New Pakistan or No Pakistan: the choice is ours

  • With Panama Papers case nearing a closure, we may hear some good news soon. However, keeping in mind the scope of the case which limits the options of the judges, we are unlikely to get a solution to Pakistan's major problems though it may chart a way towards that, and we may actually embark on a path to recovery leading us to a New Pakistan in due course provided powerful institutions step in and lend a helping hand.

    It is more than obvious that the Sharifs and Zardaris are fast ruining the country. Having been in government for decades, they have not been able to solve any of the country's serious problems. They have systematically worked to demolish all the important institutions in the country in order to facilitate their astronomical corruption. Isnt't it a shame that despite being in iron business, the Sharifs have been unable to rehabilitate Pakistan Steel Mills. And it is the same story with PIA which, despite extensive reorganization, they have been unable to rehabilitate. PIA, once pride of Pakistan, operating with a slogan of 'Great People to Fly With' and justifying every word of it, and which once helped establish the airline business in the Gulf, is in shambles, and all due to insincerity and greed of those in power.

    And despite promises to end loadshedding within six months to a couple of years or so, it is unlikely that the loadshedding will end even by 2018 and relevant circles have already started quoting the year 2020. The government loans have risen astronomically and we have reached a stage where we take loans to repay loans. And current account deficit is at all-time high and rising due to rising imports and falling exports, and no signs of favourable change. Unfortunately, the era of low oil prices when they were down to nearly a third is also over. putting extra pressure on balance of payments. Also, remittance from abroad are also likely to drop.

    And with present population of Pakistan being at least five-fold of what it was at the time of partition, there is a definite need for more provinces. In fact, during its last tenure, the Punjab government had passed two resolution for creation of South Punjab province and Bahawalpur. With Sharif brothers now ruling both at the centre and in Punjab, it was an ideal situation for them to implement the resolutions. However, being merely a vote-catching ploy to fool the voters, the resolutions were consigned to the trash can soon after the elections.

    And when it comes to Peoples Party rule or rather misrule, the situation is even more alarming. The Party has turned nearly the whole province into a huge rubbish dump. And when it comes to ruination of important institutions, it is definitely at par with the PML-N if not well ahead. Using its simple majority in the Sindh Assembly, and despite protests by the opposition, it repeatedly hacked the local goernment act and deprived it of most essential powers and financial rsources, and placed them in the hands of a local government minister who has excelled, not in performance but only in bad-mouthing others. And Peoples Party delayed elections even for the much depleted local governments, final holding them only on supreme court orders.

    And it has systematically destroyed the police force by placing its favourites in important positions. And now it is after the honest and efficient IG, A.D. Khwaja who is holding the position only because of court orders. And in a recent move, it has taken away his powers as regards transfers and postings of senior police officers.

    And in a yet another move, it has legislated to stop the National Accountability Bureau from operating in Sindh and to set up its own accountability institution. Just fancy Peoples Party leadership with Surrey Mahal and sixty million dollar fame appointing top officials to do the accountability of top leaders, their relatives and friends who are together running the province for their personal benefit.

    And there are other grave issues. US President Donald Trump, with Narindra Modi as a budy and a strong Israel-supporter Jared Kushner as his Jewish son-in-law, has stifened his stance towards Pakistan. And he is sending another 3000 to 5000 US personnel to Afghanistan while the NATO clowns, some of whom used to pay protection money to Taliban to ensure their own safety have also announced sending soldiers to Afghanistan. Now, if a hundred thousand US soldiers, an equivalent number of mercenaries called civilian contractors and thousands of NATO troops could not subdue Taliban, a much smaller force could hardly accomplish the job. However, even if totally inadequate for fighting and subduing Taliban, this small force of specialists would be large enough to plan and organize subversive work against Pakistan, Iran and China. And after destroying Iraq, Libya and Syria in execution of their map-change plan for the region, it is time for the western gang to target Iran and of course the prized trophy Pakistan which, as a nuclear power and additionally an ally of China, is much more than an irritant for India and the US and its gang, and of course Israel considers Pakistan to be an even greater threat than Iran. It is good that the Chinese are there to help us but they can do only so much and can not rectify the structural faults in our system of governnance.

    Now, in view of the grave inernal and external threats that the country faces, we need capable, dedicated leadership and not the present lot of expatriates who are here only to rob the country left, right and centre and to send the looted wealth abroad where their homes and hearths are.

    Therefore, to ensure survival of whatever is left of Paksitan, we need drastic changes. It is not enough for just Sharifs and Zardaris to leave, planting their proxies in place and carrying on in much the same manner as before. We need a complete clearing of the decks.

    What we need is a caretaker government to take over, enact electoral reforms especially defining eligibility conditions in clear, enforceable terms to ensure their strict application. We also need to get the Population Census people to speed up their work and produce final results sooner than planned. And we want the fresh elections to be held on the basis of revised constituencies as worked according to the latest population census results.

    Only a fresh breed of honest persons reaching Assemblies and forming a dedicated government and effective opposition later is what could put the country on the parth to real progress. Such a government could also endeavour to bring back the looted wealth stashed abroad to reduce/eliminate crippling loan burden, raised even higher because of their hefty commissions built into the project costs.

    In a well-run country, where all state institutions were performing their designated tasks in a satisfactory manner, there would be no need - in fact it would rather be criminal - for any institution to step outside it sphere of duties and interfere in the work of others. However, in desperate situations like Pakistan is facing, where those allotted the primary task of running the country are, through their excessive greed, corruption and bad governace, taking the country on a path to disaster, and the country also faces many external threats, powerful sectors have no option but to intervene in the affairs of the state to save the country from an imminent disaster. And for them to just stay on the sidelines and not doing the needful would surely amount to criminal conduct.

    I hope the powerful sectors do what needs doing, and do so for once in the national interest to ensure the survival of Pakistan and to secure the future of twenty crore Pakistanis or are they twenty-two crore? Wha a shame. We do not even know how many we are.