Mirza Shahnawaz Agha
PAKISTAN as a political destination is probably the sole example on the planet of a Po
litical Republic! This wasteful indulgence has become the mainstay of our national ideology and activity. The players pretty much polarised for their existence have become the focus of the media to a point that has blocked the world out of view for the masses. When Allah makes a declaration in the like: Say, that my prayers, my sacrifice, my living and my dyeing are for the Lord of the Worlds, it is only He who can direct that acclaim as the Creator. When monolithic political cults try to achieve the same objective, then it is only worth mocking the system that has enabled them to do so. Political polarisation as has happened in Pakistan does not help masses and in effect supports an institution or institutions of the State to rule while they are required to serve. The difference between a colonised State and one that is independent is the ruler in saddle. Where institutions rule the people are servants and where people rule institutions serve.
Without being a critique for the sake of criticism the realisation of the ground reality is extremely pertinent to our future wellbeing. What in effect is happening in the current scenario is the murder of merit. The institutions of the state and all their activity including the academia are politicised which is in denial of merit. What is in denial of merit is corruption, incase we need to define the phenomena! Learning from the human temperament, one only fails to strive to achieve any objective, when the easy political shortcut as an option is available. People stop representing a cause but commonly become boot lickers to get anywhere. Wether it is finding a job, or indulging in scientific research, what one can get to generally meet is a defeatist attitude to life and living. Influence pedlars and pushers of social evil are rampant. This ailment when amplified can be viewed in the leadership of State and that is the leadership which becomes the role model for the incumbent generation next!
One should not get alarmed reading this text as wisdom is embedded in the identification of one’s weakness and correcting it. This realisation does not and will not bring us a bad name globally because even Allah asserts that when He tries anybody He does so that ‘your weaknesses become apparent on you and your strength on to others’! It is time that we the people must say ‘yes’ to merit only and forget the shortcut of political favours to achieve objectives in life. That in essence will mean saying ‘no’ to corruption. The political cults in the country have infested the institutions, have blocked legislation and have sold the wealth of the nation to aliens for paltry sums of money for their personal gain. More. The institutions of the State that serve as anchors of stability have been corrupted. It is not the people who are servants in the current setup that are corrupt, it is indeed those in the institutions that wear this crown! The ship is adrift and we the people are marooned only to await destruction. These political forces engineered into place without accountability have only divided us the people based on ethnicity, religion and in every way they possibly could. Unity, Faith and Discipline are now all consigned to a cliché. We cannot be like an ostrich burying our head in the face of fear. This is all reality that warrants combating.
The expectation for change is the question for us to ponder on. Will this happen from within the system, or will an external event change the destiny of our plight? Ordinarily by theories of sociology we can only hope that some major war or natural disaster will bring home the required change but typical to the State of Pakistan it will have to be a fresh management scheme based on a Master Development Plan to manage the production assets of the State. Land, Labour, Capital and Enterprise have to be defined with laws that deny any political niche for social fragmentation. This can best happen should we resolve to lean on our founding ideology which essentially has no role for the clergy. If this needs elaboration then let us take foreign borrowing on interest as a basic point in reference. The various political cults based on the leadership of the clergy could not in seven decades subvert the norm of foreign borrowings on interest or for that matter the use of alien mediums of exchange. All they have flirted with todate is restricting personal attires and carnal indulgences with edicts to declare all as heretics and deviant who did not follow a certain school of thought. The change will emerge and as a global novelty, from the strict following of these four basic injunctions of our founding ideology for the factors of production. Land has to be leased across the board by all citizens and institutions alike from the State; Labour has to be compensated on a realistic assessment for the cost of living internationally applicable; Capital has to be based on a medium of exchange representing a tangible, and interest free; and Enterprise has to be free from all domestic and international laws that restrict evolution in material technology.
The economy has to be surrendered to the private sector to rule the roost with the bureaucracy ceasing to be loyal and protective of alien laws. They need to be back integrated into civil society so that they can serve and not rule the people as they have done for seven decades plus. All legal authority with them must be buried with their bribe based regime. The criminal and civil penal laws from the times of the Raj need to be scraped to be re-enacted for free people just as much. Although there is more that needs to be done the issue always that surfaces is ‘who is going to bell the cat’! Any honest leadership that surfaces in this country must take lesson from one basic principle of governance: You have to give something first to get something! One has to rely completely on the people of this country to cause change and therefore you have to give them independence to a point of real freedom. A freedom as is given by our Creator Allah in the exercise of freewill. The ‘fish starts rotting from the head’ so at the top must surface a leadership that is free from the professional politician and has the will and belief in the righteousness of our founding ideology. Like the Quran puts it for fighting fear perhaps ‘if you want to rule them you have to first fight them’. It is incumbent upon us to finally bite the bullet and get out of the dragnet that has imprisoned us in our own lethargy and laid back mindset committed to material slavery. Awaiting the dawn of wisdom should we?
— The writer is an entrepreneur and author based in Karachi.
Mirza Shahnawaz Agha