The PTI was founded in mid 1990’s as an idealist’s reaction, who did not believe in compromising on its beliefs or convictions. A man in mid 40s, who hailed from right leaning Punjab, with no training in politics, conceived the idea of politics based on clean governance, instead of the corrupt politics and the deals going on in Pakistan. What many people are asking is whether this party qualifies to be the third option? PML-N has a support base in the middle classes in Punjab and primarily derives its power from business oriented classes.

In the past the party had zealously guarded the interests of businessmen when Pakistan People’s Party government tried to introduce RGST, PML-N opposed it vehemently, despite Pakistan’s hunger for tax money, along with other urban middle class political forces. The move was a classical example of political pragmatism. Pakistani political parties, since the dismemberment of former USSR, heavily rely on the support of interest groups rather than ideology motivated masses. The other side of the picture is equally grim.

Cults like political parties such as Pakistan People’s Party jealously guard the interests of agriculturalist classes in south Punjab and interior Sindh. Any attempt to tax agricultural income would surely be foiled by PPP. Looking from an independent perspective one sees two very vital sectors, actually contributing nothing to the frail and falling Pakistani economy. The only sector which contributes its due share is salary based service sector on which the country relies for its tax income.

With present structure of interest groups based political support, we cannot and must not expect any change in Pakistan. ‘Money makes money, charity begins at home’ are old adages which fit the Pakistani political parties which are in perpetual conflict with the established principles to make a country viable. If Pakistan has to progress and earn an honourable place in the comity of nations, it must stand on its own feet, with power of self generated economic resources through progressive taxation. Pakistanis have to decide their fate on May 11 whether they favour status quo parties or want to vote for someone new who may deliver.

MALIK ATIF MAHMOOD MAJOKA,

Australia, April 26.