What politicians are doing these days in Pakistan is both interesting and disturbing. The country already faces the economic point of no return. And now the judiciary also stands divided; parliament is incomplete, and the government seems meek.
Dissemination of misinformation through the media is also high. It seems all state institutions are almost dysfunctional. But the question is: who is responsible? Undoubtedly, political leaders are largely responsible for this mess Pakistan is in; they are, in fact, on a collision course, and are apparently least bothered about the economy, constitution, courts and future of the country.
The people are in a state of helplessness, wondering what to do as they are directionless even after 75 years. What we currently see is the beginning of the politics of self-destruction. The country is in a state of complete disarray, and may face an existential threat if it cannot get back to its constitutional track. General elections will be the first step in the right direction.
The arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan and its consequential effects have further deteriorated the situation on ground. The way PTI supporters protested was horrible. The corps commander’s house in Lahore – the historical Jinnah House – and the Radio Pakistan building in Peshawar were attacked and set ablaze by the protesters without any fear. Such a mindless approach has been witnessed after a very long time as the protesters thronged the streets and blocked roads with impunity.
In such protests, the unemployed youth with no hopes of any future prospects are more vulnerable to taking part in violent activities. Now, the larger and more important question is how to tackle the whole situation on ground in the present scenario, when everything has gone to the level where all hopes or prospects of returning to normalcy are fading.
The PDM coalition brought its supporters and followers on Constitution Avenue outside the Supreme Court building to lodge unprecedented protests against the apex court. Now, the question is how to perform normal constitutional duties by the apex court in such a volatile and charged situation. The lamentable situation is that the government is not doing anything to tackle this atmosphere of lawlessness. No state can exist and function properly in such conditions, where it is nurturing crowds to use constitutional institutions as a location for protest. It is suicidal politics leading towards the law of the jungle where might is right.
History is riddled with stories of rulers who showed no concern for the governed. There is a saying “Nero was playing flute when Rome was burning”. Political leaders in Pakistan are apparently busy playing dirty politics without realizing the destruction and losses being incurred in the form of poverty, destitution and beggary at all levels. Pakistan is no more a proud nation in the world.
Time is cruel and forgive none. There is a serious need for reimagining Pakistan through afterthoughts, reconciliation and recommendations. The present generation has not seen the tragedy of East Pakistan, but the tragedy is that we could not make anyone responsible for such the fall of Dhaka in 1971. We need to look back on our history to learn and unlearn lessons and get guidance for the future. All leaders and heads of important state institutions should sit together for the better future of this generation and the future ones.
Politics has taken a bad shape, pushing our future into the abyss of darkness. Politicians need to take decisions on the basis of ground realities. The politics of hate needs to end, as does the practice of mudslinging. But the question is who will do this. These targets can only be achieved by the visionary political leadership, which is apparently non-existent right now.
The political landscape is scary and blurred, as no one knows what the country’s fate will be. Unfortunately, the social contract in the form of the constitution has become almost redundant. All three pillars of the state are in fight mode, raising questions of the viability of the state itself. It is yet to be decided who is responsible for this, but the fact remains that we are all responsible.
One of the most popular leaders Imran Khan is the odd one out – he does not believe in reconciliatory politics. He never tries to reconcile with the political ethos of ‘give-and-take’ in politics for the larger interest of the country. It is believed that he knows nothing about statecraft and statesmanship and has the tendencies of a fascist leader.
In what looked like an attempt to prevent the popular leadership from assuming power, the government did not hold elections within 90 days after the dissolution of the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies, violating the constitutional requirement to hold elections. The root cause of all crises is this constitutional violation. Pakistan is not in a position to afford another fateful event. Gone are the times when Pakistan had the tacit backing of the US and the West for such imposition in the name of stability to avert anarchy in the country.
But the real question is all about the behaviour of our mature politicians. What are they doing and why are they bent upon suicidal politics? Why are they busy in concerted efforts to destroy this country? Who will save this nation of 25 million people from total collapse? These are a few questions to ponder by all those who are at the helm of affairs, including but not limited to politicians.
The writer is a former additional secretary and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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