Roshan Pakistan in Dingy Parliament

National Assembly of  Pakistan, Parliament

The historical day, when one democratic set-up would ever hand over power to another democratic government, has finally dawned on Pakistan – when Nawaz Sharif took oath of power yesterday.

Democracy has finally yielded its fruit, and the fruit was only ‘more democracy’; the same people who sat in this prestigious house in the last term, sit there today – only the seats and rows have been shuffled within. Those who were a friendly opposition yesterday, now vow to form a friendly government, and those who were governing yesterday are ready to return friendship with yet more loyalty. More promises, more slogans, and a potpourri of massive rigging and horse-trading, have eventually managed to not let democracy derail. Nothing has been compromised in assuring the establishment of power – except trust, nobility, dignity, law and other useless stuff like these.

Today, when we see representatives of different parties giving their opening statements – vowing upon the Constitution, and reminding each other that the pages of the Constitution are dipped in the context of the Quran to the roots, promulgating their earnest intention to uphold it this time, we are amazed! We are reminded, by this oath, of another oath, taken several centuries ago, by 11 brothers, who connived to kill their 12th brother, and promised each other that after getting rid of Yousuf they would become of the righteous. But history tells us that what is begotten upon falsehood does not yield seeds of goodness, and the sin of avarice keeps on regenerating at every moist spot. Therefore, a democracy that has been seized with cheatings, double-play and deception, does not stand on any firm ground whatsoever.

The same people we have been cursing for the last 5 years – for the load-shedding, for the price-hikes and for drones; the same people who were unable to reconstruct our badly performing education system, our deteriorating socio-religious norms, our overly corrupt offices; and the same people who have allowed the cultural onslaught of the Indian and Western media and who have allowed the propagation of a pseudo-historical narrative, are back in power, with new smiles on their old, worn faces.

PKKH does not advocate the notion of hopelessness; after all, Yousuf’s brothers did turn into righteous men after him, so we, too, would like to believe on these new smiles and these dazzling promises, that reach us from tongues that have lied to us so many times before and from a house as dark as our Parliament!

Perhaps this is a time to welcome our newly elected, who will tell us for the next 5 years that we voted them into power and that, without any doubt, ‘we love them’. But, at the same time, PKKH invites all the sectors of the society, and especially, all the worthy analysts of the matters of the State, to come out as the ‘real opposition’ against those who think that this vote will be a free ticket for 5 years of loot and plunder. We invite the civil society and the information centers to not degrade their power of speech and pen by numbing down into a friendly opposition and letting our exploiters lose on the rampage.

Let this be a 5 years of constant questioning and accountability – let us use our democratic right of putting forth the question of the drone and terror; the question of foreign intervention in our soil; the question of Indian content in our news-channels; the question of how a democracy works for illiterate masses; the question of a lost economy and massive corruption; the question of Kashmir and Afghanistan; of Gwadar and the island we sold; the question of the Baluch and the Karachiites; the question of our lost dignity and broken pride, and so on…

The Roshan Pakistan Promise, of the Muslim League cum Nawaz League, flickers in the suspicious minds of the public, like their unpredictable power supplies; the whole nation has been hijacked into a stance of disbelief for their very basic energy need. This degradation of the basic human condition lowers the thought process of the people to a level where their relation with their rulers has been conditioned into a superficial tug-of-war between certain rhetorical promises and the people’s demand for them. This Roshani, being promised in the ‘Roshan Pakistan’, is as artificial and unsustainable as hydro-electricity has proven to be for us.

The reason for this is that the conditioning of the public into a certain desired state saves them from the despair of indulging into the deeper, real and structural issues that have trapped them in a permanent status-quo in the first place. And the superficial rhetoric of hyped promises helps maintain the air of delusion; a delusion that we are bidding the Nawaz League break for us now.

In his open speech to the parliament Nawaz Sharif has said, ‘”We respect the sovereignty of others and they should respect our sovereignty and independence. This campaign must come to an end,”

He said, “These drone strikes that rain in every day have to stop.” And he pledged to tackle corruption and address worsening energy crises.

The people of Pakistan have, willingly or unwillingly, given the Nawaz League a full mandate. What remains to be seen is whether Nawaz Sharif will use this immense power to break through the system and revive the inapt theory upon which the education of the masses is being swept away; will he redraw the ideology upon which our police and court system is working? Does he have the will to evacuate the corruption culture from every office of the government? Or will these promises prove to be a part of the regular rhetoric and once comfortably in office, he will recoil to the comfort of the status-quo, and let another 5 years go by, just glorifying the holy-cow of democracy?

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Discussion1 Comment

  1. The author clearly does not trust democracy as the way to govern a country…perhaps someday he will learn that government of the people and by the people may not be perfect but it is much better than all the other methods because it allows for peaceful renewal and change to occur…congratulations are appropriate because the majority of the people in the country have worked to make peaceful transition of government a reality for Pakistan…may the Pakistan tradition of democracy continue forever…

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