Pakistan belongs to its people and not to the bunch of corrupt politicians who have come and gone time and again. Unfortunately, since independence, the Pakistani people have been constantly kept away from the corridors of power. Clearly, the ruling elite had no concern for the common people who were left at the mercy of circumstances. Every leader who came after Quaid-i-Azam used politics for his own interests and pursuits. Even today, Pakistan is passing through a critical phase of its political history. Among others, the reasons are repeated army interventions, distortion of the Constitution, a powerless Election Commission, and deep-rooted feudalism, absence of a strong and independent judiciary, lack of impartial accountability institutions and virtually no freedom of expression. Pakistans politics is marked by nepotism, horse-trading, leg-pulling, character assassination, corruption, bad governance, military coup and what not. This country has seen a lot and experienced a lot under both military and so-called democratic regimes. In the present circumstances, we have again put our sovereignty at stake for foreign powers in the name of national interest. In short, the politics prevailing for the last 63 years is denial of rights to Pakistani people to rule their country according to their aspirations and desire to build this country. Little wonder the people are disheartened by the continuous political twists and turns that have besieged our country since the past couple of years. It is now time for true Pakistanis like us, to stand up and give our nation a helping hand. All we need is a sensible leader in the next general elections. The people must stop casting votes on the basis of sect, caste and language. They must also realize the power their vote carries. We as a nation ought to unite against this unfairness and the scourge of corruption. Our corrupt leaders are taking advantage of our silence. The one and only chance we have is to unite and rise as a single force and show them that they cannot keep on doing whatever they like to do. We must be brave and rather than committing cowardly acts like suicides we must elect a transparent and committed leadership. SHAUKAT MASOOD ZAFAR, Islamabad, November 20.