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The present discontent in Pakistan

Pakistan has been in the shadows of various kinds and this maybe attributed to the drift in management and administration of this country. I am not going to be critical of the power situation, nor of the responsibilities that were not invoked by all and sundry. That sort of criticism to my mind is barren. What is required to be done is to understand the spirit of the legal form and power.

What is the purpose of this so far as the constitution is concerned? If the Parliament is superior institution and is the overarching authority then the circumstances of its delivery functions is to be examined. The National Assembly is the middle power between the government of the day and the people of this country. The fact that the legislature is superior to the magistracy is without question. The magistracy is in transient situation but then the very fact that the Parliament is superior to the magistracy puts it in a very vulnerable position. The institution cannot state that the power resides in it and yet not be responsible for what is going on in the country. All malfeasance is in its domain. All over the world, in democratic societies, the parliament is always held to be closer to the people and therefore more sensitive to its requirements. This is then the central character of the parliament and it cannot be changed. The spirit of the subject does not change with the vagaries of the situation. Pakistan is going through one hell of these vagaries. So as trustees of the people have we lived up to their expectations? The question does not beg an answer. The matters are in a diabolical state. Third raters have been placed in positions where they can cut across the elected representatives working. Check the staff at the power houses. The offices of the four chief ministers, the office of the Prime Minister, and the President all have favourites that have betrayed the trust that was reposed in them. The idea of advisors is only prevalent in emerging democracies. Where democracies are more stable the rule by advisors is not visible. This emerges as the shortest route to corrupt practices.

Do virtue, spirit and essence reflect the Parliament? Of late, the institution has been found to be pernicious and used to control upon the people rather than be for the people. This tendency was for the control by the people. Has this been done in the case of Pakistan’s democracy? Or is it only cosmetics of democracy? Is the apprehension that the democracy of Pakistan is fully and adequately developed to handle sensitive questions? Does it have a vigilant jealous eye over governance in its pluralistic responsibility? Is Pakistan working as of this moment? Does it have the executory ability for good governance? Does it guard the right of people to live peacefully or has its policies been responsible for what is happening in Pakistan today? Have the chickens come home to roost? Is there utmost abhorrence for the people occupying the high house? Have one disorder taken us to another disorder more serious and complex? If this happens the distemper becomes the natural habit. The constant habit of unruly power, the licence to be corrupt because of the various packages, have not yielded results that the ignorant thought would be there. Should the Parliament be a place to allow the indiscriminate support to all ministers for this destroys the very end of control by rules and regulations? The recent doubts as to the holding of elections indicate the uncertainty and inconvenience that this nation is held to. The deteriorating social conditions, the desperateness of the people and the heart rending demands of a young five-year-old for her father indicate the poverty of decision-making in the highest office. It is not enough for anyone to keep on pretending that they are in power when in actual fact that is an illusion. It is better to understand one’s governance weaknesses and to rectify them. False claims have never been acceptable to anyone. How can the Parliament be kept true to its cause in terms of its first and true principles? Should an evil be increased to dilute that evil? Is it possible to do that when human lives are concerned? Why did it take so long to take any action? Why was this not debated in the parliament and why were passive and incorrect packages provided? There are matters that cannot be solved by unreasonable activities. The ministers from that area have taken full advantage of this and helped themselves to cronyism. The rightful have been discriminated against.

What did they forget? They forgot that in the parliament the object of obtaining what they seek is absolute, and the safety in the proceeding perfect, no rules to confine, no after-reckonings to terrify. Yes, but when the parliament itself is an accomplice then it loses its power to hold others accountable. Accomplices cannot then govern. The constitution loses its purity.

Will the next parliament fare any better? There is always hope in change. But what happens if the next parliament does not deliver? I had been in former East Pakistan and I had felt that the process for improvement would then start. It did not. When social systems go berserk there is no bottom. It becomes a bottomless pit. To reactivate the social system one has to work excessively hard. The soft and logical touch will get you there not the hard and tough talk. Now that Musharraf’s hand has played out where is the effort to correct his policies? It is so difficult to handle that it might take decades to resolve the issues. Who gave him the mandate for reforms? Now take it as it comes. Policemen are dying by the day, nay by the hour. That was stated to Musharraf and he pooh-poohed the suggestion. What Musharraf did was an act of criminality? How could he think democratically when he himself was from a command and control system in decision making. Like sheep, we accepted everything that came our way. Can the new parliament convert instincts into morals? There are other more drastic statements to make but that can wait for another day. What will happen during the elections? If PNA elections are any yardstick to go by then law and order will be the major issue. Unless the stock improves Pakistan is in for a roller coaster existence. You want to live in a better country then you might as well take on the odds and come out stronger than before and also maybe more resilient.

Dr. Zafar Altaf, "The present discontent in Pakistan," Business recorder. 2013-02-23.