I am, through this week’s piece, venturing into deep water. I have long wanted to reflect the sentiments of a segment within our society, which is ‘wanting in numbers’, simply because it has (with difficulty) remained unpolluted from the all-encompassing environment of greed, corruption and lack of moral courage. People in this segment may be labelled as idealistic, but what these individuals have ever wanted is the unadulterated implementation of Jinnah’s vision within their lifetime. Failure to see this happening over seven decades of our existence, they have lived a life of frustration and anger, while the rest of their countrymen, led by politicians and public office holders, go about merrily with nary a thought about responsibility, morality, integrity and ethics.

Politics in the ‘Land of the Pure’ has become a profession, not national service. Enumerating the ‘virtues’ of those that have ruled us in the past would be like reopening old wounds. PML N and PPP, the parties that have taken turns in inhabiting the corridors of power and are responsible for siring the scourge of dynastic politics are deficient of ‘pedigree’ and moral courage, to face and acknowledge the ugly part of their character. Their loyalties lie with individuals and not ideals, which make nations great. To them, any activity undertaken to excise evil, falls in the realm of ‘damaging’ democracy. I have often debated our democratic experience with my conscience as well as friends, colleagues and the man in the street. The end result is a total agreement with the Harvard Professor who said, “Democracy is the worst form of Government, while Autocracy is the best, but where does one find a benign autocrat”.

Democratic ideals may be good for discussions in front of television cameras, but are they suited to a nation such as ours? A nation where illiteracy, radicalism, corruption and lack of character run rampant. Where lawmakers in Parliament are elected not because they will make good laws from which will flow benign governance, but on the basis of kinship, money and benefits they can dole out.

Take the case of the ongoing conflict between the PTI Government and the Opposition. It appears that no matter what the good news or a spontaneous act, far better than years of diplomacy may be, the opposition mouthpieces will try and obtain anti-government leverage out of it. When this leverage gains expression, it not only becomes counterproductive, but ludicrous. A recent example is the ‘almost childish’ criticism from our former Information Minister, who in her fluently suave manner, could not digest the sight of Imran Khan driving the visiting heir of Abu Dhabi during the latter’s milestone visit to Islamabad. To people not obsessed with defending their leaders, images of our PM sitting at the steering wheel brought a breath of fresh air into our lives. What this lady must now do is to berate the President of Turkey for driving Khan Sahib, at the end of the PM’s tour of Turkey or even the US Presidents as they often drive visiting dignitaries in a golf cart during Camp David visits.

It was in 1994 that I wrote my post graduate research paper, which aimed to determine, if our national psyche was suited to a bicameral parliamentary democracy. During my research on the subject, I read international political gurus and interviewed a wide range of celebrated political analysts at home and abroad. I was led to conclude that we were yet not ready for a bicameral parliamentary dispensation since we lacked the indicators and the psyche that made such a system successful. Everyone I spoke to, lent strength to the notion that what we needed was a single point of decision making (elected directly by the people), who would not be hostage to a parliament lacking moral credibility. It was only such a system that would be able to enforce laws ‘ruthlessly’ and without fear - a system, known amongst students of politics as a Unicameral Presidential Democracy that would effectively clean up the mess of decades and make us great.

The writer is a freelance columnist.

It appears that no matter what the good news or a spontaneous act, far better than years of diplomacy may be, the opposition mouthpieces will try and obtain anti-government leverage out of it.