What are the three things wrong with us? One: men and women are getting rich through corruption not by hard work. Two: money is flowing towards those who deal in favours not in goods. Three: our National Assembly (NA) is making laws to protect predators not the preyed (original work in this field was done by Ayn Rand, the Russian-American philosopher and playwright).
Why nations fail? Answer: leaders of failing nations have three characteristics – greed, selfishness and ignorance of history (original work in this filed was done by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson in ‘Why nations fail’).
Scenario 1: The PML-N wins the next election. How were men and women getting rich between November 1990 and July 1993? What kinds of laws were being formulated between February 1997 and October 1999? Remember; one Ameer-ul-Momineen for 130 million Pakistanis, no separation of powers, one man over everything else including the judiciary, the legislature and the media.
Scenario 2: The PPP wins the next election. Public money, private greed. Doubling of debt, printing of Rs3 billion a day, power emergency, education emergency, financial emergency, nutrition emergency and economic emergency. Plus, 120 million Pakistanis in multi-dimensional poverty. But then may be the next PPP government will be benevolent, caring and competent. Any takers?
Scenario 3: The PTI wins the next election. Other then Imran Khan the entire hierarchy belongs to status quo tried-and-tested politicians who have been part and parcel of ‘organising-the-entire-societal-infrastructure-in-order-to-extract-from-the-masses’ scheme of things.
Over the past 35 years, we have had eight elections. Of the 342 seats in the NA 272 are general seats. Of the 272 generals seats nearly 200 have rural constituencies. Of the 200 seats some 100 are in rural Punjab. And rural politics is all about three things: ‘dharra-bandi, langaar bazi and thana-katcherry’ (DLT). We have already gone through eight vicious cycles of DLTs.
Election statistics from 1977, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2002 and 2008 stand witness that winning candidates in rural Faisalabad have always, always belonged to one of the six land-owning classes – Jatt, Rajput, Arian, Gujar, Baloch or Kharal (original work in this field was done by Dr Mughees Ahmed).
Elections can be held today, later this year or early next year, results will be the same – perpetual misery for Pakistani voters and more laws to protect the predators. The election cycle would have to be broken in order to make sure that Pakistani men and women get rich through hard work – not through corruption-and legislation protects the preyed from the predators.
Pakistan’s current course takes us all deep into failure, a complete collapse or an implosion. The course must be corrected. Pakistani elections merely ‘defend the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status’.
The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org