First elected Prime Minister of Pakistan in his election manifesto promised people ‘Roti, Kapra, aur Makaan’. After assuming power, he did try to keep his words by introducing land reforms and distributing agricultural land to landless tenants.  

Another PM, who was elected into power thrice and recently was disqualified by the Supreme Court, held a public meeting on Jan 4, 2018 at Peshawar. While addressing the public, he inquired whether they would stand with him in his protest movement for sanctity of the vote? others. He announced that if he were mandated by them for another term, they would get them ‘Adal’ and house. Given such tall claims of our politicians while they are in opposition or campaigning for elections, I believe we need to have a mechanism to hold them responsible for their word.  

Over the past many decades, we have been fooled every time by the politicians who make utopian promises never to be pursued once they gain power. Politicians know well that poor public is easy to bribe and lure through false promises and petty incentives. In civilized countries, such role of holding the politicians for their word is usually played by media. Through evolution in the democratic process over years, their public has also learned to ensure that politicians keep their promises, or they are voted out. However, we as a nation still have a lot to learn. I believe it is about time that all parties sit together and decide on some ground rules to hold everyone accountable for their words. Similarly, media also must stop blind rivalry in pleasing the powerful or public and show some maturity to help develop a decent and civilized political culture in the country. 

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH,  

Islamabad, March 2.