Collective conscience and need for introspection | By Tariq Aqil


Collective conscience and need for introspection

PAKISTANIS as a nation are in a serious need of some introspection.We really need to look into our national conscience and wake up to the serious maladies and dangers lurking all around us and within our body politic.

Two of the greatest dangers threatening to tear this country apart are religious extremism and corruption.

Religious fanaticism and bigotry is now a malignant tumour spreading its deadly tentacles in the body of the nation and the country.

The most recent example of this deadly disease is the brutal and horrific killing of an innocent non-Muslim from Sri Lanka in the industrial town of Sialkot.

Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it and if we do not eradicate this monster of religious bigotry this nation is in grave danger of a cataclysmic implosion and the country could very likely end up on the dust heap of history.

Ironically the debate in Parliament centred on the faults and lapses in the judicial system of Pakistan and no parliamentarian had the moral guts or courage to call a spade a spade.

We can now say without a shadow of a doubt that the policy of appeasement of the religious fanatics and the support to the Taliban by the Imran Khan Govt.

has made this country hostage to the dark and evil forces of obscurantism, religious fanaticism and bigotry.

Another example of pampering the monster of religious terrorism is the surrender of the present govt.

to the forces of extremism in the form of an agreement with the Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan after their murderous rampage in Islamabad, Lahore and Gujranwala resulting in the brutal murder of eight policemen.

The TLP was even registered as a political party without any objections to their violent agenda to impose their will on the nation.

PTI and PML (N) both capitulated when the violent marauding brutes of the TLP invaded the federal capital and forced the state to accept their undemocratic and unconstitutional demands.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly supported the Afghan Taliban and even suggested complete amnesty to the brutal cut throats of the TTP who have the blood of innocent school children on their hands.

Another deadly disease is the culture of corruption.Corruption has seeped into every part of our society from top to bottom.

Bureaucrats, businessmen, judiciary, politicians and even the defenders of our ideological and territorial boundaries.

We have promoted the concept of “Sacred Cows” in our society such as the generals and the judges of the superior judiciary they are above any accountability or criticism.

We have numerous examples of civil servants, police officers and judicial officers misusing their authority at the insistence of some elected chief executive or minister and it is an open secret that to get anything done in a govt.

office many palms have to be greased or the file will not move.All the tall claims and election promises by Imran Khan proved to be just election stunts and false promises.

Today we should be ashamed as a nation that the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index ranked Pakistan 140 out of 180 countries, with a low CPI score of 28 during 2021, showing a drop of 16 places from its previous ranking.

Today all the great fuss about accountability and rooting out corruption is nothing but political vengeance and an exercise in futility because so far there has not been a single conviction for corruption and not a penny of the looted wealth has been recovered.

This nation does not need a Naya Pakistan but is in desperate need of a politically stable, safe and secure country.

The National accountability Bureau was created to launch transparent, fair, and unbiased process of accountability and to bring to book all high profile looters and plunderers of our national wealth.

Today it is crystal clear that NAB is an utter failure it has failed to show transparency and integrity.

Today NAB appears to be an instrument of political vendetta and political engineering.Head of this institution has been appointed by the mutual consent of the Govt.and the opposition but it appears as if somebody else was pulling the strings.

Using NAB for political purposes and as an instrument of vengeance to be used by the ruling elite kills the very purpose and utility of this institution.

This important instrument for the eradication of corruption has to demonstrate total integrity, impartiality, transparency and great professional ability or it will be better to shut it down immediately.

The need of the hour is that the present PTI Government should make some serious efforts to improve its governance and to ensure that all citizens can enjoy their lives in a safe and protected environment.

People of this country are provided safety and protection from religious extremism, violence, terrorism and the rule of law is upheld for everyone.

Cosmetic shows like giving certificates of good performance to cabinet ministers will not do.

—The writer is Professor of History, based in Islamabad.


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