Only a miracle can save the chief justice. The entire Pakistani society is structured to benefit the elite, both civil and military.
Every institution on the face of this country that the elite have erected is programmed to extract resources from the masses for the benefit of the elite.
Pakistan is poor not because 60 percent of Pakistan is infertile. Pakistan is poor not because our work ethics or our cultural attributes are a hurdle to peace and prosperity.
Pakistan is poor not because our leaders are unaware of the right policy mix that would lead to widespread prosperity.
Pakistan is poor because our leaders are “greedy, selfish and ignorant of history”. This is what I learned from Daron Acemoglu, a Turkish-American MIT economist who is among the ten most-cited economists, and James Robinson, Harvard’s ace political scientist, through their joint venture “Why nations fail: the origins of power, prosperity and poverty”.
Egypt, the book states, is “poor precisely because it has been ruled by narrow elite that have organised society for their own benefit at the expense of the vast mass of people. Political power has been narrowly concentrated, and has been used to create great wealth for those who possess it, such as the $70 billion fortune apparently accumulated by ex-president Mubarak. The losers have been the Egyptian people, as they only too well understand.”
Who will save the CJ from powerful, powerful interests who “exert power in an abusive fashion?” According to ‘Why nations fail’, “The historical evidence is overwhelming. Many societies have done well for a while – until powerful people get out of hand. This is an easy pattern to see at a distance and in other cultures. It is typically much harder to recognise when your own society has an elite less subject to effective constraints and more able to exert power in an abusive fashion.”
Our leaders know full well how to turn Pakistan into a welfare state but “some governments get it wrong on purpose. Amid weak and accommodating institutions, there is little to discourage a leader from looting. Such environments channel society’s output towards a parasitic elite, discouraging investment and innovation.”
The CJ cannot be allowed to ‘discourage leaders from looting’. The CJ cannot be allowed to stand between the predatory elite and their prey. It is in the interest of the elite that Pakistan continues with ‘weak, accommodating institutions’.
Only a miracle can save the CJ but ‘in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles’.
The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad. Email: farrukh email@example.com