Ithink its morally wrong for young men to be sent out to slaughter each other in this American war on terrorismI am certainly an opponent of this war and more repulsed by it than most people, if only because I am not in love with sufferingand suffering is what we are enduring day and night at the hands of our ruling elitethe fact is that the government isnt therenot for the majority of poor suffering Pakistanis. Mubarak Ali (A common worker) Mubarak is a worker in a small tire repair establishment in Sharjah. He is a decent, hardworking family man, making a modest income. Back home in a village near Shahkot in Punjab, his wife, a son in college and a daughter in high school struggle to make ends meet on the sacrifices of their fathers long and painful absence from their lives. Mubarak is willing to do anything humanly possible to better his childrens future. But the situation in the last two and a half years has become desperately hopeless. Mubarak says he used to send Rs 10,000 a month to his family and now sends Rs 15,000, yet maihngai (the rising cost of living) has broken their backs and decimated their future hopes. He himself has gone to two meals a day to save more money for the family back home, and yet it is an uphill battle for daily survival. This government is simply not there for common people. They are looting the nation. They are a bunch of selfish uncaring people. Look at their lifestyles. Imagine how they are enjoying themselves at this nations expense Indeed, Mubarak is aware that the Prime Minister of his country had a 25,000 euro dinner in Brussels recently. How could he do that knowing that millions of Pakistanis suffer from poverty and daily deprivations? Arent they (the ruling elite) accountable to anyone? What kind of democracy is this? It would be instructive for Prime Minister Gilani to become aware of the tragic fact that 80 out of 137 districts in his country are food insecure. Tra-nslated into more straightforward terms, 48.6 percent of the population in Pakistan - more than 80 million people - face hun-ger on a daily basis. How does the PM justify a 25,000 euro meal? This essentially is a political dilemma of a morally bankrupt leadership. The fact of the matter is that Pakistanis today are looking at the representation of an 'ideal democracy that no longer has relevance to their existence. Democracy in Pakistan under the present political dispensation has become absolutely irrelevant. The very concept of a democratic polity, which is fundamentally based on a social contract between the rulers and the governed for the sole benefit of the latter, has not only lost its philosophical purpose and direction, it has, in fact, manifested itself as an anti-masses systemic doctrine. The present political leaderships critical judgments on nearly all national issues are so badly flawed that the leaders have come to believe that they are capable of railroading the entire nation into a perceptual deception by rhetoric alone. Mohammed Shahbaz, 27, Mub-araks supervisor, laments the alienation that he feels towards the present ruling elite. He says the feeling is a painful, intolerable emptiness - a sense of being cheated, of hopelessness, betrayal, and an awareness that our leaders are, in fact, our real enemies disguised as nationalists. They are working for their own personal self-interests, for foreign interests and for prolonging the political-social-economic oppression of the people. They want to continue their political control by sheer means of financial deprivation and oppression of the people by meaningless rhetoric. They do not care the least about the awam (common people). From my perspective as a social scientist, the present national political dilemma is fundamentally rooted in the historically conceived moral-political conflicts and problematics of the primitive political mindset of Pakistans ruling elite. This primitive duality (inherent conflicts and problematics) implicit in the ruling establishments consciousness (primitive mindset) is directly in conflict with the contemporary requirements and democratic needs of the 21st century masses. The ruling elite in Pakistan is determined to structure a political system that benefits them exclusively now as well as into the future. On the other hand, the political status quo of the reactionary and repressive present system can no longer be maintained; such are the political dynamics of our times. The conflict is widening and becoming alarmingly dangerous to the very existence of this nation: it is a conflict between the few who have political power and control and a massive population that legitimately demands a change tilted towards their benefits. The two concepts cannot coexist anymore, no matter what happens next. This conflict will be open warfare between the powerful and the powerless: the powerful wrongly assume that they will prevail - but they wont. Pakistans future is not going to be shaped in the visage of political scripts of the past. The tide of mass political awareness is far too strong - it will sweep away everything that obstructs its course. Let me further illustrate my point of view on the ruling elites dictum of primitive political mindset by the following analogy: the ruling elite sees its role vis--vis the masses as comparable to the relationship between a pir (spiritual guide) and a murid (disciple). This relationship cannot be altered; both have their places fixed in life and the hereafter. Their positions cannot be exchanged. This relationship is permanent, non-negotiable. The pir gives, the murid receives whatever is awarded by the pir, subject to the pirs khusnoodi (pleasure) and the murids unquestioning submission to the pirs dictates. But the point is, this is no way to conduct democratic politics. After all, it is the 21st century. Obviously, the ruling elite in Pakistan is driven by some kind of fanatic zealousness of an ancient faith: a belief in their manipulative abilities and sorcery to maintain the political status quo and to reshape the social, political, economic, psychological and natural environment of an emerging democratic consciousness of the masses to their advantage now, and for an indefinite future. But mind it: many such political doctrines and attempts lie in the dustbin of history, though the illusions of omnipotence have continued to flourish in many primitive political minds. Czars, shahs, kings, despots, dictators, et al laid in the dust and in dishonour when they came in direct conflict with the masses Pakistan wont be an exception It is only a matter of time when the bubble will burst Mubarak is right: this government is simply not there The writer is an academic and a political analyst. Email: hl_mehdi@hotmail.com