Into the thick clouds

Country taken for a ride

Today, every nook and corner of a workplace; in the side lanes of a marketplace where sales activity is slack; for obvious reasons; human voices are abuzz like working honey bees. They are discussing what can be called a position of political suspense.

Everyone is keeping his cards close to his chest; whether it is a property decision, marriage of a kid or a new business. The reason being extreme political uncertainty into which the country has been plagued since the start of the current calendar year. The reason being a clash of egos; personal as well as institutiona,l which have held the whole country for almost any year. The sorriest part of that stalemate has been that there is simply no effort made by any of the stakeholders to arrest the trend. It looks like the political quagmire is like the giant deg (utensil for cooking) where every personality, every institution is trying to put its share of pulses, spices, water and other ingredients so that the final dish, the Haleem, has the best flavour.

The new Pakistan; much abused and hijacked by the established order and its propped up groups, now and then needs a new cadre; something like the Turkish and Iranian experiences; evolutionary and revolutionary. Old Pakistan, emanating from Clifton, Model Town or Zaman Park simply does not have the capacity to meet the challenges. Conclusively, Pakistan is being taken for a ride once again. It is high time that the competent and pious claim their rightful place in the affairs of the society

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From unusual press conferences from the most elusive government paid employees to the towering political personalities, not to ignore the top bosses of the top institutions, no one is interested in arresting the destructive trends; which seems to have held the society, individual lives and even professional human beings hostage. Pakistan, despite its history of dictatorship and autocracy, had not among its media count journalists; who were killed unceremoniously and rather in a gruesome way.

The divisions within the fourth pillar of society are glaring. If one pack of journalists have nothing but to praise the leader whose brand managers they are; the other band might be doing the established order or the established order’s favourite boy’s bid. Many journalists might have known the CIA, KGB, Mossad and SAVAK stories of political detainees’ nails being torn out of their limbs and must have read many stories as part of their self-education. However, today Pakistan is witness to the spectacle where one band of insensitive media has the gall  to show to the prime time audience things, which many journalists might have only read, but not experienced.

Obviously, the big question is where the country is heading from here. The question is alarming on the count that there is no effort on part of the institutions to arrive at any point of agreement and accordingly follow the agreed path. The constitution and the rules of business of Parliament allow forums of debate between the political and military leadership to sort out things; take decisions in a professional manner, as should be the protocol and culture of a mature polity or democracy. However, unfortunately Pakistan has ceased to be a mature polity any more.

Instead of the fact that each institution comes out clean with the culture of clean information for the perusal of its prime stakeholders; the people of Pakistan; it is a guessing game all the way round. When the beleaguered common person joins the nodes or the dots, the picture that emerges is too graphic to be digested easily.

The so-called professional level appointment in Pakistan has been inflated almost to the level of elevation of a monarch in a primitive land in the distant past. Practically for any one trying to analyze the situation objectively it lead to wonder, if that appointment was so important to justify a political game back in April; or to corner a political trend consequently.

Apparently, today many people have the false belief that Pakistan is on the edge of a revolution. Pakistani ground facts support that feeling as the situation on every front; be it economic, diplomatic or social; is ripe for a change of basic rules of business, terms of reference etc.

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However, the wheeling and dealing which can at most qualify as palace conspiracy is being marketed as revolution in the making. Talks with lower tiers of the deep state points to a dichotomy between the leadership and the human fodder; the masses.

The party out in the wilderness might have the reason for chanting a flowery slogan of revolution; but for the top leadership it is a pure bid to get into the corridors of power. That has been the precise reason that the party of revolution has not vacated many key posts.

It continues to be bluffed by its so-called supporters in the right places however, it is not ready to create a distance with them and look for the real revolution. It is because it never wanted a revolution; but a piece of privilege in the bread held hostage by the established order and its cronies. Practically no one is thinking for the common person.

As things have transpired; a person’s appointment was the bone of contention when revolutionary politicians were in power in Islamabad and the same is now when the other band of revolutionaries now control the affairs of the state! These mysterious men on horseback all dress up in green headgear to hide their cruel faces; alas!

Matching that opportunism on part of the political forces who hope to be established order favourites in the coming farce of elections or the ones posing as revolutionaries but actually trying to have a share in the bread referred to above. The recent decimation of humans, professionals, through murder, either economic or actual, creates a strong impression that the political forces have opportunistic goals. Whether it is PPP- PML(N) coalition using the slain journalist issue for settling scores with the established order; or the PTI making use of the murder for their own petty political ends; no one is thinking of what the common person is thinking.

The common person is fed up with the Games of Thrones and wants a real change. However, unfortunately, the coalition ruling the country does not want this; nor do the revolutionaries standing outside have any intention to do that.

The fourth pillar of state, which derives much of its strength from the people’s approval, is bewildered. It is keeping a profile above any political like or dislike; though that pillar is regularly hounded by embedded journalists; who feel that this or that leader has the capacity to take the country out of the quagmire. The fact of the matter is that the people need to look through the happenings and decide for themselves if they want to be the pawns in the established order games or want to tread the path based on their own senses of deduction.

Towards that end; a long term and short of education of masses is imperative. What is going to be settled in a few weeks with animated performances by all the actors, are not going to solve the pressing problems the country faces; especially its efficient middle-income groups and budding youthful population. The two above-mentioned groups do not need yet another round of musical chairs.

The new Pakistan; much abused and hijacked by the established order and its propped up groups, now and then needs a new cadre; something like the Turkish and Iranian experiences; evolutionary and revolutionary. Old Pakistan, emanating from Clifton, Model Town or Zaman Park simply does not have the capacity to meet the challenges. Conclusively, Pakistan is being taken for a ride once again. It is high time that the competent and pious claim their rightful place in the affairs of the society.

Naqi Akbar
Naqi Akbar
The writer is a freelance columnist

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