Over the Independence Day holiday, I received the following poignant email from Rotarian Ayesha Islam: ‘66 Years ago a nation was searching for a piece of land. Now a piece of land is searching for a lost nation. It did not happen because of the bad and corrupt ones, it happened due to the silence and shedding away the responsibility by the good ones. May Allah bestow upon us the true wisdom and guidance to correct ourselves first and then give us strength and courage to correct others. Amen.’
While Edmund Burke, an Irish Statesman, had written in 1729, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’
As such, we in Pakistan are a strange lot. We celebrated our 66th Independence Day, which some claim is Pakistan’s’ Birthday, as the nation did not exist before the 14th of August, 1947, with the usual ‘zeal and vigor’ and patriotic songs and parades.
However, at the end of the day, we cannot help, but ask ourselves, what went wrong and what ails Quaid’s Pakistan? Who is responsible for this sorry mess, the corrupt leaders or the Silent Majority, with their Silence of the Lambs?
The dark clouds of doom and gloom have been over us, waiting to unleash their deadly load, for six decades and yet we remain in a state of denial and refuse to read the writing on the wall.
We have been betrayed and deceived by our ‘Self Above All’ leaders, both civilian and military, for the last 63 years and except for the first few years, the governments that have followed, did not have the wisdom nor the acumen to govern this troubled and unstable country.
The Rule of Law has been replaced by the law of the jungle, where Might Is Right, crime is rampant, terrorists strike at will, fueling political, ethnic and sectarian tensions and violence, while arson, suicide bombings and drone attacks have become our way of life.
A turf war between various Dons has been going on in certain parts of our city and yet the government and its LEAs are unable to take appropriate action, making life a daily struggle.
The victims of these terrible tragedies watch in horrified silence, while the police stand by and fail to perform their duty and in many crimes, the IEAs are the perpetrators themselves.
The recent Face-Off between a lone armed individual and the entire LEAs of Islamabad, a stone throw away from Supreme Court, Parliament House and other VVIP buildings, for over six hours, while the entire nation watched in amazement, exposes the incompetence of these agencies.
Today, the world looks upon Quaid’s Nation as one of the most corrupt and dangerous countries in the world, about to implode. Yet our leaders fiddle, while our cities burn. This lack of good governance and enforcement of the rule of law has led to a sense of deprivation and despondency in the citizens.
The newly elected ‘with a heavy mandate’ government had promised their loyal supporters that all their problems would be solved within three months, including an end to load shedding, but now they say, three years, with a possibility of an extension.
The PM has also promised that the government would provide them with jobs and petrol and electricity at affordable prices and fulfill the unfulfilled Bhutto promise of providing 'Roti, Kapra aur Makan' to the masses. Instead, there has been a massive increase in the price of electricity and petrol.
So the question is, will the PM be able to Walk the Talk and deliver where others have failed? Will he be able to remove the octopus of corruption from our system of governance, establish accountability and reduce the wasteful government expenditure?
Does NS and his Government have the ability to pull Pakistan out of the quicksand that has been pulling this Nation into its dark depth for over six decades?
After the brutal and tragic killing of the late Punjab Governor, a chilling email, ‘Cheer the Assassin’ by Mr. Khurram Husain, was circulating on the internet: ‘Cheer on my friends! Cheer on the assassin! Smile and clap your hands, chant odes to the ghazi’s bravery! Applaud the darkness that is coming your way, because once it has taken you into its embrace, there’ll be no cheer left in your life.
‘Hail the assassin as your hero! Lift him up on your shoulders and show his brave deed to your 'children! Kiss the ground he walked on, because soon, the only heroes left in your life will be those with blood on their hands and death in their heart.’ (http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Ffreepdfhosting.com%2F8537959631.pdf&h=2e6b2).
The question on every liberal citizen of Pakistan at that time was, where do we go from here? The writing has been on the wall for the last six decades, but now we have reached a ‘Do or Die’ situation. Therefore, it is time for civil society to break its Silence of the Lambs and demand a stop to this deadly trend.
Returning to real time, what happens to our Mr. 10%, after his term as President is over, is also a paradox, as the safety nets that has been protecting our high flying trapeze artist, would be removed and the twelve boxes, which were spirited away from the Pak Embassy in Switzerland and have been lurking behind the curtains, could be his undoing.
The past five years as President of this troubled Nation have taken their toll, as gone is the million-dollar grin, the swagger and the confidence of a man who has the world on a string.
At the same time, the fate of Musharraf lies in limbo, for the fear of opening a Pandora’s Box and releasing a Genie that would point fingers at many ‘Untouchables’ of the country, who would be accused of abetting and helping the General in his actions.
Even the great Khan has been hauled up by the over sensitive Supreme Court for his ‘Sharamnaak’ remarks, which my friend, Tallat Azim, who describes herself as Agent Provocateur, has very aptly asked in her article, ‘Can Sharamnaak be Khatarnaak’?
Whether The Great Khan is also sent back to the Pavilion, like our past two discredited PMs or will he be allowed to finish his innings, will be decided in the end of August, but the bookies are not taking any bets. So until then, stay safe and keep smiling.
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