who will replace the present government.
Our violent and checkered history and the turmoil in Syria, Egypt, Libya, Ukraine, etc., have shown us the mayhem unplanned revolutions can cause in a country. In Thailand, the army has again intervened, under the usual ‘best interest of the country’ umbrella, removed the civilian government and declared Martial Law and taken control.
So the question is, how will a new government tackle the octopus of corruption that has penetrated all our institutions, including the government and civil society and how will it rebuild them, especially education and health system and bring about the much needed social changes to improve the quality of life of the citizens? And most important of all, how will a revolution change the warped mindset of the people, who seem to want to commit mass Hara-kiri?
Heads of our State Enterprises, like Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan Railways, PIA, ECP, PCB , PEMRA, etc are not appointed on merits, but on the basis of ‘cronies and buddies’ of the Boss and are attempts to fit square pegs into round holes. Most of them are incompetent individuals, infected with the ‘Self Above All’ virus and have mismanaged these institutions and turned them into a joke.
The failed Operation Clean Up, the confused attempts to negotiate with the Taliban and resolve the energy crisis and the constant change of the top bureaucrats, is a classic example of the confused mind set of our leaders and has exposed the ‘Fault Line’ in our character. We live in a world of short-cuts and quick fixes, resulting in shoddy work and poor results and are not only infected with financial corruption, but with intellectual corruption also.
In her article, ‘Liars and cheats proliferate’,
(http://www.nation.com.pk/columns/02-Jul-2012/liars-and-cheats-proliferate), Ms. Zahrah Nasir has asked, ‘Why it is that so many Pakistanis see absolutely nothing wrong in attempting to profit from lies and blatantly exploitative maneuvers?’
Whether, it is tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, beggar man, thief, lying and cheating have become our second nature. According to a former State Bank Governor, the PML-N government is fooling the people into believing that the economy is improving, which is not true and has stated that: ‘There is a need for financial experts to pierce through the veil of deception that has been woven by the ruling elite to exploit the country’s economic resources for self-enrichment, rather than for economic welfare of the majority.’
While an email, ‘A very honest opinion – a Nation of Liars and Deceivers’, which I received a few days back, bluntly states that as a nation, we have failed to invest in social development programs like education, health, roads, infrastructure and other sectors and are by large, an illiterate nation of liars and deceivers, poorly trained in all fields, especially in governance and the implementation of laws and government policies.
All may not agree with the above harsh analysis, but the reality is that, we have to agree with many of the points mentioned in the email. We have fake medical, dental colleges and universities, awarding useless degrees and have a school syllabus that is based on lies and hatred and have allowed extremists take over our madrasas. We break laws without a second thought, refuse to pay our taxes and our moral, ethical and human values have declined to the lowest point, where honesty is no longer a virtue. We lie not only to the whole world, but even to ourselves and have no sense of shame, repentance or national conscience.
Our National interest and policies are determined by a handful of short sighted leaders, with blurred vision, with disastrous results, which tarnish the image of the nation and have even failed to eradicate polio, which has embarrassed the nation and forced WHO to impose a travel ban on Pakistani travelers, causing serious problems. The government has even failed to clarify as to who is authorized to give the polio drops.
According to senior social and economic experts, Pakistan is not a failed state, but its people are failing it, without knowing what they are doing to the country and to the future generations. And it is not the poor, illiterate masses, but the powerful and educated elite, who are to be blamed for this tragedy, not realizing that we live in a bubble, which is bound to burst one day.
And as we watch the circus of clowns and jesters lie to the nation and line their pockets, the country sinks deeper and deeper into chaos.