Time to stand up and be counted | By Muhammad Usman

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Time to stand up and be counted


REGRETTABLY, Senate elections have shown how deep the rot in which we are in. First it was ECP which flouted instructions of SC fatuously to ensure transparency in elections.

Secondly, no part of the justice system took cognizance of blatant act, clearly slanted in favour of those who have repeatedly ransacked the country in pursuit of their insatiable desires for power and material possessions.

Eventually, horse trading as before ruled the roost and brought the government of Imran Khan on brink.

Though he pulled back refreshingly by taking fresh vote of confidence and clinching Senate Chairmanship nevertheless, neither has it provided comfort and assurance to him nor those who want to rid the country of corruption and injustices. As a result, uncertainty continues to disfigure our milieu.

The net loser is the country thus, making incumbent upon us to introspect dispassionately and take positions to stall the rot and rise from deathbed. It is needless to remind that conflict remains between Imran Khan and the ruling elite.

PDM is its political organ, backed by a subtly knit conglomerate of babos, qazis, business tycoons, media and foreign elements.

They exert pulls and call shots in unison to make their presence felt, exhibit extrinsic power they wield to influence events in the country.

Their classic performance was the exit of convicted Nawaz Sharif abroad on fake medical grounds. The latest one is the role of ECP in Daska/Senate elections with impunity.

Other notable examples are lingering prosecution/inconclusive investigation of mega corruption cases, continuing two justice system, economic vandalism and effective perception management despite their past of loot and plunder, abuse of power and political/ideological waywardness/weaknesses.

They are habitually rant seekers. Seeking their company for a collective cause is like asking a wolf to scratch the back.

Notwithstanding their claims and our short memory, under their every stint in power, the country went only downhill. People stood with more bleak future.

Until now, they have kept themselves politically relevant by applying every trick they have in book however, have failed to secure NRO.

With an unyielding Imran Khan on helm, their final resort was the Army however, finding them unresponsive, they have turned against them bizarrely.

It is an Army which has to assume the mantle of responsibilities far beyond its designation when they were in power and times were testing by any reckoning. It proved equal to task.

It is an army about which world says that for Pakistan to collapse, first its Army has to collapse and they do not see it happening.

Eventually, it is the main target of 5th generation war against Pakistan, launched by our enemies and ruling elite has become an accomplice in pursuance of their vested interests. This clearly shows that they place their interests above the state.

Its manifestation, one can find in what a leader of PML (N) has said, they would not say Pakistan Khappay if allegedly, something goes wrong with Maryam Nawaz. Under no event, such an assertion could be condoned.

With no meaning to prejudice one’s preference, it could be said safely that credibility which Imran Khan has, is beyond reproach. He declined a conditional offer of premiership by Pervez Musharraf.

He remained in political wilderness for long sixteen years before making a strong appearance on 30 October 2011 at Lahore.

A lesser man would have left politics, faced with such odds if he would have not been imbued with self-denial and an urge to seek collective good alone. Now again, he could concede NRO in exchange of peace and quiet and enjoy his term in power. Imran Khan and the Army are on one page.

Reason is not difficult to decipher if one sees with open mind. Both earnestly want good of the country. He is being acclaimed worldwide for his leadership as PM.

Here, arguably, under spell of propaganda by ruling elite, people are thinking differently, being a failure.

Yes, he has certain shortcomings but largely his failure is due to hurdles being created by above unholy alliance and dysfunctional State apparatus he inherited.

The counter argument is that no one would come from heaven to correct it for him.

Being in government he has to do it but such a ruptured system cannot be stitched overnight.

This takes time but he remains resolute with strong moral sense. A strong moral sense in high office is a rare attribute.

This could even set the Indus on fire if people stand with him nevertheless, a war is not fought with Army one desires, it is fought with Army one has.

Our ruling elite was pushing the country downslide with their misdeeds. Imran Khan may be failing to stop its downward motion.

This is a huge difference and draws a clear line between righteousness and wickedness. Admittedly, there is a price hike and good governance is wanting.

A hungry man cannot be convinced that he is not hungry. He needs bread. Mere pledges would not put him at ease. The support base of Imran Khan mostly consists of the middle class and above.

Their lives are relatively less cramped with aforesaid problems. They need to rise to the occasion and do not let themselves fall prey to malicious propaganda of the ruling elite against him.

Pakistan could ill afford another round of their loot and plunder. God forbids, it may take the country along. Given conditions, this is the time to stand up and be counted

. This could crack the unholy alliance when they would see resolute resistance and eventually, lesser chances of ruling elite making a comeback. This would also have domino effect.

One needs to borne in mind that great changes are always painful. If it is not so, probably we are going the wrong way.

— The writer, a retired Lt Col, is a senior columnist based in Islamabad.

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