Never mind if the seats were regained or the opponents took the by-elections for granted or the supportive hidden hands of politics couldn’t succeed in re-employing the time-tested tools of rigging. Never mind if a fictional narrative unexpectedly proved a real-time winner or the people of Pakistan finally witnessed an apparently free and fair by-election for the very first time in history. Doesn’t matter if he won it or they lost it. Hardly matters if the local administration played on both sides of the fence or if the crowds attending political rallies actually went to the polls. The fact remains. By all standards, it was a stunning victory. So much so that even those who never thought the country could ever see an election result directly proportionate to popular will, were taken aback. Meanwhile, the devil remained in the details.

But then the game on the political chessboard took a familiar turn. Against all odds and numbers, the ruling coalition in Punjab surprised even itself by grabbing the coveted post of Chief Minister albeit for a short period of time. The opposing coalition lost the election even after bagging 186 votes against 179. Again, the already perplexed nation was found wondering about the straws of ‘truth’ in the haystack of facts. Once again, a ‘letter’ did the trick forcing the Supreme Court to open office at midnight to entertain the losing coalition’s challenge against yet another ‘violation’ of the Constitution. Again, the tables were turned by the Apex Court, leaving behind a million-dollar question: how long would the country’s Courts perform duties of the shockingly dormant legislature or totally oblivious executives?

Rest assured that in the event of losing any powers or an election, the losing party would be seen approaching either the High Court or the Supreme Court. From here, begins the list of the latest trends in Pakistani politics. Here are a few points for those who still believe that democracy prevails in Pakistan:

-Come to power in haste and at all costs. All other considerations could wait on the backburner.

-Coming to power is not a matter of discussion. It is our inherent right.

-Besides giving rulings, the Courts also provide a time-table on implementation of the Order in letter and spirit.

-Rulings of the Courts must be in our favour. Otherwise, we will find ‘other ways’ to win.

-Re-counting of votes becomes necessary if we lose in any constituency. No questions asked if we win a seat where our Party did not even exist.

-We could be excused to appear before any Governmental institution if we could bring a few hundred semi-armed workers along.

-We can bring the country’s economy back on track but we don’t have a doable plan for it.

-We will make Pakistan as affluent a country as Switzerland. But our opponents are hell-bent on making it Sri Lanka.

-Sworn political enemies, as coalition partners, must be defended against their ‘wrongdoings’.

-A political Party could be at risk of imploding when cousins apparently part ways.

-Letters could turn the majority into a minority and effect regime-changes.

-The narrative building process is like making a commercially viable feature film. It must contain all elements of religion, entertainment, suspense, fights, blackmailing, twists and emotions.

-Derailing the parliamentary system is justifiable until our demands are met completely.

-Usual proceedings of Parliament could wait until our Party leader becomes the PM.

-No need to be truthful even to one’s own self. Instead, make lofty promises, and start blame-gaming when asked questions. Meanwhile, keep luring the masses into new promises.

-The word ‘corruption’ now brings a wry smile to everyone’s face. Soon, expect a constitutional amendment to make room for legally keeping them smiling for longer periods of time.

-Politics and morality were always two diametrically opposite concepts in Pakistan. But the distinction was never made so audaciously. Be advised. Politics is for us. Morals are for the masses.

-In the event of receiving an unfavourable decision, ‘they’ would be tactfully requested to help salvage the situation. Ironically, whoever wins, never expresses gratitude to ‘them’.

-First request ‘them’ to help. If they don’t, issue well-crafted derogatory statements. If no positive response is received, issue veiled threats trying to scare them with the wrath of the masses. If that doesn’t work either, hold public rallies to openly castigate ‘them’. If by any chance, even that tactical move also fails, come back to where you started from. Request ‘them’ to help.

-Foreign policy is nothing but issuing rebuttals and corrigenda by an Organization whose policy-making process and administration have been left at the mercy of Almighty Allah.

If all this is factually true, it is not difficult to visualise the direction in which Pakistan is headed! Add into it the frightful inflation, rising poverty, alarming unemployment, dreadful external and domestic indebtedness, scary fiscal deficit, nosediving exports and FDIs and you have a recipe for a complete disaster. The worse part of this enigmatic rigmarole? Instead of focusing on saving the country from an imminent default, the paramount objective seems to be to address only one question: should we hold an early general election or not? As for the country going into ‘default’ (God forbid) a strange indifference is creeping in all spheres of life. So, what? What does it have to do with us? The worst part of this catastrophic scenario is the logical fallacy that the world would not let a nuclear power ‘default’. Time to act now and take immediate remedial measures. Otherwise, soon we might be examining the standard of living in North Korea.