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Now or never!

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It is first time in the history of Pakistan that top leadership of the country is under scrutiny. They were all untouchables, behaved like monarchs, never bothered and respected law of the land, their word used to be the law of land. They looted the country at will, created a society of corrupt people to protect their rights. They gave an impression as if they are the only lovers of democracy. They exploited the word democracy to protect their corruption. 70 years of misrule, exploiting the term democracy with the dictatorial mind set they all thought they are above the law and no one can touch them. They were the biggest law breakers. On one side politicians were enjoying the fruits of democracy by loot and plunder and obliging near and dear ones, on the other side of the fence country was nose diving. Then we had intervention of army to break the nexus of politicians but so sad to get legitimacy vote army joined hands with the same politicians who were removed on account of massive corruption.

Politicians always gave an impression as if the country belongs to them and it is their personal property and they are the sole proprietors without any fear of law and accountability. They spread corruption like epidemic and majority of them started behaving like dictators. They build huge palaces, purchased property in the country of their own choice, opened off shore companies to invest looted money. A reign of terror prevailed and poor people had no choice except to bow down before their wishes. Laws did exist but their application was restricted to poor people. A cycle thief was beaten blue and sent to jail whereas a confirmed dacoit looting billions of rupees was accorded VIP protocol. Can anyone think of a murderer making victory sign duly escorted by guards appearing in courts without chains, it could only happen in Pakistan?

Quaid e Azam in his speech of 11 August 1947 said “You are free, you are free to go to your temples, and you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state……….Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.”It appears our politicians misunderstood the speech of father of the nation and changed its meaning to “You are free; you are free to loot any place of your choice in Pakistan. The only condition was that you have to be a politician. You may belong to any party. You may belong to any province, as a citizen of state does anything without any fear from any institution.

We witness such democratic dramas each day. It was a great surprise to hear from most seasoned politician former opposition leader in the National Assembly and leader of PPP Khursheed Shah that his party will not let parliament function if Mian Shahbaz Sharif is removed from the chairmanship of Public Accounts Committee. How Khursheed can can claim and interfere in the laws of the land. Is parliament his sole property? They need to be checked on such statements. Rules are apart there are certain moral obligations that should always be agitating our minds. He talked about the respect of the parliament, yes that parliament which is dysfunctional due to opposition’s rude behaviour, coupled with threats, shouts and walk outs. How can one give respect to empty chairs and when these are filled one only finds a scene of fish market. You earn respect by being respectful to others. What an understanding of international affairs, shaking hands with IMF chief by the Prime Minister has been cited as an insult to Pakistan, one can only laugh on such statements.

Corruption cases on PPP leaders has un nerved the party and the only way to release the pressure is to keep repeating the rhetoric of government’s failure. Since this is the first time accountability of elite has started therefore it is under criticism. But this must be brought to its logical conclusion. There cannot be two opinions about economy of Pakistan we are in real danger almost in default position, thanks to our friends who are trying to rescue us but our looters and plunderers are not coming forward to return the money, come what may, let the heaven fall but no compromise on corruption but somehow or the other we are still far away from real transparency. Before it gets too late, we should know that we have no option except Now or Never and more so dream of Naya Pakistan shall never see the light of the day.

The writer is a freelance journalist and defence Analyst.