The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is caught between the ‘Rora’ (large stone) and ‘Rori’ (smaller stone). While the bureaucracy of the republic is known for the impediments or ‘Roras’ for stopping workflow, some of the establishment created parties have decided to respond with ‘Roris’ in defence of their loot. So in other words, it is ‘Rora’ versus ‘Rori’ while the public helplessly watches the unfolding drama between those who do not move and the ones who move only in self interest.

Will we ever come out of this ‘Rora’ ‘Rori’ mode or will the ‘Stone Age’ continue? Personally I believe that unless we remove the ‘Roras’, the ‘Roris’ will continue. It is a perfect cause and effect scenario. The causes have to be identified and then removed. In a world driven by technology only change is permanent, those who come in its way do a great disservice. Timely decisions based on well thought out strategy is the only way forward. As it is aptly said, ‘Time and tide waits for none’. After over seven decades of independence, we have not been able to remove the colonial impediments created to contain the subjects. In fact, it has gone from bad to worse. In the initial years there were attempts to serve the masses but over a period of time, chaos has taken over. No one seems in charge.

In the land of the pure it is very easy to place a ‘Rora’ but almost impossible to remove it. Those who create impediments go scot free as there is no mechanism of administrative accountability. In the interim 1972 constitution, clause 216 was legislated for this purpose which was toned down and included in the 1973 permanent version as clause 212. The usurper, under the pressure of the ‘cavemen’ or ‘Roramen’ decided to withdraw the clause in 1973, thereby extending the ‘Stone Age’. The field is now open to either ‘rupees’ or the power of ‘Rori’; otherwise nothing moves in the republic. As a first step to remove the impediments, at least the relevant clause can be restored followed by administrative courts on the lines of the ‘Mazalim courts’ of the much-quoted Riasat-e-Madina. Without effective accountability no system can deliver. While the problems keep mounting, there are no efforts towards improvement.

Nations advance either through evolution or revolution but never through stagnation caused by placing hurdles. It seems the entire freedom movement that resulted in the partition of India has been annulled as we are still being ruled under the Government of India Act of 1930. The unanimously approved 1973 constitution, painfully written by the elected representatives of the people, is neither followed nor respected. The opposition parties only talk about it when they are pushed to the wall but once in power they ignore it. Both the mainstream parties (PPP, PML-N) have enjoyed extended stints of power, BUT did not remove the ‘Roras’—the main showstoppers—instead they produced their own ‘Rori Force’ to get their way leaving the public out in the cold. I remember when Ahsan Iqbal, the so-called Einstein of PML-N was formulating Vision 2010 during 1997-1999 when the party was enjoying its second stint in power with absolute majority in the house, I advised him to remove the impediments first otherwise there would be no progress. The party came into power the third time in 2013, it relaunched Vision 2025 but nothing much has changed since then except a nearly bursting balloon of debt.

The People’s Party decided to dismantle the Federal Government through the 18th amendment. With all the impediments in place, the bureaucracy in the four provincial capitals now has the task of stopping the flow of work using their tried and trusted weapon of mass destruction called ‘Rora’. With the devolution of power the ‘Roras’ have also been devolved, for the common man nothing has changed except that he no longer has to travel to the artificial capital city called Islamabad. The situation in Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta continues to remain as grim as ever with ‘Rora and Rori’ all over. It seems no lessons have been learnt from the two visions (2010, 2025) prepared by the brains of PML-N and the long due devolution plan of PPP prepared by Comrade Raza Rabbani. I am all for devolution but in its true spirit all the way down to Tehsil and Union Council level.

The two genuinely elected governments (1947 to 1958, 1971 to 1977) did succeed in removing some of the impediments with passport reforms and National Identity Cards (NIC) being two most important ones. It was in the seventies that the right to travel was accepted by the government and passports were issued on the basis of NIC. The entire process was made hassle free, as a result, Pakistanis travelled all over the world in search of greener and ‘Rora-free’ pastures. Today it is this expatriate community that is the main source of foreign exchange remittance to the country. Nations perish in stagnation, a ‘Rori Response’ is not the answer. The ‘Roras’ have to be removed to move forward. ‘Stone Age’ was replaced by ‘Bronze Age’ around 300 BC followed by ‘Iron Age’ in 332 BC. As a material scientist, I can safely say that we are now in a ‘Composites Age’. It hurts really bad to find my motherland still stuck in the ‘Stone Age’ mainly because of lack of vision of the imposed leadership that continues to rule over us. I propose that the search for our Einstein must be started afresh by the three main parties (PTI, PPP, PML-N) as the ones we have are now rusted beyond redemption. While humans have moved on, they seem to be stuck in the ‘Stone Age’ which ended around two thousand three hundred and twenty-one years ago to be replaced by composites in the 21st century.