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August 6, 2020

Integrity needed

Newspost

 
August 6, 2020

This refers to the letter ‘Farcical system’ by Erum A Baig (July 28) in reply to mine of July 26. I mentioned foreign nationality of all ‘benign dictators’ because having spent more than half of my working life in Europe and Africa, and having dealt with people of various nationalities, I discovered that, generally speaking, we Pakistanis are not about the best specimens on earth, irrespective of how highly we rate ourselves. And it was in this context that I had said “I can say that the real problem is that Pakistanis demonstrate least responsibility while electing our leaders. And while some vested interest groups stand up, agitate and even die for dubious causes, we fail to protest as a nation. The writer condemns our system of government as a foreign one, unsuitable in the conditions prevailing in Pakistan. But we have also seen dictatorships. The first broke Pakistan and the second of Ziaul Haq introduced religious extremism, while that of Gen Musharraf imposed on us all the corrupt leaders of Pakistan, duly cleansed through an NRO.

As for the indigenous system in Indo-Pak, it has been the slavery of foreign Muslim rulers for eight centuries and that of the British for two centuries. At other times, we had Rajas and Maharajas and we still have the same system in the garb of democracy. All considered, I believe the parliamentary form of government is about the only feasible system for Pakistan. I remember former prime minister Shaukat Aziz had said “If people do not exercise their right of vote carefully, they will get the government they deserve”. So, unless people demonstrate some integrity and are prepared to stand up for their rights, and even die if necessary, they would continue to suffer.

S R H Hashmi

Karachi