It is a hot topic these days, but what is bothering me is that the civil society is barely playing its part. What’s this fear in the air that is becoming intoxicating with the passage of time? Since the elections 2018, the imaginary pivot among the institutions that kept a sheer balance is getting rusted, loosing all its mobility. Currently, everything is so calm, and this lull is more terrifying. The sickening battle between de jure and de facto powers in Pakistan has incited a new fear – destabilization that would result in cries storming up from small provinces. The clash between the institutions, the murder of constitution, and the politicization in practicing the laws that I am witnessing with the eyes of a very few fearless intellectuals of civil society, I fear 1971’s situation.

It is obvious that federalism undermines the reality of Pakistan’s geographical and political scenarios. Its application is a political threat because democratic forces align themselves with parliamentary federation system of state machinery. Since Pakistan came into being as an agglomeration of different nations, having their own culture, tradition, and social values; therefore, this objective of centralizing the powers to federal demonizes the main concept of Pakistan’s ideology and Quaid-e-Azam’s established agenda – Federation with provincial autonomy.

The attack is so obvious on the 18th Amendment, especially when representatives of the government like Faisal Vawda and Fawad Chaudhry claims to make changes in it to enhance the powers of Federal. After several decades of independence, we are still failing to understand the structure of Pakistan. Sindh, Balochistan, and KPK did not agree to join Pakistan based on Punjab’s conditions or directives. I am not inciting linguistic issue here; many Punjabis also feel pain seeing the injustice that the de facto state has been doing with the other provinces. We have already witnessed Bangladesh divorcing Pakistan in the past. Snatching the rights from the provinces, God forbid, can lead to the similar situation. I fear that.

We judge the democratic governments since 1947 and pronounce our conclusion that what the heck they had done to this country. I believe the book by Ishrat Hussain, “Governing the Ungovernable” should be included in the colleges so that students can understand how Pakistan came into being with debts, what was the then situation, and what we have now. How much our democratic government flourished us, and how deeply the dictatorial governments have destroyed us. I do not understand that why talking against dictators is perceived as bashing the whole army. What person, who has a heart, can ignore the sacrifices of our brave soldiers? We shed tears whenever any soldier dies defending our country on the boarders; we stand in solidarity with their relatives; and we salute the courage of the soldier and his family. However, that does not mean that we should grant the higher rank officials the right to rule us. The last two army chiefs have faced terrorism challenges, and they have handled this situation with great patriotism and sheer determination. However, when I see a person in the uniform distributing money among the protestors in Faizabad dharna, I fear.

If Sindh elects PPP to govern them, no one has a right to demolish the party’s government. However, I wonder why this party, which is crying over accountability law as “polarized” did not made any changes when former chairman Senate Raza Rabbani, asked the parliament to look over this law and broaden its application to “across the board”. This negligence of the politicians we elect that focuses on exhibition and undermines the actual work when they have power is troublesome. I don’t know how long it will continue. Once the situation is out of their hands, they cry; however, when they have opportunity, they lose. Seeing the negligence to secure the trichotomy of powers by our own civil executives, I fear.

I fear when my PM, who took oath to protect the Constitution of Pakistan, perform essential table talks with governor instead of CM. It resonates a clear message that my PM has no confidence talking to the people of Sindh. Obviously, the current CM of Sindh Murad Ali Shah, is elected by the people of Sindh, and he is their representative. Ignoring him means ignoring the people. It makes me confused when my government talks about accountability but is silent to accept the demand of opposition – accountability for all and across the board. I fail to understand that after several decades, are we living in a de facto state?

This is not just a single question, it conceives a history. My state when submits before the de facto powers and makes a contract, it loses the credibility of being entitled as a de jure state. When the journalists are restricted to exercise freedom of expression, and if they do, they must face courts and jails, the state fails to comply with de jure principles. When intellectuality is subjected to one opinion and diversity of opinions is overshadowed by hate speech, I fear.

Sadness demands happiness, and fears cherish dreams of hopes. With these fears, I dream that my qualms will wither away, and the current situation will transform into a “stable one”, where state will guarantee the accountability for all, autonomy of provinces, and institutional independence. It can be achieved with a sheer resilience from the civil society.

Be that it may, if we fail, multiply your fears.