Fakir S Ayazuddin
Politics in Pakistan has come to a grinding halt with the lukewarm statement emanating from Raiwind that the Lion does not wish to disturb the system, for fear of bringing down the existing setup. It is a setup which allows the PPP to continue its rampage across the country with the help of the corrupt officials it has appointed at every level. We, for our part, have been trapped by the politicians, and nothing short of a radical change can remove them now.
Pakistanis thought that the blood of Benazir Bhutto and her followers who died with her would usher in a new era of justice and fair play in the country. On the other hand, it has resulted in her confidants being sidelined and replaced by a set of corrupt people who have only one interest–making money. Governance for our politicians is a means to exploiting any and all resources.
The people of Pakistan, already one of the poorest in the world, are getting poorer by the day. We Pakistanis were not destined to remain poor, but we must bear our poverty and backwardness because we are caught in a bind. At present it is parties such as the PML-N and the PPP which we must endure. The two parties have decided to ensure that the five-year term between elections will be completed, with each side doing its best not to destabilise the other. This leaves people with no hope, no future. Industry is shutting down, food prices are spiralling, and the latest forecasts are of the price of sugar going up to Rs100 per kilo. An unthinkable figure.
And under these conditions the Lion, Mian Nawaz Sharif, states that he will not destabilise the system. Is the Lion so satisfied with the state of the country that he will continue to protect those who are running it the way they are? Surely the agony of the masses does not deserve this apathetic treatment. The rising number of suicides is not ringing any alarm bells in the corridors of powers, nor any sympathy for the bereaved who have lost their breadwinners. As someone remarked, even the cost of dying has become exorbitant, and most poor families are leaving burials to Edhi.
The sham democracy that is in place in Pakistan, protected by our foreign patrons, has created far more problems for us than we faced before. The same applies to our religious parties, which managed to convince their voters that theirs was the true path. Their promised shortcut to heaven was a clever ploy to get votes, and then to partake of the spoils like all the other politicians.
No politicians have been sincere, because they never tried to deliver. Most never even tried. Even the establishment seems to have withdrawn into the background. This leaves only Imran Khan as the lone voice in the wilderness, but without any support. People may soon have no choice but to try a radical solution. The two major parties seem to have deserted us.
Meanwhile, the US is too focused on the Afghan problem to care for the huge impact of the war on terror that is being felt by the Pakistani people. We Pakistanis are confused by our US friends, because it is not only that they do not mind the plunder taking place, they are doing everything to keep the PPP in power in Pakistan. In lending support to the PPP, they are actively encouraging corruption.
The Americans do not mind the rising body count of Pakistanis killed in the war on terror. This is a tally far greater than that of the US and Nato forces combined. This is not to mention the loss of civilian lives because of a war which is not of our own making.
The crumbs we receive from the Americans are not worth our while, and have effectively destroyed our economy. While corruption continues to eat away at our innards, when the Lion does awakens, there will be nothing left of the carcass. The Americans should realise that the violent change that is brewing today in Pakistan has a distinctly anti-American flavour, and nobody in the State Department has recognised this, so isolated have the Americans become from the realities in this region.
Meanwhile the Afghans are the oldest untamed warriors on earth, and their peace will come at a greater price than their war.