Taimur Shaique Hussain The people of the Indo-Pak subcontinent have perhaps long been a victim of exaggerated claims of good governance by their rulers. In comparably recent history, many a traitor has been known to have sold out to the British in order to help establish their Raj here, whilst the populace innocently believed all along that their rulers loyalties were with them. Since independence, such exaggerated claims seem to have become part and parcel of the Pakistani peoples everyday life - most notably, with our President declaring, as part of his speech to honour Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on the occasion of his 32nd death anniversary: The PPP has delivered on all its promises made to the people of Pakistan Having made the unpardonable error of adorning not a Pakistan flag, but a pin depicting the PPP banner, his whole team and his self clearly seemed to be signalling, The PPP has delivered on all its promises made to its stalwarts - we are a breed separate from the other Pakistanis, who can continue languishing in wait for their lives and livelihoods to improve. Exercising my democratic right of freedom of speech, I take the liberty to ask the President, as well as others at the helm of affairs, to name one, only one achievement of merit in any sphere of governance whether economy, law and order, curtailment of corruption, health, education, poverty eradication, rural development, upgrading of infrastructure, overseas Pakistanis, foreign policy, or any field they so choose, over the past three years. No other political party appears to have such an inward-looking, myopic, and silo-centred governance policy. The PPP have always raised their leaders to the levels of a deity, a demi-god, which none has ever been, sorry to state. Many, including - but not limited to - Nawab Liaquat Ali Khan, Nawab Akbar Bugti, and even General Ziaul Haq surrendered their lives in the line of duty. However, seldom do we hear their progeny making exaggerated claims of their having made supreme sacrifices by laying down their lives for Pakistan, for democracy, and for the well being of the people. Had the PPP been truly democratic and representative of the opinions of the people, they would perhaps have pondered over giving due respect to the founding fathers, for instance Liaquat Ali Khan by declaring his death anniversary a Sindh government holiday, ahead of Late Bhutto Sahibs. Has anyone out there ever heard a PPP leader speak of the vision of the Quaid-i-Azam, instead of the PPP leaders, for the piece of land that Jinnah put on the map? Point to ponder? No doubt, one must respect the dead. However, fudging historical facts - that the electorate is well aware of anyway - in order to gain political mileage does not sit well with an experienced, seasoned party. It may augur well for all stakeholders involved, if I take the liberty of setting some of the record straight, and encourage our rulers to begin calling a spade a spade. While pandering rhetoric about the sacrifices in the name of democracy, the PPP seem to forget that it were their leaders that acted undemocratically when East Pakistan had won at the ballot. Further, it was initially the PPP leadership that divided Pakistan psychologically, socially, and politically into Sindhi, Pathan, Balochi, Punjabi or Bengali. The seeds sown then probably now are nurturing the thorns of sectarianism, ethnic violence, and provincialism. Blunders such as nationalisation were purposely committed in order and in large part to support party workers. This by no means suggests that Pakistans business families would have been comparable to the Tatas or the Ambanis from across the border. However, our economic growth in those times was so high that independent, foreign observers had tipped Pakistan as a likely Asian Tiger. Through nationalisation, our big businesses appear to have been hijacked by the PPP leaders, whilst we most certainly could have had many a regional powerhouse today. Even now, the PPP only derive support, as though they were a Bhutto cult, since the present leadership have no tangible credentials of positive achievement themselves. No wonder, their children are forced to insert the Bhutto name to lend them some semblance of credibility. As in every cult, succession within the PPP is by inheritance, and not open to a democratic process, whereby many original, tested leaders would likely have emerged as PPP frontrunners. A few questions arise. What good are all the self-proclaimed sacrifices, if they are not to transform into on-the-ground delivery to the 170 million? How much better is this so-called democracy than the autocrats who, despite being autocrats, at least delivered on most fronts of governance? Not much Moreover, why make tall claims of government for the people, by the people when the Election Commission in itself has recently declared that the rulers have no mandate to be where they presently are: 37 million counterfeit, fake votes have come to the fore in an election where only 46 percent of all registered voters bothered to vote. This despite the sympathy vote cast in favour of the PPP, as an aftermath of the tragic assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. It may probably be safe to state that our rulers happen to be no better than the control-centred, outdated politicians, as opposed to the modern concept of leaders, people who emerge through personal example. It would augur well, if Pakistans present rulers are reminded periodically that their statements ring hollow to the general public for there really is no sincerity, no truth, no commitment, and no track record backing them. A very large proportion of the Pakistani brethren await the next election where it will be displayed how popular our present ruling elite actually are, to what extent have they kept all their promises, and how feeble actually is the strength of their exaggerated claims n The writer was a banker and now is an independent consultant. Email: taimurtsh@gmail.com