In the last two weeks Pakistan has witnessed tectonic changes within her political dynamics. The never touchables, (Zardaris and Sharifs) as well as fifth columnists operating within the state infrastructure have faced the brunt of the new accountability drive in Pakistan. Imran Khan’s leadership has mobilized itself towards one of its agenda, i.e. to clean Pakistan irrespective of how things turn out to be. And one cannot blame Khan, because he tends to stick to one position. His leadership skills and commitment and strong will power to achieve a specific postulate of one of his goals has set up a new precedence, which is to ensure elimination of corrupted status quo.

Yes! Khan has yet to fulfill his exaggerated promises to the people of Pakistan; one of them is the stabilization of Pakistan’s economy. PTI government is emphasizing on accountability process and despite the uncertainty factor, is gunning for corrupt public office holders. Opposition is exploiting the sentiments of the common man and the latest budget to be passed by PTI and putting emphasis over the need to have civilian supremacy and rule of law; a façade, a small carrot thrown in front of the common man to re-gain his political sympathy; nepotism endorsed two party system of PPP and PMLN is trying to fight back.

Everyone in Pakistan wants accountability, but the million dollar question that comes to mind is how this can be practically applied, and whether PTIs claims can work for the betterment of economy? On many occasions, PTI’s new leadership has claimed that they would ensure the return of laundered money back to the people. If our accountability institutions are eying corrupt officials who have laundered money earned via corruption to western countries, then it would be difficult for getting that capital back.

Let’s rewind a bit and visit Arab Spring. Hosni Mubarak, former President of Egypt had billions stashed away in Western banks. Did the people of Egypt get anything after ousting him from power? Remember Arab spring was co-sponsored by Western powers for introduction of democracy in the region. Even having installed pro-Western regimes in North Africa, West just froze the assets of former dictators and their families and maybe that same capital is being used to further ignite chaos in other regions. We can closely look at the Altaf Hussain case as well. Not only was he accused of corruption but was charged with multiple murders and terrorism within Pakistan. Although British justice system is far ahead in ensuring rule of law but Altaf Hussain is an asset of Western nations and assets are not wasted so easily unless one has a bargaining chip. Currently, Pakistan is facing a diplomatic offensive from western countries and our war hysterical neighbour is the east. Pakistan is currently in FATF (Financial Action Task Force) grey list and sooner might be sanctioned by USA for not towing with western lines. The recent diplomatic romance between Russia and Pakistan in SCO summit is a primary example of how things might turn out for Pakistan in the future. So externally it will be hard for a country like Pakistan to ensure the return of laundered money.

Internally we are still stabilizing from the war on terror and with the new tectonic shifts and political destabilization, Pakistan is in a quagmire and accountability might help current leadership in a short term but it would be hard for Pakistan to cope up international pressure later. Being an agriculture and consumer economy, Pakistan is yet to rise above the economic ladder, increase her share in the pie and establish herself as a manufacturing hub. Already in debt and the common man hardly trusting the government (something which has been happening for the past 3 decades), with 1% people giving income tax, it seems as if the nation is growing economically; but at a very slow rate. Although the current government has introduced measures to ensure people pay taxes, but how can a trader at Hall road whose entire daily capital is based on cash and not on receipts and registration of sold goods monthly on FBR make himself believe that income tax is for their benefit, or how can a private school provide proper details of its monthly earning to FBR and why would a middle man sitting in a local market and buying wheat and rice in bulk ever tell FBR that how much profit he earns every year or a real estate investor provide details of all their properties to concerned authorities. There seems to be a communication gap between the government and the people. Here they hardly trust each other, yet people love to live in the same system, criticize it on daily bases, and nurture their children in the system as well as gain benefits from the same corrupt system.

This nation should realize that Pakistan is going through an evolutionary phase and it is every individual’s duty, be it someone from the elite, a public office holder, an official or a private business man, everyone should contribute. If we can’t contribute and keep on complaining every day that would just mean that individuals just care about what matters to them and this would just increase the gap between the poor, the middle class and the elite.