While I was on-board flying back from Karachi to Islamabad, I met several parliamentarians including Member of National Assembly Syed Agha Raif Ullah, who while sitting on the right side asked me a number of questions regarding our ‘political ethics’. The questions he asked were, why there is so political polarization in our country even on national issues and why our political leadership has so far failed to bring consensus on our national issues including our national security? I was glad to know the concern of a young MNA from Karachi. Though I responded to him on it however I decided to pen down my thoughts in an article.

I think everybody will agree that nations rise with unity and actions with the collective wisdom. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had laid the foundation of growth and development of this country upon three words ‘Unity, Faith and Discipline’. It is unfortunate that as a nation we ignored the real benefit of these magical words because if we remember Quaid’s principles well and accordingly act upon those, this could have changed our fate as a nation. We as a nation have lost the importance of national interest. It is a national tragedy that we failed to follow the Quaid’s principles in full spirit as we are mostly directionless in building our Economy, Foreign policies including our National Action Plan. We are out of discipline as politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, students and even as a common members of our society that we are hardly on the same page over any issue.

The collective strength of a nation is drawn from the Parliament whereas today, we hardly see any discipline in the house as per the given legal course to be followed to lead the nation and resolve the public issues through continued processes of various legislations. However, the public now seems to be all disappointed, losing the faith in our unruly democratic institutions including the Government. It is high time that we build national consensus rather than playing blame games that we can win the confidence of our public.

Faith is something that comes from within the social fibre which solely depends upon the honest behaviours and transparency. There should be a fair practice of the criminal justice system coupled with a political ethical code of conduct to homogenize the nation and thus take it forward. This can happen only when there is an effective and unbiased rule of law with the provision of easy justice to a common man. The rule of law is not possible unless there is an element of strong and definite deterrence of law which cannot be brought about until we have an efficient system of law enforcers free of political influences and also corruption.

The nations like China, Japan, and other developed countries are already experiencing the magic of these three words coupled with their national security programs. These nations have never compromised on their discipline and national security and their internal national unity bond is exemplary. The political polarization has dented our national security since we are habitual of bringing our national institutes to disputes and instead of backing them we have seen the anti-Pakistan odd voice being backed by certain political factions. I have also dealt with such anti -Pakistan elements as a law enforcer and Interior Minister.

I can only appeal to all political parties that for the sake of our future generation, let us end our political polarization and we should always follow an agreed political charter whereby we must work with the collective mind to give the nation flawless policies to take the country out of the crisis. Let us all move our directions to a permanent ‘Political National Charter’ collectively on the following main terms of reference; National security, National Economy , National Foreign Policy and National Political Ethics. Let this charter be discussed in the parliament and it should be signed with an SOP to be followed. Let there be a debate in the house to ensure the enactment of the charter as per the national interest. The proposed charter is the need of the time to make our country stronger and prosperous. Let us name it as the ‘Political National Charter’ duly agreed by all political parties of the country that we can give confidence to a common man and all factions of the society.

Let this become a well-defined and nationwide accepted document to become SOP between the politicians and the common man. Let there be ownership of the people of Pakistan. I hope one day this national dream will come true and I will move a motion for discussion on in the Senate and an act of parliament shall be moved to the house.

Senator Rehman Malik

The writer is Former Interior Minister of Pakistan, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Chairman of Think Tank “Global Eye”. He can be reached at: rmalik1212@gmail.com, Twitter