Marvi Memon Today there is only one kind of political parties in Pakistan: the one that promotes the material needs of the candidates and not the izzat-e-nafs of the people of Pakistan. The current political parties of Pakistan put no emphasis on promoting the political ethos of Huqooq-ul-Ibad in their choice of candidates. Pakistan needs a political party whose focus will be giving people the right to choose amongst themselves those with the best of Huqooq-ul-Ibad so that they can serve Pakistan best. The choosing of candidates in such a democratic party (MNA, MPA, Senator, local government office bearers) will be done the way Islam teaches us. Currently the party head finds a muscleman who can grab votes through fear tactics and that's it. In the new political party the candidate will be chosen from the people through a system of internal elections or primaries. The people will choose their candidate and not the party leadership. Here is a guide on what the people of Pakistan will be using to choose their candidates. The candidate will be a leader in the community. He/she will be a leader not in terms of material wealth but in terms of skills, education and value structure. He/she will truly be a role model for society. Someone genuinely loved and not feared. Someone who is kind and not authoritative. The candidate's understanding of Huqooq-ul-Ibad will be as follows: 1. Huqooq-ul-Ibad emerges from the Islamic belief that Allah created humans and He is the one who ordered them to give each other rights. Doing so, he/she believes in Him. 2. Huqooq-ul-Ibad is not a mere right given by humans to each other. Rather it is a right given by Allah. 3. One of the distinguishing characteristics of Huqooq in Islam is that it covers all political, economic, cultural and social rights. It is provided to individuals as well as groups and organisations regardless of ethnicity, colour or gender or religion. 4. Human rights in Islam are complete and solid and cannot be abrogated since they are part and parcel of Islamic law. The candidate will ensure that he/she respects the following: Firstly, the right to life will be respected. From that come many rules such as the prohibition of killing, stopping all motives leading to killing such as bearing arms against community, prohibition of fighting the Muslims, prohibition of committing suicide. Imagine such a candidate. Would he ever commit or allow the kind of terrorism being done in Pakistan right now? I doubt very much. That will rule out your voting for those who support terrorist wings in political parties and banned terrorist organisations. This will rule out your voting for those who allow tribal wars, kidnappings, private militias. Secondly, the right to honour will be respected. From that come many such rules such as prohibition of insulting, name calling, backbiting, contempt of others, spying, bad assumption about others, violating their privacy. Imagine such a candidate. Would he ever allow such bad behaviour to exist which leads to social decay? I doubt very much. That would rule out all the blame game people in politics. Only those who will be problem solvers will be allowed by you to be your candidates. Thirdly, the right to freedom will be respected. From that comes the understanding that all creation is free and all are slaves of Allah alone. It includes the right to education, womens right to education, right to know the truth and the prohibition of hiding the truth from others. Imagine such a candidate. Would he ever be involved in protecting culprits or wrongdoing? I doubt very much. That would rule out all the liars and cheats. Fourthly, the right to ownership and managing ones possessions will be respected. From that comes an understanding that Allah dislikes the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few on account of the fact that majority are in need. It respects the sanctity of ones possession and gives severe punishment for violating the sanctity of another persons possession. Imagine such a candidate. Would he ever allow territorial injustices or qabza or corruption? I doubt very much. That would rule out the rural and urban mafia candidates who you would certainly not vote for. Fifthly, the right to work and employment will be respected. From that comes an understanding of the need to encourage mankind to go seek means of earning. It also means that labourers rights will be respected. Imagine such a candidate. Would he allow discrimination against labourers? I doubt very much. That would rule out those who have not paid salaries or dues to the workers and farmers of Pakistan. Other than the above value structure you would concentrate on the education and skills of the candidate. The point is that when the candidate has skills which makes him a useful and respected member of society; he will have an edge over the muscleman of the older parties. It is not idealistic if Pakistanis decide to choose such a candidate, such a man and woman. It will not be idealistic if they decide to turn to what Allah has ordained them to turn to. If they decide to ignore Allahs commands then they will suffer in Pakistan and after death too. If Pakistanis wish to have Huqooq-ul-Ibad, they will have to choose such a candidate. Whilst Allah has given the value structure of an ideal political candidate He has also asked mankind to work and be useful. This means that the new party's candidate will be someone who does something useful for society. It will be a professional. It will be an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, a nurse, a lady health worker, a teacher, a farmer, a labourer, a clerk, a scientist, a businessman, etc. It could be an activist, a housewife, a student too. The candidate for the new political party would earn his living through halal means or be dependent on someone who earns halal living. Such a candidate would have the best of Pakistaniyat and would be best suited to represent the average Pakistani. The only concern is whether such a candidate has the ability to get elected in Pakistan. If the Pakistani who represents the majority of Pakistanis is not chosen by the poor, it would be an insult to the people of Pakistan. Such a candidate would have to count on his community to vote for him/her. If the community at that point chooses a liar or a cheat over him/her, then it would have no blessings from Allah. Through this formula the current political parties who are putting up thugs and the usurping elite as candidates, or putting up those who are not from the common run of people would lose hands down. Its a matter of sorting ones thinking out and getting clarity of what Huqooq-ul-Ibad is. If the people of Pakistan can just sit back and think of halal and haram, this battle for Huqooq-ul-Ibad will be won. Pakistan would be a cleaner, safer and richer country for the majority and not the minority. The writer is a former Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan.