Status-quo versus status-quo and status-quo won now six times in a row. While voters desire change their choices are limited to status-quo, some more evil while some less some even reformed (as claimed). Electability only gains importance when the electoral process is manipulated as has been the norm till 2013. Thanks to PTI the sanctity of the ballot is returning which means the voters are taking charge and the administrative machinery is backing off. In the changed scenario ideology has become important.

In the first free and fair elections of 1970 Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) launched his party on a platform of change. His candidates were fresh and untainted. In Lahore the political capital of Pakistan he won all the seats. Dr. Mubashir Hasan polled the highest number of votes in the country. ZAB prevailed over Dr. Javed Iqbal with a huge margin of votes. Most political heavy weights, electables and ‘khilaris’ had to bite the dust. It was called a ‘Khamba’ (pole) vote. Bhuttoism emerged as a new political reality, his progressive approach changed politics for ever.

PML-N was launched as a status-quo party to reverse ZAB’s democratic gains so was MQM. The right wing parties were always close to the establishment. Despite the hostile environment, PPP remained a political force with pro-people policies. Finally Islami Jamhori Ittehad (IJI) was created to blunt people’s power. The comrades who had recently struggled against Zia’s dictatorship were released and sent home but their struggle and sacrifice for democracy was neither acknowledged nor rewarded. While many have perished others continue to struggle for survival. Dr. Mubashir Hasan till today lives in the same house and drives his forty years old car.

NA-19 was a contest of electables who have been a part of the evil empire with direct access to Thana and Patwarkhana.

PML-N and before them PML-Q thrive in these two domains. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain inherited ‘Thana Siasat’ from his father who was a dismissed ASI and was known as ‘Chor Sipahi’. He remained Minister of Interior for ever ensuring complete control of his domain. According to Ex-IG Abbas Khan even criminals were recruited into the force. Police under PML-N and PML-Q was not just laden with corruption it also had criminals within its fold. Naturally in a status-quo fight PML-N is a force to be reckoned with. It is their wicket to be exact. Even Kaptaan could not convince the voters that his candidate now represented change.

While growing up we heard stories of ‘Adam Khor’ (man eater)/beasts. It was believed that once a carnivorous animal tastes human flesh it is irresistible. In other words the intoxication is forever. In humans the ‘Adam Khors’ cannibalise wealth and power and then strives for its growth. Empire building becomes a norm.

In 1970 ZAB got rid of the cannibals through his progressive pro-people ideology. In 1985 Zia-ul-Haq re-introduced them first through his ‘Majlis-e-Shaura’ and then the partyless elections. Since then the ‘Man Eaters’ have been preying on the people of Pakistan through various formats. There is a long list which includes. PML-Convention, PML-Pagara, PML-N, PML-Q, IJI, MMA, MQM recently some have taken refuge in PTI as well.

During one of the presentations to the Kaptaan by the Think Tank security team he was briefed that Police has to be de-politicised for ‘Thana Siasat’ to end. In KPK it goes to his credit that the entire police force is professionally run with no political interference. That is how democracy was born and it flourished in Athens. Polis (city), Policy (framework) Police (Law & order) for politics to function each area has to be covered; all the above concepts have the same origin. The purpose was to run the city for larger human good.

In the muddled political arena of our times PTI is the only hope for change. ‘Naya Pakistan’ is not for us, the retiring generation, but for our future generations. My 28 years old son has summarised it well. In his own words, “We are not as able and resilient as your generation but we are certainly less corrupt”. It is on us to deliver a corruption free Pakistan to them similar to the one that we inherited.

Both my parents participated in the Pakistan movement. My mother often said that it takes time for a nation to settle down after a major upheaval like the partition. She remained an optimist till the end and died with the hope that one day their struggle would not go in vain. My father the Tehrik-e-Pakistan Gold Medalist was still hopeful but disillusioned in the end. He was not alone in his generation with these thoughts. Unfortunately those who struggled and sacrificed were disappointed while the ‘Man Eaters’ flourished.

Voters of NA-19 are not to be blamed as their choices were limited. They were made to decide on the utility of evil which titled the balance in favour of status-quo and its champion PML-N. It goes to the credit of PTI that the election was free and fair with no administrative interference. The use of biometrics for voter identification is also a good sign.

In order to deliver change PTI has to be different with untainted candidates backed up by solid ideological basis of creating a welfare state. Let PML-N and its candidates fight to save the system while Kaptaan focuses on bringing it down.

Corruption is a big stigma on our generation that cannot be hidden, washed away or condoned. For change the corrupt will have to go down with status-quo where they belong. In ‘Naya Pakistan’ there is no place for them, their wealth, laurels, and medals having no significance in the movement for change. In the words of Nasir Kazmi, “Loyalty is found in the people who have suffered.”

Sacrifice or giving and not taking should be the yard-stick for leaders in ‘Naya Pakistan’ otherwise it will be more of the same status-quo versus status-quo with no room for change.