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November 15, 2019

Pieces of life


November 15, 2019

This refers to the article ‘Pieces of life’ (Nov 14) by Kamila Hyat. The writer has poignantly articulated the situation in Pakistan. Many articles written on the morbid economic conditions of the vast majority seldom highlight the root cause of Pakistan’s political, economic and social demise. The writer rightly says that ‘only a genuine land reform and a reallocation of resources can even out things’. But the moot point is how would this happen or who would do it. Pakistan is a feudal society. Even after 70 years of independence, feudalism and tribalism remains deeply entrenched. In former East Pakistan and India, feudalism was abolished soon after independence. But successive governments in (West) Pakistan failed to do so. It is the reason that genuine democracy and genuine political leadership eludes us and political evolution remains a dream.

Feudals are elected and enter parliament owing to their wealth and influence and not on account of public service record. Dynastic lineage also plays a part. It is responsible for a broken judicial system and different standards of justice – one for the tiny ruling and elite class and the other for the common man who has little say in the affairs of the state. It gives rise to the economic divide; the gap between haves and have-nots continue to widen. Whether we like it or not, there exists no solution when parliament is controlled by feudals and elites under a broken political system. The writer, echoing similar opinion, observes "There is little prospect that this will happen. The ideology does not exist, at least within the governments that have ruled recently and there seems to be little hope of any other group claiming the votes that could bring them to power". Thus there is no glimmer of hope. The Pakistani nation will remain a decadent society.

Arif Majeed


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