The real purpose and meaning of politics, which is to serve the country and its people, is entirely changed in Pakistan. Politics has become a source to grab power. It has turned into a vocation for corrupt, cruel and cunning people who join this field just to plunder the country and its poor people. There does not exist any ethics, principles, morality and ideology in Pakistani politics. Almost, all Pakistani politicians are demagogues, dishonest, immoral, incompetent, venal, opportunistic, unpatriotic and unprincipled. They use slogans of nationalism, religion, brotherhood, equality, change and economic prosperity to deceive and control the poor people of Pakistan. It is contradictory that these rich and corrupt people talk about eliminating poverty, hunger and corruption from the country.
Many politicians, including former president and the PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari, his son Bilawal Zardari Bhutto, the PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz and the PTI chairman Imran Khan, have submitted details of their assets in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Their assets clearly show that they are very rich people who are ruling the country and its poor people in the name of bringing about prosperity in Pakistan.
According to the documents, “former President Asif Zardari owns assets worth Rs758 million. He owns 349 acres of irrigation land in addition to 7,399 acres of rented land. The former president had earned Rs100.55 million from his agriculture investment and a further Rs7.66 million from other businesses. Bilawal Zardari Bhutto has claimed to have assets worth Rs 1.5 billion. He owns almost two dozen properties, both inside Pakistan and outside, besides having 23 of his immoveable assets including share investments and bank accounts in Dubai and the UK. Most of the properties declared by Bilawal are shown as gifted by parents or grandfather. The PML-N leader and daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz declared that her net assets amount to a total of Rs 845 million. According to details, Maryam revealed that she is a shareholder in Chaudhry Sugar Mills Limited, Hamza Spinning Mills Limited, Muhammad Buksh Textile Mills Limited, Hudabiya Papers Mills Limited and Hudabiya Engineering Co. Private Limited. Furthermore, she also owns 1,506 kanals of irrigated land, which have increased by 548 kanals in the last three years. Maryam also disclosed that she invested Rs 3.4 million in her family flour mills and had lent a loan worth Rs 7 million to Soft Energy Private Limited. She also stated that she currently owns gifts and jewellery worth Rs40 million and 1.7 million respectively. Moreover, Maryam shared that her brother Hasan Nawaz had also given her a loan of Rs 20 million. The PTI leader Imran Khan has net assets worth Rs38 million. Imran Khan owns 169 acres of irrigation land. The PTI chairman has also submitted details of his foreign visits. He had made 28 international trips from 2015 to 2018 and most of them were sponsored. In his nomination papers, Khan has declared assets of Rs4.77 million. Imran Khan has declared his salary to be Rs1.89 million in addition to agriculture income of Rs2.36 million, according to documents.
According to the documents, Imran Khan doesn’t have a personal car and holds two foreign currency accounts in Islamabad. The documents further reveal that Imran Khan has 14 properties in Lahore, Islamabad and other parts of Pakistan which he had inherited. Imran Khan has no business ventures in Pakistan or abroad, it added.
It is a tragic fact that these very rich people have used politics and democracy just to protect and enhance their own wealth and power. They have no concern about the country and its poor people. They would not like to introduce a real democratic system in Pakistan.
Democracy flourishes in an educated society, where people choose and replace governments through free and fair elections, where people select their leaders and hold them accountable for their actions and policies, where people decide who will represent them through elections, where people have the real power, where political parties have their programmes, and ideologies. Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that, “everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.”
Democracy protects the human and fundamental rights of all citizens. It ensures the rule of law, introduces a merit system, implements people-friendly, equitable and unified economic, educational, social and legal policies. But, unfortunately, there is no real democracy in Pakistan. Only the rich and corrupt can contest elections in our country. Wealth is the only qualification for getting a party ticket for contesting the elections. There is no need for any other kind of qualification like education, honesty, dedication, patriotism, ideology, etc. The common man could not dream of getting a party ticket for contesting the elections in Pakistan.
The PTI, which attained popularity due to the slogans of change and one Pakistan, has badly disappointed the people of Pakistan. Without feeling any shame, the PTI leader Imran Khan has welcomed, supported and given tickets to “electable candidates”. Imran Khan, a rich person who talks about the poor people, justice, equality and merit, has felt no hesitation to embrace the proven corrupt politicians from other political parties like the PPP, the PML-N, etc. He just wants to become the prime minister of Pakistan. To achieve his goal, Imran Khan has taken a U-turn on his party’s ideology and slogans of transparency, democracy and merit. Imran Khan and the PTI’s central executive committee have shamelessly ignored the services of the old workers of the party, who are now protesting outside Bani Galla. Ignoring the protests of the party workers, the PTI leaders are shamelessly defending the choices. It shows that the PTI has fallen prey to political opportunism and the idea of bringing a change through ideology has been shattered.
Other political parties, the PPP, the PML-N, the ANP, the MMA, etc., are already notorious for trying to gain political power by hook or by crook. The ANP, a party that follows the philosophy of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan as its political ideology, has given a ticket to one of the instigators in Mashaal Khan’s murder to contest the elections. The PPP and the PML-N have also allotted tickets to many religious bigots, defectors, criminals and the corrupt. Looking at the political spectrum, one can easily predict that there is no hope for change in Pakistan in the near future.