The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous –Frederick Douglass

The phrases, ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Amin’ are echoing in the whole country especially in Islamabad these days. Sadiq and Amin are part of the constitution under Article 62 and 63, applicable on public holders and it explains the criterion of “qualifications for a member of Majlis-i-Shoora (parliament)” and its clause (e) reads: “Has adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and practices obligatory duties prescribed by Islam as well as abstains from major sins”.

The law under Article 62 also states that he who shall be elected a Member of Parliament should be sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law. But today, it disheartens the soul to see public office holders including politicians and officials taking cover behind these words – Sadiq and Ameen – and openly being dishonest in their actions and deeds.

People who are to work for the betterment of this country are selling their dignity and changing their moral standards. For what, pocketing a few rupees? Politicians are manipulating the needs of the working class, promising a brighter tomorrow and after getting votes, they betray their people.

One can only wish to have seen a person who was Sadiq and Amin in the true spirit of the words in all walks of life. Only then could have we witnessed a brighter Pakistan.

Each Muslim should always actively endeavour to sincerely follow the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to the best of his/her individual capacity. However, exploiting the exalted name and character of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for selfish political interests is absolutely deplorable.

We can rebuild our nation, provided we as a nation become truly Sadiq and Ameen. But the big question is as to how should we become Sadiq and Amin in the truest sense?

There are yardsticks which can keep this nation in line. The biggest one is fear of God and the second one is man-made law, particularly which concerns accountability. The accountability stick is required for good governance. And good governance cannot be achieved unless accountability is looked for in the bureaucracy, executive and judiciary. These three pillars of the state are correlated and are integral in connecting the public with officials.

The rights of the people shall be provided to them via elected members of the parliament who must be Sadiq and Ameen, because honesty and faithfulness must trickle down from top to bottom. If we hold leaders accountable then there can be no way that deceitful individuals are elected again as members of the parliament. The accountability of individuals holding office can only be executed through law. And it is also very important to note that those who are the guardians of justice; the courts of Pakistan, must pursue the cases without any discrimination and discrepancies.

The legitimacy and credibility of a leader is established through the amount of trust people put in him and it must be integral for him to not break it. Similarly, the trust formed must not just be through words but also through actions.

In short, a leader with low moral character who lies, cheats and is unfaithful can never work for the betterment of his country and its people. A notable example is of American congressmen, who back in 1978, were approached by undercover FBI agents as Middle Eastern businessmen working for a fictional Sheik offering millions of dollars in order to check their loyalty to the country. Six of the congressmen and several other officials took the money to fulfil the Sheikh’s political demands. They were later charged for taking bribe and had to spend many years in prison. My point being, that in a country like America where everything is shown to be fair and impartial, also has some incongruities because the system is made up of people and not everyone can be honest and truthful.

Sadiq and Ameen are very much related to rule of law whereas our history bears witness that Article 62 and 63 of the constitution was inserted by General Zia ul Haq in order to get rid of some politicians and subsequently another dictator General Musharraf, added a number of additional sections which made it far too unrealistic and subjective. We need to revisit these two articles to quantify the deeds and character of public office holders according to the situation of the country. More specifically, making the law more pragmatic is important, leaving no room for culprits to escape.

Furthermore, Pakistan has witnessed corruption engulfing every institute, adulteration touching new heights, poor being deprived of their basic rights, fake medicines being sold out or hoarded, ever-rising street crimes and extortion, religious sectarianism and the justice system becoming a tragedy for this nation. There is an imbalance in the distribution of resources. The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer.

The reason we lost East Pakistan is that our nation lost its grip on national affairs because of the ethnic divide, thus denting the unity of both sides. Even now, our nation is suffering from a lack of good governance. The lust for money and so-called status levels is destroying the very fibre of honesty. We realise that the level of dishonesty always starts from the little gains. For example, the use of official transport for private work. And unfortunately, a majority of high ranked officials use government resources to make their outstation tours i.e. to attend private functions and marriages. And nobody holds them accountable, why? Because the people of our nation are immune to lies and dishonesty.

These are small things in which indulgence has become a norm of life especially in public offices where the basic principles of being Sadiq and Amin are being ignored and violated every minute and second. The ideology of this country was based on Islam; one wishes that one day, our leaders and their followers realise the importance of being Sadiq and Ameen. Just imagine the day when each one of us becomes Sadiq and Ameen. All the problems of this nation will be defunct, leaving a prosperous and a peaceful nation.

Let us hope and pray that we become Sadiq and Amin as a nation to serve our country without the fear of worldly punishments, but because of the fear of God. Ameen!

Each Muslim should always actively endeavour to sincerely follow the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to the best of his/her individual capacity.