Mirza Shahnawaz Agha
IF wishes were horses beggars would ride, is proverbially apt! There is no harm in dreaming anything, yet when it comes to desiring something one dreams of, the hurdle proverbially is ‘first deserve then desire’! This is a laugh because the struggle it takes to desire anything is itself that deserving pre-qualification! To a citizen of a nation state, a city, a community or a given society the desire for betterment is natural to the human inkling but most of us fail to apply effort to achieve what we seek. Leadership stems from that tenacious standpoint were a focused, deliberate and determined effort is deployed to achieve an objective. Individually objectives are easier to achieve than collectively and that is what make political statements worth the salt.The corner stone of any leadership is to create an environment where more leaders breed and a spirit of competitiveness is set in for the evolution of human civilization.
This warrants a ‘social contract’ in place adequately guaranteeing the exercise of free will, with the liberties protected by law. In the Pakistan context the Social Contract is naughty, as it is based on cultural pre-determination and a pre-conceived view that a little of everything is enough! A half-baked pie! Like if we establish a school we will be content that despite the facility being devoid of vertical provisions and features, the existence is good enough. The alibi is always ‘we are after all a poor nation’! Perfection to a point of completeness is definitively absent. This notion of being poverty-stricken is inherited from the colonial times and lingers. It is in denial of what the Quran has ordained where it asserts that ‘go for the best’, ‘go for nothing but the best’! There is therefore a huge desire to get the basics and at the front end of technology.
Today with a new government in office, most probably there is a collective political statement and will in place, to enable the achievement of that instinctive desire! A social contract really represents the aspirations, hopes and desires of the people from the elected government because they are paid to do the job. This social contract, in the free world would represent, at the front end of technology, liberty, fair play, welfare, security, and the opportunity of an even playing field where merit would rule and corruption would vanish. In essence it is a ‘social framework order’ in consonance with our ideology, which needs to be invoked before individual and specific issues can be addressed. This ‘social framework order’ primarily propounds the apt and profitable use of the national asset-base by the government elect, for the benefit of the owners (ie) the population. The population again should deem to be defined as one free from discrimination of any sort including the gender bias.
Should we view Islamic jurisprudence (the philosophy of law making) to find the bedrock of legislation we will be compelled to view sociology and economics as the two fundamental pillars to debate and legislate. In sociology we will see even-handed applicability of law and the right to exercise one’s free will, whilst in economics we will be confronted by the equitable compensation of labour and the freedom of enterprise. These attributes, from the perspective of our ideology, are already and proudly present as unique principles in the concepts of ‘Masavat’ (judicious equality), ‘equity’, ‘a class – free social system’, Ijteha (progressive evolution), ‘supremacy of law’ and its applicability across the board and the exercise of free will. These once acknowledged will lead us to a formal legal definition, of those who constitute government, and those who are the governed. Clearly and briefly defined it is a servant and master relationship respectively!
The social contract has to therefore be based upon total transparency and defined road maps telling us people, the employers of the government, where they plan to take us. What is the destination? What are the objectives to be achieved, for whatever benefit and at a declared cost. All this is required on a settled principle of the best available to mankind in material technology, and insofar as social technology goes we have best anyways! The remedial course therefore to take is to opt for a few basic institutions of the state. A hall of fame is essential to acknowledge services to the nation in sundry disciplines by individual citizens; A standards Ministry to regulate what can be made in the country and at whatever minimum standards, A reforms commission that can propose legislation on researched aspects of laws and rules so that decision making is not left at the mercy of bureaucratic and political whims, and most importantly R&D chairs established compulsively at all universities in the country for supporting the legislative process in the nation’s assemblies.
The ideology of the country is at the root of administering the country and it serves in the Pakistan context as a beacon of guidance and swift settling of numerous issues that are pending a way forward from inception. When revolution was defined in the dictum it was clearly stated that it is ‘the deliverance of a message followed by blood’. The point to understand here is that there is little need in shedding blood without following a message. What are we shedding our blood for? Why are all the good deeds that serve the country in isolation being sent to the bin instead of being made a law? Why is the national asset base not being used for the benefit of us the owners? Where are the laws that eliminate crime or the breeding thereof? Why are beggars on the roads? Why are children out of school? Why is food and potable water not affordable by the population? Why is child labour being allowed or for that matter why is labour without written contracts not a crime? Lets get a little systematic please; lets legislate, implement and open the doors of liberty for all. Lets labour hard together and now!
— The writer is an entrepreneur and author based in Karachi.