Political arena of Pakistan


A tale of disarray

PPP’s ship is helplessly fighting the rough sea of Pakistani politics. It is astonishing that people in general and the so called political elite in particular do not learn any lessons from their own as well as their counterpart’s follies. It is said that politics is a day to day affair wherein political parties have to adapt themselves as per the need of the hour. The same statute is applicable everywhere in human life. Survival is not only of the fittest but of those who evolve themselves with the mood of the time. The day PPP took over, after the general elections of 2008, in response to the public disapproval of their malpractices, their leaders rattled the obsolete slogans, “People will vote us out if we didn’t perform”, “Institutions should not hinder our way as we are answerable to the people only”, “Supremacy of the parliament will not be allowed to compromise”, etc. By these slogans, they not only flawed themselves but also confused their political workers

But why just vote out? Why not a trial under CPC? Why not let institutions implement and enforce the law of the land? Will angels come down to enforce accountability? Don’t these institutions belong to the state? Is the election commission, or the whole electoral college for that matter, more impartial than the Supreme Court of Pakistan? In hindsight, these are very simple queries that a common man with an average IQ would understand but what to do with the political blindness caused by corruption and dishonesty?

South Asia in general and Pakistan in particular has been unfortunate to be deprived of a political culture of its own. Mainly it is due to its attractions (agricultural products, soil, weathers, geography etc.) that hosted multifarious invaders throughout the course of history. May they be Arians, Greeks, Tatars, Huns, Seljuk, Arabs, Mughals or British; everyone left their footprints in this fertile land of different landscapes. It is said that a beautiful wife is a source of tension for the poor husband. So is true for this beautiful region, with plenty of natural resources but its poor, incapable and weak populace became booty for the intruders. They not only plundered its wealth but also molested its indigenous culture so brutally that nothing original is left. They subjugated the people and enforced the rule of ‘might is right’. The standards of good and bad were altered as per the whims and convenience of the rulers; thus virtues like loyalty was replaced by treachery, straightforwardness by flattery and national interest by personal interests. It is this backdrop that our so called political leaders derive their character traits and political culture from.

Asif Ali Zardari cashed the untimely death of Benazir Bhutto and grabbed the highest office in the country for five long years. He very successfully displayed the suspicious ‘will’ of the late BB under the garb of a pretentious widowing gloom; so no one could question the authenticity of the paper. He not only buried ‘Bhuttoism’ in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh but also taught the public of Pakistan the lesson of their lives. The N-League is said to be an illegitimate child of Islami Jamhuri Itehad (IJI). This is the “miraculous party” which has ruled the country for three terms without any ideology. Its formation was an interesting feet of “organisational skills”; where the electables of each constituency were ordered to win their seats and join to form IJI government under Nawaz Sharif. Though this party, due to its technocratic shade, has the potential to deliver but personal interests of the powerful groups often surpass the national interest. MQM was formed, rather organised on the lines of a military; in which there is no exit door and ‘fear’ is the cornerstone. ANP’s politics, after Pakhtunkhwa, is restricted to hindering the construction of Kalabagh Dam only. JUI-F is focused only on getting whatever is available in the government through any means while keeping a religious shade to defraud no one else but themselves. PTI is a fairytale that starts and ends with the charismatic personality of Imran Khan who direly wants but doesn’t know what and how to ‘change’.

In this arena, Pak army’s role becomes a leading one, by default. The security situation in the region further reinforces this contention. Army, by virtue of its organisational strength, collective wisdom and a rich history of sacrifices becomes the focus of public attention. This attention often haunts politicians who term it a threat to democracy. This fear of unknown makes them commit further mistakes and the game of ‘musical chairs’ continues.

If politicians really want to get rid of this establishment phobia, they will have to dig their roots deeper into the hearts of the people they represent. They will have to deliver. There is no short cut. They can only be stronger when their people are empowered. True leaders do not derive their power from imperialistic building structures, large fleets of expensive vehicles or big entourages of ministers and advisors; rather, they live in their people’s hearts. If at all they want to govern, they will have to build their capacity to shoulder the public’s responsibilities in a befitting manner. They will have to be worthy of their portfolios; because even a horse does not tolerate a weak rider on his saddle, what to talk of an establishment.