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January 27, 2015

Who can put our house in order and how?


January 27, 2015

DUBAI: President Obama’s visit to India and General Raheel’s sweetly-timed diplomacy in China are part of the new emerging geo-strategic, security and business contours in the region. But why Pakistan is looking like a handicapped runner in this high-speed game is not difficult to figure out.
An overview of the political, economic, security and governance situation in the country will only confirm that our house is not in order, roadblocks exist everywhere and air pockets littered all over the flight path are rocking our flight, almost on a daily basis.
Some visible distortions can be summarized as,
— A strong, popular, clearheaded, competent, honest and efficient central government is needed. The present setup will only get two out of 10 on this count. Result: A massive conflict of power and interests with other players filling the vacuum thus created.
— A strong well-equipped army is needed which can focus on the giant security challenges, on the borders and inside, supported by all. But while in the middle of the battlefield, the army has been sucked in to perform other non-military tasks, like the COAS visits to Washington, London and Beijing, by default or by design.
— The political system has all but collapsed with a lame-duck, good for nothing parliament, major parties fighting useless street battles. This has again led to army-driven, almost forced, political conferences to decide national issues that need immediate consensus and action.
— The executive is toothless, made a housemaid of greedy and shameless politicians who feel they have no responsibility towards the people after getting elected.
— The state institutions that should run with full autonomy have been crippled. The baboos have no spine left, the police are a mafia run by political bosses and accountability structures have been demolished, lying in ruins presided over by cronies.
— There is no team of diplomats, politicians, generals and strategists to

handle regional security issues where Pakistan has a major, dominant role to play?
So with such a state of the union, what Pakistan needs, besides God’s mercy, is a united, strong and focused leadership that can handle these massive challenges. We do not have one.
So when politicians cannot deliver, the army cannot take over as it is too deeply stretched in its real duty, who will pilot this ship to safety?
The only answer is for the key players, top 10 politicians, top 5 judges, top few generals, a couple of honest bureaucrats, may be a maulana or two to lock themselves in a room, for days if needed, and hammer out a solution, within or outside the Constitution.
If they cannot do so, they will fail in their duty as no one person or party or institution can now get the country out of this deep hole.
As countries similar to us disintegrate and go into civil wars all around us, we may just be about to follow them.

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