All crucial areas of life pale into insignificance before politics in our part of the world
The media often becomes an expression of political nuisance and one is inclined to block the unceasing "breaking news" but even that won’t help. Somehow it has trapped all and sundry and making the on-air politics an omnipresent phenomenon. Pericles, a prominent and influential Greek statesman, was perhaps right when he said "Just because you do not take interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you". Besides, the politics has become a mother of other crucial areas of life in our part of the world.
Issues of law, society, economy, environment, security, health and education are determined by the political drama around. It’s not merely a prime time entertainment with "breaking news" and frothing to mouth partisans of either party. Our survival and future is at stake on such political nuisance.
The prime minister has been disqualified on account of those vague clauses of not being truthful and honest. The dictator who introduced the same articles in constitution was neither though. His eleven years of unconstitutional and unlawful rule coupled with policies of "Jihad" through civilians rather than the soldiers and Machiavellian abuse of religion has left deep scars on our polity. The scars are still simmering with pain and may take decades to recuperate.
Panama came with a bang and the quarters not pleased with the policies of an elected prime minister thought it an opportunity to grill him on that account. Imran Khan, the arch rival, too came to fore with a hope to axe his own grind. They were very much justified in doing so since no one is above the law. If a prime minister is accused of any wrongdoing, he has to be treated accordingly with due procedure. However, the "due procedure" was somehow distorted and exploited in thousand ways.
The political agitations led to the Supreme Court trials and then the most popular JIT which eventually resulted in a controversial decision. The 200 million people were taken hostage meanwhile through aggressive media showing the political gimmicks both for and against 24/7. He has yet to be proven guilty on account of corruption as revealed in Panama leaks since the case has been referred to the NAB, but the judges decreed that the prime minister distorted some facts and figures, hence don’t deserve the office anymore, although three of the judges themselves took oath under
Even if a prime minister is convicted and only a year is left of his tenure, why can’t he be made immune while in office? The decree may come into effect upon end of his office. Why to derail the entire political system? The military too if not at the forefront did its part on various accounts. I have yet to figure out what security lapse has been made through "Dawn leaks". The political government asking the military to review the security policies, since the same has been isolating the country across the world is quite a justified argument. Besides, the prime minister happens to be chief executive of the country and is responsible for all the affairs including security.
Well, if the elected government cannot question the security and foreign policy, then there is no need to waste precious resources and energies in elections and parliaments. Rather than reviewing the policies, a crisis was created having no rationale whatsoever. The arms of the government were cut short and media taken on board to spew venom under the rubric of "Dawn leaks" instead of replying to the questions. The entire nation was taken by the flood of misdirected patriotism and the opium of media worked as always.
The PTI won in a way and the judgment vindicated its stance of the prime minister being corrupt. But they better think if derailing the system would benefit them in any way. Amidst celebrations for their victory, they also ought to consider if anyone of their leader fulfills the conditions prescribed in Article 62 & 63. There, for sure, would be honest and truthful leaders among their ranks, but how could they withstand the blind sword if someday they too face judiciary supported by media and gun. In such a scenario, the vague law favour the powerful, not the weak. I fear the celebrations might pale with prospect of such trials and accountability.
If electronic media is so malleable to all threats from the powerful quarters, the state must consider containing its destructive tendencies. The irrational and vulgar transmission round the clock must not become a source of cheap entertainment since it comes at a cost. Why did the court refrained to contain them is another question. If a sensitive matter is under trial and the trial is affected by round the clock reporting or misreporting of the same, can the court bar them or at least ask PEMRA to come up with some ethical parameters to this effect. Comparing the talk shows, and reporting standards of international channels with our firebrand media, one is ashamed of our deteriorating standards.
As if the public were not entertained enough with the prime minister’s disqualification, the media was yet again flooded with Ayesha Gulalai’s accusations of varying sorts. Interestingly, no one took notice of the new prime minister taking oath, since all media was busy with the Ayesha Gulalai’s immoral accusations. Meanwhile, the respective political parties too contributed their share of mudslinging keeping in view their respective positions.
In all this hotchpotch, the people were again taken hostage as if it were the core problem of our polity. Had CPEC or our foreign policy been analysed with these red lines of breaking news, the things would have improved. But perhaps we as a nation led by our media don’t like such serious stuff, and rather love indulging in cheap gossip. Serious stuff is boring and at times risky; hence better take refuge in Imran Khan Blackberry messages. It’s surprising how a person in interior Sindh or FATA would discuss Panama and political gimmicks for hours which have least impact on their lives, but won’t look around their caged existence.
We need to take up major issues of national and regional importance. The courts must take up other crucial issues to prove its credentials now. Gen. Pervez Musharraf is not being "Sadiq" by affecting illness and becoming an absconder. So are the big cases of corruption, audit and impact assessment of military operations, the missing persons, our increasing debt, sick public sector institutions, merger of FATA, service delivery and the thousands of poor prisoners waiting for years for their trials to end and balancing the institutions as per the constitution?
PS: We must not forget that scholar son of a poor poet named Mashal whose light succumbed to our collective darkness. Justice please!