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Web Desk
January 19, 2020

Geo’s Jirga programme highlights genuine problems faced by the common man


Web Desk
Sun, Jan 19, 2020

Pakistani politics nowadays focuses mainly on corruption accusations and issues that hardly concern the common man. The latest episode of 'Jirga' attempts to highlight the genuine problems faced by the country, its impact on the people and the solutions that need to be implemented to ensure Pakistan moves forward towards development and progress. 

In order to solve this conundrum, Geo News anchor Saleem Safi invited a panel comprising seasoned politicians — PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, the PML-N’s Musadiq Malik, the PTI’s Nadeem Afzal Chan, and analyst Shahzad Chaudhry — to his show Jirga.

When asked to identify a genuine issue faced by the country, Malik said the Pakistani society was not clear on the principles it was supposed to stand by.

“If you speak out against freedoms in American society, people will rise up against you. If you speak out against social justice in the Nordic region, people there will be against you,” he said. “As a society and a nation, we are not clear about the principles we should uphold.

"There is no discussion in Pakistan on genuine issues because there is nothing here that works apart from people accusing each other.”

Khokhar said Pakistan had been dragged into certain events “that were out of its control”, due to which serious problems plagued the country.

The PPP senator said it was important for the country to realise that it need not act as a “facilitator” in anyone else’s war or conflict. He said it was ultimately up to politicians and intellectuals to refine the nation's thinking process so that more light could be shed on the problems of the common person.

Air Vice Marshall (retd) Chaudhry said the only reason why a common person's problems were not being discussed on a national level was that the politicians did not act for the masses.

“If you don’t do your job, someone other institution tends to try to contribute for the country’s good,” he said. “Then the other institution thinks interference is taking place and all.”

Chan, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s spokesperson, said the main reason why the problems were being ignored was that political parties had become “dysfunctional”.

“There is a process through which the common man elects councillors, MPAs and MNAs so that his voice can travel to the prime minister,” he said. “That process is not being followed and our political parties are not functional as they should be.”

Countering Chaudhry’s statement, Malik said the politicians were unable to perform in Pakistan because they thought that they had not reached the corridors of power by popular vote.

“If a politician knows he was not elected by the masses, why would he even bother addressing their issues?” he asked.

He said one of the main problems the country faced was that the elite had cut off its links with the masses. He said not many people realised that the Pakistani society currently was in a state of anarchy.

He added that it was important for the three main institutions — the prime minister, the cabinet, and the parliament — to perform their duties diligently. Chaudhry said that at times, questions were raised on governments performances owing to their inability to extract performances from bureaucracy.

"If you you can't work with the bureaucracy, then the army is out of the question. Politicians must look inwards to find out why is the bureaucracy not obeying them?" he wondered.

Malik said there was the need for a platform where politicians, judges, and the armed forces personnel could gather together to form a consensus on national issues.

Chan concluded the discussion by saying that the armed forces and civil government had presented a united front on various issues such as the Salala check-post attack, the Osama bin Laden assassination, and other crisis.

"Hence, we know that there is a space that we can utilise," he said. "However, we need to figure out how to utilise that space."

Throughout the show, the panellists praised the theme of the show — to highlight the genuine issues and problems being faced by Pakistanis — instead of focusing on political personalities.

The show's guests agreed that much was still needed to be done and more discussions on real problems faced by the masses were required to improve the situation.

The episode was a breath of fresh air as it shed light on problems faced by the entire nation at large and provided a platform to elected representatives of the people and a seasoned analyst to determine its solution.