I have never had the time or the inclination to watch the popular film bearing the same title as the one chosen for this week’s piece, but the two words ‘hunger’ and ‘games’ succinctly sum up the current scenario in the ‘Land of the Pure’. The theme running through our ‘national storyboard’ features power-hungry politicians playing games, not only amongst themselves, but with the people of Pakistan.

Blinded by their lust for power and self-preservation, these individuals have given us the run-around, fed us with lies that we, in our corrupted and gullible state of mind, have accepted again and again to vote them into power. So blinded are we that we have become no better than the dancing ‘simian’ at the end of a tether.

It is a universally accepted fact that the lust for power lures morally bankrupt individuals and clinging to such power in spite of no moral grounds to do so, has always a been a manifestation during our turbulent political history. We have seen it happening during the four occasions when the military assumed the role of national leadership and we are witnessing a replay, ironically enough, by a democratic dispensation in the wake of disclosures made in the Panama Papers.

What is however more alarming than the moral bankruptcy being displayed by the national leadership is the ‘go easy’ policy with reference to our eastern neighbour. This has raised questions that need to be answered speedily in order to satisfy the disconcerted public. Some of these queries may already have been ‘raised and explained’ (read justified) by the official government spokesperson, whose frequent appearances and body language in the post Panama scenario has taken credibility to a new low ebb. The responsibility of raising questions and finding answers has therefore fallen to the media’s lot, which (barring some controversial platforms) appears to have picked up the cudgel.

Nonetheless, the nation needs to know the truth about the large alleged investment in Indian businesses and who undertook the venture. It also wishes to know as to why the government appears to have failed dismally in creating a favourable international response after the arrest of a serving Indian Naval Officer employed by RAW, to ferment unrest in Balochistan and sabotage the Pak–China Economic Corridor. The people also have a right to know as why is the trial of the two key people arrested in Karachi on charges of abetting terror activities, being unnecessarily prolonged. The people of Pakistan also want to see justice done and retribution levied upon the people named in the Panama documents. And above all, the Pakistani nation wants to know as to why the apex judiciary is not taking cognizance of where ongoing events are taking us.

We are quick to label individuals and groups as unpatriotic (which by implication is a very serious allegation). Lack of patriotism can however manifest itself in many indirect ways i.e. corruption, flight of capital, tax evasion, dereliction of duty and so forth. By these standards perhaps, most of our political elite and many others would stand indicted of being disloyal to the country and the ideals held so dear by our founding father.

Nine opposition parties recently sat together to take up the matter of the Panama disclosures and the PM’s moral validity to continue, but events are more than likely to prove that this whole exercise is a façade, as eight out of these nine are guilty (in one way or another) of acts, which can be termed as detrimental to national interest. As far as PTI is concerned, the party is led by an individual, who is naïve enough to be suckered into becoming a part of this congregation.

Who will ultimately take cognizance of the guilty is a matter I must leave unsaid. I will however say this, that all the good work (and there is some) done by the Prime Minister, will come to naught, if he does not do the right and honourable thing now. Failure to do so will create a vacuum – and vacuums by laws of physics are always filled. If this happens, the blame will have to be shared by politicians and politicians alone.