‘The nation is going through the worst crisis of its history at the moment.’ My grandpa heard the prime minister of his time utter these words, my father tells me he’s been hearing it too since he was a child; and now so am I. This ‘moment’ our heads-of-state refer to has elongated to a span of three generations now. Each chief executive of the country takes steps which they call ‘In the interest of the nation’ but alas, the successor calls them non-constitutional and tries to revoke them.
Today we stand at a point where uncertainty reigns and we hear about terms like ‘revolution’, ‘another martial law’ and ‘constitutional removal of government.’ Whatever the future holds in this regard, the common man is still confused about where to find sugar at an economical price.
Pakistan’s politics’ scene has never been something which would be pleasing to the eye. It’s been bloody and full of controversies. We are still in search of the powers which were behind the assassination of our first Prime Minister. The Bhutto family is yet to unveil its actual murderers. The infamous C-130 plane crash is a mystery unsolved to date.
Our ‘exile file’ also needs leafs to be added. Benazir Bhutto, Altaf Hussain, Asif Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and Pervaiz Musharraf are a few to name in the long list of politicians who have taken political asylum in countries like Saudi Arabia, UK etc.
Whenever ripples start to produce in the dirty pond of Pakistan’s political scene; our politicians become proactive all of a sudden. That is exactly what is happening these days. Rumors of people like Pervaiz Musharraf returning to Pakistan are circulating these days. ‘Mian Sahab’ strongly feels it should be his turn next in this game of musical chairs. Altaf Hussain is shouting for ‘Inqilaab.’ PML (Q) and PML (functional) have united to form All Pakistan Muslim League. Imran Khan they tell me has successfully doubled his supporters’ count from 10 to 20. The Prime Minister is busy in resisting orders from the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the President is as usual busy doing what he does the best (no need to elaborate.)
Eventually though, ‘wohi hoga jo manzoor-e-amreeka hoga.’ That’s how things go about in this part of the world. I’m not going to be judgmental about anyone over here but it seems as if every time the scenario seems to be starting to change, people forget all about the allegations (proven or still in court) regarding these politicians. A new leaf is turned each time for every individual and party.
I mean, this was the same Pervaiz Musharraf with whom people were fed up and wanted him to get the heck out of this place; and now he claims to be returning back on the basis of his fan following on a social network? Give me a break! In this case, Shahrukh Khan should be the President of Pakistan (he’s also on twitter I’ve heard, so that’s an added vote bank he has.) Have we all forgotten about the Laal Masjid incident? Or are we all clear about what actually happened to Dr. Afia Siddiqui? Has the Baluchistan situation been controlled after eliminating Akbar Bugti? Have we forgotten about the taxes we pay which got looted and then the NRO was issued?
The reason behind mentioning Pervaiz Musharraf is that he is a recent example. Other than that, our history is full of blunders where corrupt people have been given second and even third chances to hold the helm of affairs of this country.
We have just simply been unable to find an honest ruler and persist with him. Why do we forget our religion while choosing a ruler? Why don’t we refer back to how the Khulafa-e-Rashideen (RA) ruled the Islamic Empire? Democracy in those days meant to choose a ruler on the basis of his virtues and honest behavior in every walk of life. They ate what the ordinary man ate; they roamed around the streets at night (without the highest protocol) and they held themselves responsible for maintaining a respectable lifestyle for each and every citizen.
In short, unless people with clean backgrounds emerge from the grass root level of our society to hold responsible positions at all levels and a constant, transparent accountability is imposed (without anyone being exempted), it is impossible for this country (or for any country for that case) to have any standing in the sovereign nations of the world.
Hammad A. Mateen