Mirza Shahnawaz Agha
THERE are laws that relate to the divine order, then there are laws that relate to the human temperament and of course the laws that we make in different parts of the world that are based on permissive limits or political considerations. These jungles of laws are all applicable on the one ‘us’ without any effective consent or control. This leaves us as followers of a predetermined destiny not quite of our wanting. The misery does not end here. Each segment of applicable law comes with obligations and rights not quite in a balance because we never asked to be inflicted! Each law yet again, has a leader that has to be followed. Follow God through the cleric, follow the proverbial doctor’s orders and follow the ruler! Existence without space to manoeuvre is the story of us all and that is the comical dimension to living life today.
If the big picture is understood then the myopic picture is a full-scale comedy show where you can do everything but laugh! This is the dichotomy of life and living. I recall asking a cleric if I could please talk to God, my creator and he thought I was mad. Similarly when I asked my doctor to cure my cough without my wanting to leave smoking he turned me out of his clinic. Then of course I told a ruler that his desire to have a ‘hold’ on the population is counter productive to growth and welfare. He threatened to have me jailed for being a heretic! It is in defence of the poor ‘us’ that I document this article as we are subject to a crisis of whims and fancies by people who have taken the ‘hold’ over governance as a profit centre. The laws that inflict us are all engineered and retained with one end in purpose: Profiteering! Whoever by accident of history has managed to get into the leadership position does not seem to decide in terms of researched based conclusions for anything. It is ad-hoc madness drowned in that desperation to hold on to the status quo. They have only one periscope to peep into and that is monetary gain. This is the predominant disease on the planet and Pakistan is no exception to the plight. That four-letter word is ‘hold’, although we express it differently when seeking o swear at the state of affairs!
It is an established fact that only those countries have transited from decadence to prosperity that have clearly structured social and legal roles for each segment of society, have relied on merit and have fiercely leaned on research based decision making processes to run state. The future of Pakistan has ostensibly been sealed for continued crises because we have allowed one segment of society to call the shots on all facets of the state. They select politicians and they compromise our ideology for protecting a status quo for a revenue stream. They block researched based decision making and mar the ethos of merit to ‘hold’ power over what has emerged as a beggars camp. They glorify our asset base and our ability to borrow and they justify subservience to a world order in defiance to the order of Allah!
This is not a hidden force or a power base it is a set of people we refer to as the establishment. Where is this establishment taking us? Is it establishment at all? Is this status quo prudent and will it deliver the country from the dumps of decadence to prosperity ever as an independent country? Are we ever going to be able to wrench ourselves out of a status of neo – colonialism? The answer is certainly not because merit has been decisively assassinated by the slave culture based on bootlicking instead. The disease stems from the abuse of land and all that the land has to offer for a national asset base. Taxation of air, water, food, shelter, living and death is all that is the focus for governmental revenue while none is the entitlement of an Islamic state worth its salt. For the Islamic Republic of Pakistan the only for of revenue required to run state with is land and that is all that needs to be taxed. How will the governmental requirement of foreign exchange come is a subject apart and adequately addressed in preceding articles. I was attending a Round Table Conference hosted recently in Islamabad with the title ‘Pakistan a paradise for investment’ and I was at a loss to convey to the establishment that land revenue is the harbinger of governmental budget and is the spark in tandem to ignite the generator of production. The reliance on foreign exchange is so ingrained in the minds of the establishment, the bureaucracy and the politicians that thinking otherwise is considered a taboo and or an act of lunacy. The burden of debt will push us further into the black hole of slavery and we will soon find ourselves firmly colonised. This is when the establishment will take to their heels and leave a whole nation holding the bag to suffer for generations to come. It is not pessimism, or political criticism that is being forecast here, nor is it the work of an astrologer predicting the future it is simple arithmetic. Pay heed dear countrymen.
— The writer is an entrepreneur and author based in Karachi.