Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of this land of the Pak and the Pure, had created this nation on August 14, 1947.

On that day, the Muslims of India had raised their hands to Allah in gratitude, for blessing them with a country called Pakistan.

Thousands of innocent men, women and children died in the riots that broke out, but for those who lost their loved ones, the sacrifice was worth it, as they were now free citizens and masters of their own destiny.

However, over the years, we have lost track of the Quaid's vision of Pakistan and strayed from his clarion call of Faith – Unity – Discipline that he had asked us to follow. Instead, his dream of a progressive and liberal nation was shattered and his vision of a tolerant country became a nightmare for the citizens.

The politics of errors by our ‘democratically’ elected civil governments, gave the army excuses to dismiss and remove them for corruption and bad governance and take control of the nation.

In our checkered political history, we had one PM shot dead, one hanged, one general-president blown up in the skies, one President and Chief Justice forced to resign, one PM forced to leave the country in self exile and one in forced exile, four governments removed for corruption and the most recent, a PM removed from office, for Contempt of Court charges.

Presidents, PMs, Field Marshals, 5-star Generals and numerous civil governments have come and gone and have tried various types and systems of governments, from basic to tailored democracy, to dictatorships and the present, which is a cocktail of all.

And in the process, we have seen our Constitution mutilated and mauled, a complete breakdown of law and order, our civic structure and an increase in sectarian and ethnic killings. Today, Quaid’s country is looked upon as a corrupt, dangerous and rogue nation and almost a failed state, on the verge of collapse.

The one common factor of these Molotov cocktails is, that all of them have been “in the best interest of the country” and have promised us a better tomorrow and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And along the long journey, heroes and villains have merged and played musical chairs.

After the demise of the Quaid, we have been trying to find a "builder" who could build this nation and a system of governance that would improve the quality of life of the millions, who still live below the poverty line and are illiterate.

The earthquakes and floods of the past left a trail of death and destruction that swept away entire villages, killing over 70,000 innocent men, women and children, shocking the entire nation and the world.

And instead of taking heed from these tragic events, the government failed to improve its system of governance and the forgotten ‘subjects’ still live in abject poverty and squalor. They have become dispensable pawns in a ‘Self Above All’ chess games of the rich and the powerful, who use them during the elections and then discard them like soiled rags. Even the govt has shamefully neglected them and they live in wretched poverty, without electricity, safe drinking water or basic amenities of life. They have no say in their own destiny, nor of this nation and their children become easy targets for the Taliban and the extremists, who brainwash them to become suicide bombers.

Even our civil society, which has the most to lose, has failed to play its expected role. It refuses to take a stand on important issues and to demand accountability of the corrupt, allowing governments to misuse and abuse its authority.

Dr Tahirul Qadri, the one-man Lashkar, for all his shortcomings and ‘Here today, gone tomorrow’, performance, did manage to open the can of worms. He exposed how present and past governments have failed to establish good governance and provide the basic needs to its ‘subjects’, to live with dignity and as honest and respectable citizens.  

We have already lost six decades and the forgotten citizens have suffered in silence for sixty-five years and have now reached a breaking point. Therefore, to avoid a clash between the Haves and the Have nots, it is time to elect a government that can establish good governance and a just social order.

And this can only be achieved if we have a government that is free from corruption and the corrupt and the deceitful are barred from participating in the coming elections.  One can only hope that the coming elections will give the nation a government that is free from corruption and is of the people, for the people and by the people and not just for the privileged few.

To achieve a change in our system of governance, Citizens For Fair Elections (CFFE), have demanded that ECP should perform its constitutional role, without fear or favor and filter out all those who presented fake degrees, held dual nationality, evaded tax, defaulted on loans or indulged in criminal activities. The process of disqualification must begin NOW.

CFFE appeal to all citizens, media groups, NGOs and political parties who wish to strengthen democracy and accountability, to join us in demanding effective scrutiny and disqualification actions by ECP.

Please show your solidarity by joining us in our second peaceful demonstration in front of the ECP’s Karachi office (Opposite to Passport office in Saddar), to press these demands on March 4, 2013 at 12:00 noon.

Unfortunately, according to recent reports, Fakhru Bhai is under tremendous pressure and is being pushed into a corner. If he does not get support from civil society, then he will crumble and the same old corrupt and discredited parliamentarians will be reelected into our assemblies.  Let us hope and pray that ECP is allowed to play its constitutional role and that after the elections, things will be different. And in the words of Rabindranath Tagore:

"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high – Where knowledge is free and the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls - Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way - Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit - Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”.

This might not happen in my lifetime, but I hope things will change for my grandchildren.

May God protect Pakistan from the hollow promises of hollow leaders.