Revolving doors of politics
In realpolitik, there are no free lunches. For this, Pakistan had to pay multifariously. One out of them, was millstone of debt trap.
It was too obvious when it was being laid under these two numbskulls. No one objected and we walked into it apathetically.
It was total and complete when in 2018, mutual agreement of their rotten rule expired. The debt of $98 Billion was too big and far beyond our repayment capacity.
Resultantly, every now and then, now we have to succumb to dictates of IMF or have to do pandering of our affluent friends, even at the expense of national interests/self-esteem.
These amply illustrate our travail of indifference, stagnation, sloth and neglect to approach a brewing national tragedy.
There is no foretelling that another existential threat of even greater magnitude and gravity is rearing its ugly head and our response is of dismissive nature as usual.
There are three organs of state; legislature, executive and judiciary. Without meaning to cast aspersions upon them particularly, the judiciary, all of them are in a state of stupor.
Instead of lending a measure of strength to the country, they are battering it with blows of corruption, incompetence and mal intent in favour of those who have robbed this country.
Bipartisan legislation by Parliament is extinct. It is used as a barging chip. Its floor is now a floor of brawl/abuses.
The Senate ought to be a place of erudite discussion. In our case, it is a place where money exchanges hands when its member are elected. No insightful input could be expected from members who have sold their souls to devil in advance.
As a result, existence of Parliament is superficial and is of no positive consequence for the country rather, it is a drain financially and an object of disdain with implications of its own.
The executive runs the state.
Here, it lays obstacles. Its inefficacy is at full display whenever country faces a crisis of even routine nature.
Latest episodes are its incapacity to handle TLP’s rioting and fresh surge of Covid. Inevitably, Army has to be called in to enforce Covid’s SOPs.
The exclusive directives of PM are not implemented by them to alleviate the lot of people, leave aside his ordinary instructions. The reasons are their above mentioned afflictions.
In short, state machinery lacks in wherewithal intrinsically and extrinsically to run a difficult country like Pakistan and its continuation could harm us irrecoverably.
The state of Judiciary is even more alarming because our destiny hinges upon them.
Drawing inference from words of British wartime PM Churchill, if a judiciary working properly, could win a lost war for the nation, a judiciary working inversely, could cause a nation to lose the war and we are in a state of war.
Its recent decisions in cases of Justice Faez Isa, bail to Shahbaz Sharif and re-polling of Daska and abrasive remarks of CJ LHC against Army, leave much to be desired about its role as most vital organ of the state. Its ramifications could cause an upheaval.
Plight of other national institutions is also pathetic. There is only one institution left “Army” which is worthy of its role and even beyond.
It has proved its mettle in an unending string of testing times over a long haul. Given conditions, it is now a centre of gravity of ours. It stands between our survival and failure.
Precisely, this is the reason, it is on the hit list of our nemeses to destabilize Pakistan. They have launched an intense hybrid war against it and they are not alone in their mischief.
They have found a merger of interests with our ruling elite which feels no scruple to connive with anyone if it serves their parochial interests.
They have also put Army on their butt of derision and opposition incessantly in sync with our nemeses to cause mistrust about it among people, create suspicion/division within and ultimately, demoralize its rank and file. This poses no less threat than an existential threat.
The state organs/institutions are also hand in gloves with ruling elite. This make an explosive hypothesis to weaken Army; our mainstay in tandem with what and how a compromised state structure could undercut us. This could lead Pakistan to be termed as a “failed state”.
This would definitely have repercussions about our nuclear capability and may be the ultimate end of grand scheme against us. We are dealing with these explosive possibilities as usual with docility/timidity.
We need to trump them proactively. The state of emergency may not be able to yield properly under curbs of 18th amendment. This leaves us with option of referendum.
People are owner of the state. Let them pass the judgment. Their voice is sovereign and a crisis pill when constitution fails to provide solution. For this purpose, provision of referendum has been kept in constitution.
— The writer, a retired Lt Col, is contributing columnist based in Islamabad.