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Tuesday July 16, 2024

Reforms needed

By Editorial Board
May 29, 2023

Through the years we have seen many a premature dismissal of governments in Pakistan – in fact, this may be the only constant we’ve had in an otherwise barely-keeping-it-together state. The 2008-2013 era proved to be the exception, a Charter of Democracy ensuring a smoother transition for democracy. Through the years we have also seen political figures being subjected to a kind of revenge by those who had preceded them or by those who saw in them some kind of risk to their own quest for power. The PTI’s rise to power in 2018 brought back a politics that Pakistan had thought was done and dusted. But nothing really lasts forever – and so today it is the PTI that finds itself off the exalted position of blue-eyed favourite and going through travails quite a few in politics would be familiar with. The PML-N, PPP, MQM and other parties have all gone through similar – some would justifiably say worse – periods.

There may be no end to the back and forth if we as a nation decide to go down the rabbit hole of just what side – political or otherwise – has been worse in its behaviour. The fact is that we are standing at a precipice and looking down a very steep fall that could well end in sheer anarchy in the country. To fix this, we badly need major reforms: economic, social, criminal, judicial. Given today’s situation and the way reality and propaganda are coming together, perhaps one of the lower hanging fruits that is also direly needed here would be police and jail reforms. There really has to be a concerted effort by all political stakeholders to curb the temptation to allow any kind of vindictiveness to seep into the due process of the law. Until major reforms are introduced in the country and brought into all jails and police stations across the country, we will keep on this carousel of blame. Nothing is unfixable in the country; the only problem is no one really wants to fix the system they all cry about. A good start would be seriously undertaking a prison reform agenda – and get all political parties to agree to uphold it, no matter what politics may have devolved into.