Full-throttle to damnation

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Candid Corner

A state cannot survive as an unjust arbiter

 “Thus to persist in doing wrong extenuates not wrong, but makes it much more heavy.”

–William Shakespeare

 

After having exhausted virtually all legal channels, the PML (N) brigade is busy making a case for granting legitimacy to extending preferential treatment to the “three-time former Prime Minister” to travel abroad for treatment. The fact that Mian Nawaz Sharif has been the chief executive of this country in the past is being construed as a mitigating factor for countless crimes that he committed, on his own and in complicity with his colleagues, in stripping the country naked of its assets and riches. How weird!

Being the prime minister is an honour that comes with countless responsibilities, the principal one being to defend the interests of the state under all circumstances and at all costs. But, a motley crowd of a dime-a-dozen intellectual perverts and political arsonists believe otherwise– that, as prime minister, not only did Nawaz not carry any responsibility for the harm that his actions brought to the country, he also earned a status that places him countless notches above the ordinary citizens. So, even after being pronounced a convict, he deserves to be treated beyond the call of law, morality or the statute book. Looking at it from another perspective, Nawaz should be declared law unto himself.

This “three-time Prime Minister” mantra has gone a bit too far. The question that I raise is quite simple. Compared to the poor nobodies like the Allah Dittas, Ram Dins and Mohammad Bootas of this country who are incarcerated in hundreds of thousands for insignificant crimes, as opposed to the unending loot and plunder of the state exchequer that Nawaz has been convicted of, is being the former Prime Minister cause for shouldering more responsibility or less? If it be more which, incidentally, is the case, is it appropriate for the dime-a-dozen intellectual perverts to indulge in a concerted, agenda-driven drum-beating to secure preferential treatment for him? In the process, what kind of political culture are they promoting and what kind of moral narrative are they nurturing?

Ostensibly, this is a culture and morality which is based on the perceived superiority of some over others. As Greg Boyle once said, “The wrong idea has taken root in the world. And the idea is this: there just might be lives out there that matter less than other lives”.

One is also reminded of Orwell’s commandment, orchestrated through the proclamation of a herd of pigs, that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.

The problem with these more equal animals is not confined alone to getting Nawaz out of the country alone. This is a small part of the wider, frenetic indulgence the PML(N) bootlegger-brigade is consumed with. The real problem lies elsewhere. The ongoing fight is not against the perceived victimisation by a political adversary. It is a fight against the prospect of being obliterated from the political scene altogether in lieu of abominable governance standards that wreaked untold havoc on the country. This is all coming out in the open, and there are going to be consequences, Nawaz’s conviction being the first indication of what lies ahead.

That’s why its ripples are disturbing the calm of other political leaders also– those who operated countless fake accounts, and who even shamelessly took credit for doing so. That is why the agitation is extending beyond the confines of the PML(N). The ones who were to be dragged in the streets and their abdomens slit to take out the illicit earnings or, conversely, the one who was referred to as the “son of Ziaul Haq” by this new kid on the political bloc vide the right of lineage, have again become bosom pals through the charter of democracy, which was a mechanism for communion of criminals for defrauding the state.

What is far more humiliating is to see the ones who sit in the assemblies on the tickets issued by their respective political parties lined up like sold-out commodities, without any bar of morality or intelligence, defending the financial and criminal indulgences of their leaders, even painting them as modern-day saints– and they wear no shame on their sleeves in doing so! The moment they see the dragnet of accountability headed their way, out comes the genie of provincial rights and the perceived threat looming over democracy and the 18th Amendment. In the process, they forget that the leaders they are defending are guilty of having usurped the rights of the poor which were devolved to them through the same Amendment. Instead, all funds allocated to the provinces to be spent on the welfare of the downtrodden were redirected towards fattening some personal coffers.

This is a new low, regressing to a level never witnessed before. Maybe it is commensurate with the ferocity of the dark clouds hanging over this kind of politics. But, more than that, as I said earlier, it is the threat which bedevils their political fate that compels them to forsake all shades of subservience to even the barest minimum scale of logic and reason. People one should be ashamed of being anywhere close to are the ones who are the acclaimed heroes of this band of sycophants. Confronted with a threat to their political survival, they are not willing to stop at any low. The degradation is remorseless.

But, will it save them as also their political future?

Nawaz is a convict and must be treated like other convicts, no more, no less. If it does not happen that way and an exception is created to let him out, it would be like plunging into a pit of degradation which has no bottom.

While anything is possible in this country, the chances appear to be remote. I say this because there are some fundamentals which have altered irremediably. They cannot be the same again as, in that case, it will spell the doom of the one who is the architect of bringing about the change which is now sweeping the country– in having introduced a level of accountability to which all will be subjected irrespective of the position they may have commanded during their days in power.

In fact, the more powerful should be held accountable before anyone else because they enjoyed the benefits of an office which comes with responsibilities. If they misused their position, or the powers vested in their office, there is nothing contained in the statute book that could save them from being held accountable and punished appropriately for their transgressions. There is also no law that would legitimise a preferential treatment for them as compared to other citizens.

If this were to reverse in any way, it is the state that will have to suffer the burden. It is already weakened because of the demonic treatment it has been subjected to by everyone who came to administer it. It has grown feeble and vulnerable and does not have the wherewithal to bear any further denuding. The fear is that it may even crumble– a paradigm which some of these people who are waging a desperate battle to save their skins from accountability may be more comfortable with.

Nawaz is a convict and must be treated like other convicts, no more, no less. If it does not happen that way and an exception is created to let him out, it would be like plunging into a pit of degradation which has no bottom. An edict should thence be promulgated to legitimise inequity, inequality and corruption, thus stripping the state of the writ to punish any of its citizens for any wrongdoing they may indulge in.

The state would then be reduced to being a rudderless ship adrift the vastness of stormy seas, desperately seeking the shore which would remain elusive. Adieu!