“For he that wants protection may seek it anywhere; and, when he hath it, is obliged (without fraudulent pretence of having submitted himself out of fear) to protect his protection as long as he is able. But when the power of an assembly is once suppressed, the right of the same perisheth utterly, because the assembly itself is extinct; and consequently, there is no possibility for sovereignty to re-enter.”

 – Thomas Hobbes – 1588-1679

Hobbes, a Royalist and a defender of despotic governments, had long argued for a sovereign with unlimited powers. According to him, the practices of a ruler, preferably a monarch, must have no checks upon them. The role of the citizens ends completely once a sovereign is chosen, and they were to have no rights against him. There must be no political parties or trade unions, and even teachers were only to teach what the sovereign considered appropriate. While his arguments may come across as supporting oppression, there is a wider political theory at play here. The citizens give away their rights, according to Hobbes, for the ultimate purpose of self-preservation. Despite proposing an absolute government, he still reserves great regard for the protection of an individual. If a sovereign does not have the power to protect a man, the man has no duty towards the sovereign. Putting this in light of contemporary Pakistani politics brings about an interesting debate. Public security remains a dubious affair; terrorism, state-terrorism, border violations, blemished healthcare; have all led to the loss of countless lives. While most Pakistanis are often deprived of basic necessities and fundamental rights, even life is subjected to a delicate balance. These concerns directly challenge the legitimacy and capacity of the government, a situation that can easily disillusion the citizenry. Hoping for a safer future for Pakistan.