Civil society in politics

People Marching Against Tyranny in Pakistan
People Marching Against Tyranny in Pakistan

Even after 62 years of independence, Pakistan is still groping in the dark. One’s heart bleeds for Pakistan when one looks at over six decades of exploitation by the ruling class.

The economy is as bad as it can get. The finance wizards of the government can come up with whatever figures that they like but no one believes them. People believe what they see and at the moment, they see their children starving, their businesses on the decline, fresh graduates desperately seeking jobs, roads absolutely insecure and human life dispensable. All this can make every self-respecting Pakistani hang his head in shame. Every time the Finance Minister proudly announces the receipt of a new installment of loan, it actually means that the nation’s future prospective is further mortgaged to the donor institutions.

The people of Pakistan are already living a life in which they manage everything themselves. The poor live without electricity whereas the rich produce their own electricity at extreme costs using private generators. The poor sleep on the footpath and in the open totally oblivious to his security while the rich sleep well tucked in their comfortable beds but full of fear for their security. In short, the state has abdicated its functions to its citizens on a self-help basis.

Every Pakistani is ready to suffer any amount of hardship as long as that leads to prosperity. The poor and middle class have made all kinds of sacrifices that the motherland has asked them to make. Most affluent Pakistanis love the country just as much as any other Pakistani and they too have proved their patriotism from time to time. But things have not changed, still. Mahathir turned Malaysia into what it is today. Pakistan is still looking for that one soul that will turn out to be its Mahathir.

Pakistan has been functioning in a situation where constitution has never mattered, courts have been enslaved, the country’s policies have been ambiguous, the state has not provided quality education uniformly across the country, corruption is rampant and where the dignity of ordinary citizens has been trampled on. What could be more pathetic than the fact that we are yet to discern the form of governance that Pakistan must have.

The present politicians, both, in government as well as opposition have a heavy responsibility on their shoulders and they need to come out and set the bearings right for the country. Time is going by fast and the sturdy Pakistan of the yesteryears is fast slipping into a state of paralysis. This grand country of ours, which has risen from extreme adversities in the past, has the will to lift itself from the abyss but what has to be understood is that 180 million people act in unison only when led by an effective leadership or when in a state of rebellion.

Having said that, the choice is obvious and the writing is on the wall. The situation has to be stabilised and the resolve must come from those in power today. The civil society has to now transform itself into a huge political force, not only in terms of issues like it did in the judicial crisis, but will have to rise and play an active role in the future electoral process to see that the very best get through the elections in future. Only such a step by the civil society will change the destiny. For the last 30 years, we have seen the same faces in parliament and in the cabinet. This stagnancy must now end. The civil society must catapult itself into active politics rather than dissipate its strength. In other words, there were a number of instances, according to the answers, of a singular process being applied as opposed to multiple processes encouraged to engage a more cyclical application of writing processes

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