Cart before the horse

Mirza Shahnawaz Agha

IN my understanding as a tax payer and an ordinary citizen of Pakistan our elected nominees are supposed to serve our vital interests as a Nation-State. This service is provided through a document one commonly refers to as manifesto. This document has to tell us what a political party will do if we the people choose to put them into the driving seat. This plan is vital and gets more and more comprehensive for decadent societies by comparison with the developed ones. These manifestos are required to be debated for at least a year by the various segments of society courtesy the media to establish merit. This document is also a pledge of office that a political party makes to the electorate and remains accountable for. In the generic definition of a Nation-State the components are three. Population, Territory and Government. The job of the Government, as the servants of the people, rests on their approved by the people plans for population management and territorial utilization. This is in addition to defense and the judiciary as support arms of the government respectively. One supports the ideological and territorial security and the other judicious harmony within the population respectively.
Now what makes a Nation-State thrive are ‘enterprise’ and ‘research and development (R&D).’ This is the responsibility of the entrepreneurs and the academia respectively. One builds a society and the other is funded by enterprise to discover how the enterprise ought to build best with known material technology in aid. Similarly jurist and sociologist bring to the table the social hi-tech which models legislation to establish equity, ecological balance and equality in the form of a penal code applicable for the entire population across the board. A political manifesto has to address all these aspects clearly and more. It needs to divulge how will they fund and or resource mobilize to achieve their tall order and how will they do that without burdening the population with future debt and or neo-colonialism. This is a pre-requisite for any political party into being in existence and having their manifestos duly branded for approval by the concerned segments of society as aforementioned. An illiterate population in the majority is not an excuse in a democratic order to place personalities before plans. This is like putting the cart before the horse.
Ironically the Pakistan political scene is so wrought with decadence that even ‘the democracy’ all politicians are protecting and peddling is without a definition. The understanding so far has been that a General, a bureaucrat, an entrepreneur, a banker, a jurist; a sportsman can lead a nation as mister know-all! Now that is comical hogwash! With elections on the anvil the nation is required to go to vote for personality based hyped up peddler of charms! The likelihood is that in this ethnically polarized country we will vote for whatever we felt was charismatically akin. We will not vote for merit logic or a known roadmap and defined destination. This is dangerous and a security risk for the existence of the country. Those against this country, and there are many, would love to take advantage of the soft-belly areas and the other danger is the squandering of our resources by the ill-planned leadership that will emerge in the majority or in a hung Parliament both.
A successful government is one that can use the natural resources of the state to the optimum, for the benefit of the human resource that own it. This is only possible if there are plans in place and are adequately seen, publicized and debated by all concerned who then permit, authorize and vote the implementation by the exercise of the adult franchise. We seem to have compromised on all these basic rules of the game and still insist on being democratic and right. The two pre-qualifications for hiring anyone prescribed by Allah, as I understand it, are confined to the terms ‘Qavi’ and ‘Ameen’. We the people of Pakistan, as employers, must know if the set of people we are hiring to manage us and our asset are at all capable. We must clearly know their plans. These plans are like a document similar to a sworn affidavit, which should hold them accountable to qualify for public office ever again. These basics are ignored in Pakistan and we the people must insure their existence. The political tomfoolery has stayed with us way too long. Politics has become a profession to make money and people in hoards are taking it up as a very paying job! This is corrupting the entire society and what is meant to be an exacting science is now a game of manipulation, deception and piracy.
The political parties et.al are manifest as a cult of personality worship operating out of captive constituencies. We still insist on calling this democracy! The other huge damage has come to the public sector industries and institutions including the Army, the Executive and the Judiciary. They are all leaning on rental income from land and consequently not focusing on their core activity as a port, an airport, a steel producer, armament producer, or the transporters. This has made them non professionals to their core activity and has converted them as land grabbers and quasi entrepreneurs. In economics we do not recognize corruption. Corruption is a consequence of the absence of merit and by the current status quo merit is not there. Well fellow citizens we must still go and vote for the most non-performing tried and tested failure so that the system collapses altogether for a logical one to be born. I do not want a new Pakistan I simply want a logically sane Pakistan with a master plan in place that politicians can implement as managers. We can do without monarchs.
— The writer is an entrepreneur and author based in Karachi.

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