Kaptaan is right all the big “chors” (thieves) are in the assemblies, not in prisons. According to him during his eight days in confinement he only saw people convicted of minor crimes while the major criminals were in the corridors of power. This is an interesting observation and needs to be analyzed. As a nation why cannot we get rid of these so called elected rogues? There is some kind of a ‘lock jam’ in Punjabi; it is called ‘jin jhappa’ – some kind of an entrapment from which it is impossible to break loose. In the sixties we heard about the ‘Anoki Lock’, it was the secret weapon for the wrestler from Japan which ended the wrestling career of Akram Pehlawan the younger brother of Rustam-e-Zaman Bholu Pehlwan. Perhaps it is that instead.

Yes indeed the rogues get elected through a rigged process using colonial institutions and laws. Zia, the third Khaki usurper termed it as ‘positive results’, the manifestation of which was party-less elections of 1985. The current rotten political leadership that we face today is a product of this rudderless house. A fool proof mechanism was developed to deliver ‘chors’ to the assemblies. Politics became a game of the rich, powerful and notorious; the more the wealth, the more their notoriety and status. Mians and Chaudhrys became major players not because of their service to society or activism but because of their ‘muk mukka’ (negotiation skills). In order to move forward the assemblies have to be fumigated to get rid of these rogues.

PML-N, the major beneficiary of this roguery, is calling foul on their accountability. The question is why only them? Mian Nawaz Sharif wants to know ‘mujhay kayun nikala’ (why was I kicked out). He is not presenting his defense instead he is posing himself as a victim. Partially I agree with him, the entire house has to be cleaned not just the Prime Minister (PM). Now that the cleansing has started it should not stop here. His party has rightly called the recently formed “JIT” as ‘Jinn Investigation Team’.

The agencies have enough data on all the rogues elected since 1985. It is time to make this information public. Everyone elected since then should justify increases in their assets. In case they are unable to defend their phenomenal increase in wealth, they should be given two choices, either retirement from politics or prosecution. Those who chose to retire can go home others will have to face the law.

In 1958 Ayub Khan the first ‘Khaki’ dictator enacted an ordinance for political accountability called; ‘Elected Bodies Disqualification Ordinance’ (EBDO). Though corruption was contained at that time only two politicians challenged their ouster. (Hussain Shahhed Suharwary, Zulfiqar Bokhari). Both were exonerated. Suharwardy presented his own defense and prevailed. An ordinance like EBDO was not needed then but it is the need of the hour today. I strongly feel that we are back to 1958 when political manipulation was started, which has continued except for minor breaks in between. The political era was short lived (1971 to 1977) but it has left its mark in the form of the 1973 constitution.

These manipulative mechanisms have to be dismantled for the will of the people to prevail. In the sixties, the words of a famous song ran, ‘main peta nahin hun, pelai gai hae’ (I don’t dring, I have been made to drink). The political chaos that we face today can be summarized as ‘main aya nahin, laya giya hun” (I have not come, have been brought). This phenomenon of delivering third rate political leadership must end. Every vote should be counted as cast, not manipulated by the SHO, Patwari, Headmaster, Retuning Officer etc. That is the only way to put an end to Zia’s agenda launched by the party-less elections of 1985.

The Parliament is the Mecca of democracy whose control was handed over to the Abu Jahal’s of our times - who now refuses to let go. Kaptaan alone cannot prevail over the establishment established rogues, who have been in power for over three decades. All civilian institutions have been razed to the ground by them. Justice Khosa is right; the country is in control of the Mafia. Fortunately the motherland has a constitution that can pull us out of this mess.

Role of each institution has been defined in this sacred document. In the original constitution there was a two term limit for the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers that must be restored as the amendment for unlimited terms is against the spirit of the constitution. Autonomy of the Election Commission for Pakistan (ECP) together with the conduct of elections is clearly laid out in the document.

In 1985, party-less elections was a detour of the constitution to derail democracy which has resulted in the derailment of the country. Pakistan has to be put back on track as envisioned by the founding fathers, not the colonial institutional left over. EBDOI in 1958 pushed us off the track now on EBDOII is needed to get us back. For credible products major process corrections are needed. Like the elimination of ball tempering’ in cricket, ‘ballot tempering’ has to be eliminated in our electoral process for honest political leadership to emerge. Those who should be in jails should not be allowed to sit in the parliament. The Mecca of democracy needs to be cleansed of the Abu Jahal’s of our times.


The writer is Ex-Chairman, Pakistan Science Foundation.