Call for urgent change

Dr Haider Mehdi J M Coetzee, winner of the Noble Prize for Literature, wrote: Our lies reveal as much about us as our truths. This is a pretty accurate observation about understanding human psychology. As a nation, we are compelled to accept the stark fact staring us in our faces that the contemporary political leadership lack integrity, vision, reason, and above all, personal and political credibility. Credibility in itself, as a political phenomenon, is a fundamental requirement in a democratic structure; it is not an abstract notion for the management of politics. In essence, the tale of the present ruling junta in Pakistan is disappointing and tragic. The incumbent leadership and Parliament are hell-bent on exploiting the entire nation and will most certainly exploit it further. Post Islamic (socio-moral bankruptcy), post historical (no appreciation of historical forces and processes), post literate (many with fake educational credentials and degrees), they might as well have been hatched from eggs yesterday. They do not act on principles but on their deep-rooted selfish impulses - a crime of passion and intent against this nation. Note that with the publication of a government report on its two-year performance entitled Promise Policy Performance, we are being asked not to condemn these reckless leaders and impetuous legislators with whom there seems to be something greatly wrong. On the contrary, the nation is being asked to understand, appreciate and support this leadership in their unwise and counter-productive political management of this country. But naturally, there is a limit to understanding - a breaking point of sympathy and only so much can be tolerated of this continuing political charade. Eventually, this and institutionalised political mafia will have to be nationally condemned to oblivion. They themselves are creating conditions for ultimate anarchy in the country. It was Bushs former assistant secretary of state who purportedly said that the US will bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age. They did not and could not do it even if they wanted to. However, the present political leadership in Pakistan has accomplished what was only an American verbal threat: We have in actuality been driven back to the Stone Age. Havent we? Notwithstanding the tall claims made by the government in its report Promise Policy Performance, the ground realities are that this country has never had such dismal and utterly chaotic political-economic conditions as they have now - obviously, because of the political mismanagement of the present leadership. There is a total lack of efficacious political-economic planning. There is an unprecedented level of corruption at the top hierarchy of the government. There is no security of human life and prosperity. Prices of daily consumables are skyrocketing. There is insufficient supply of petrol, gas and power. Unemployment is rampant. Education is expensive. Medical aid is beyond the reach of the common people. And now the trade and commerce of shops, markets, and even cinemas is stopped at 8 pm. Streetlights are partially turned off, turning urban life into a graveyard-like existence, most likely resulting in a massive increase in night time street crime, robberies and God knows what else. So much for this governments self-congratulated brilliant performance. The question is: Where will we go from here? This leaderships problematics are not only of governance and political management. It also suffers from democratic ailments. It has a socio-political-philosophical disorientation. It is guilty of constitutional lapses aimed at selective distortion and dissonance. This entire leadership has distinguished itself as a total mess Take for example, the following: A noted and distinguished stalwart of the PML-N is reported to have said passionately jo koi Parliament se takarai ga, ussay pash pash kar daingay (anyone or any state institution that clashes with Parliament will be smashed beyond recognition). The PML-N jiyala was commenting in favour of Parliament as the ultimate sovereign body above all other state institutions. Dismal and inaccurate as this point of view is, consider what the PM had to say on the floor of the National Assembly on the subject: The Assembly and the Senate together are the supreme authority in the land. The supremacy of Parliament cannot be questioned and is ultimate above all other state institutions. It is not a difficult or complicated riddle: Parliament can legislate whatever it wishes, but it is the Supreme Court that has the final and ultimate authority to what is legally and constitutionally termed as Judicial Review. It simply means that all parliamentary legislation must be in accordance with the constitutional provisions. And the only state institution that decides on these matters of constitutionality and legality is the Supreme Court. That is how civilised democracies work. In Britain, both the Labour and Torries are facing the voters demand for absolute accountability of their elected representatives. Ironically, in todays Pakistan, Parliament has passed legislation through the 18th Amendment to let anyone guilty or alleged to have misappropriated national resources and wealth walk free in due course of time. As for accountability, none exists. In fact, many in the ruling incumbent regime have been rewarded, in spite of allegations of corruption, misappropriation of national wealth and even straightforward criminal indictments. Pakistans future existence is tied up with the end of politics as we know it today The faster this elected dictatorship goes into total oblivion, the better The writer is an academic, political analyst and conflict resolution expert. Email:

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