As the nation prepares to celebrate another Independence Day with the usual ‘Zeal and Fervor’, let us reflect as to what we have done with the Quaid’s Pakistan.
In his various speeches, the father of this Nation of the Pak and the Pure had emphasised the importance of law and order, respect for the rule of law and the dangers of corruption and nepotism.
In his speech to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947, Mr Jinnah had stated: “The first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State”.
“One of the biggest curses from which India is suffering, is bribery and corruption. That really is a poison. Black marketing is another curse. We must put that down with an iron hand - The evil of nepotism must also be crushed relentlessly”.
And on December 28, 1947, the Quaid had made the clarion call for unity – Faith – Discipline and stated: “We are going through fire: the sunshine has yet to come. But I have no doubt that with unity , Faith and discipline we will compare with any nation of the world. We must sink individualism and petty jealousies and serve the people with honesty and faithfulness. We must have faith , unity and discipline - United we prevail divided we fall.” (
But instead of taking heed of Mr Jinnah’s warnings, we have done exactly the opposite and our past and present leaders have replaced the Quaid’s vision with their own selfish and ‘Self above all’ agenda.
Forgotten are the Quaid’s speeches and his dream of a tolerant and progressive nation has been replaced by a nightmare, in which his country is divided, violent, intolerant, bigoted and is viewed as one of the most dangerous countries to live in. 
Quaid’s Pakistan is looked upon by the world with suspicion, distrust and contempt and we are humiliated when we travel abroad. In an article in the Times of London, titled “Pity Pakistan”, the author described us as “A wretched mess of intolerance, killings and corruption”. The article warns us of economic hardships and growing religious intolerance.
Despite these shameful perceptions by the world about us, the government is unconcerned and there is a dangerous tug of war going on between the Executive and the Judiciary, challenging and undermining its authority.
For six decades, this unsinkable Titanic has survived the worst storms, but now, our ‘Awami’ government, which claims that it represents the people, is in a deadly chess game, in an effort to erode the powers of the judiciary and weaken the fundamental pillars of the rule of law and could result in the dismissal of the second PM. 
However, will any change in leadership, government or any other cosmetic jugglery, bring a change in the mindset and moral values of those in government and the opposition?
Will it restore Jinnah’s clarion call of ‘Unity, Faith, Discipline’? Will it unite this fragmented nation and restore the rule of law, our lost honour and dignity, which were held close by the Quaid?
Judging from our past experience, these cosmetic changes would be just as futile as in the past, as not one leader, MNA or senator has the capacity or the quality for this Herculean task.
In order to stop this decline into chaos and anarchy, Pakistan needs good, sincere, responsible and honest leadership and a government that is free from corruption and respects the rule of law.
The country needs a government that we can trust and respect and can steer this sinking Titanic to a safe harbor. We cannot bring this change just by playing musical chairs with our governments or by discussions and debates.
So when we talk of rebuilding Pakistan, let us build on the vision and the dreams of Jinnah. Let us rebuild a Pakistan, based on a just social order, where the judiciary is impartial, government is free from corruption and the citizens are honest, hard working, law abiding and free of religious and ethnic prejudices and make a determined effort to change the attitude of the nation.
To achieve this, the citizens must make a collective effort to demand good governance and enforcement of the rule of law. And this can only be achieved through an independent and strong judiciary, easy access to information and a permanent judicial commission, with authority to investigate and prosecute all cases of corruption and misuse and abuse of power.
Those who have benefited from the NRO, must be punished, without fear or favour and nobody should be above the law. The government must respect the judgments and orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and introduce police and judicial reforms. No doubt, our leaders and governments have betrayed us, but the present scenario is not something out of the blue. Civil society, especially the educated, privileged and senior bureaucrats, new that corruption and mismanagement in governance was destroying the nation, but for our own selfish reasons, we failed to stand up and protest. We turned a blind eye and allowed opportunists and fortune seekers to plunder and loot the nation. Now, we have to pay the price for it.
Therefore we have to decide as to what kind of a country we want and how we want to be governed, through the rule of law or through a bunch of corrupt and opportunistic parliamentarians, who cheat, lie and distort and mutilate our Constitution to serve their personal agendas?
Should we allow black laws to legitimise corruption and say goodbye to the rule of law and welcome the rule of the jungle? Do we want Pakistan to be a banana republic or a self-respecting, progressive and tolerant democracy?
Therefore, we, the citizens, must take up the challenge and mold the destiny of our nation and our future, by demanding our rights and taking an active part in rebuilding Jinnah’s Pakistan.
We must take up good governance, the rule of law, accountability and good citizenship as our common cause. Without “Citizen’s Activism”, we will always be puppets on a chain and be at the mercy of our puppet masters.
As to where we went wrong, is for the historians to decide, but one thing is for sure, the ongoing tussle between the Executive and the Judiciary is bound to escalate unless better sense prevails.
Hamid Maker. (email: