NationalVolume 14 Issue # 13

What is wrong with Pakistan?

There are many ills which are affecting Pakistan very badly. But, history’s distortion, absence of morality, rule of the corrupt, for the corrupt and by the corrupt are some major problems which have turned Pakistan into a politically week, socially fragmented and economically fragile country.

In Pakistan, law is made and used to protect the corrupt and powerful people. After former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s shifting to the Services Hospital, Lahore, from Kot Lakhpat jail, there is every possibility that an NRO has been given to him by the authorities, including the establishment and Imran Khan’s PTI government. Talking to a TV channel, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Chaudhry Manzoor has already claimed that Nawaz Sharif has been given an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance). “Nawaz Sharif will fly out of the country within this month,” he stated, adding that he had got the relief he was seeking. He claimed to have received the information from an official privy to the development. He went on to claim that Nawaz Sharif as well as his daughter would remain silent on the issue”. While responding to the claim, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Ali Muhammad Khan said no one can ‘hijack’ the judiciary in the name of the NRO. The Supreme Court and the Sindh High Court will not let the NRO take place, he said. “How could Imran Khan backtrack on his vision by giving the NRO. It won’t happen,” he added.

Separately, Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said, “no NRO for anyone come what may”. He said the PPP and PML-N had become united against the PTI government, but PM Khan will offer no deal to them. “The Government’s mission is to treat the rich and the poor alike and as per law,” he said, adding that Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and Khawaja Saad Rafique were enjoying facilities in jail, which were not available to ordinary prisoners. “These people (former rulers) should also receive the same treatment in jail as an ordinary, poor inmate does,” he said.

On the other hand, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid has also said “Today, I am making a big disclosure. I also hope that PM Imran Khan will not mind it. There are reports that the two parties — PML-N and PPP — are paying money for striking a deal with the government. If it is true, please take the nation into confidence”. Speaking to the media, he said, “I demand the chief of army staff immediately order withdrawal of the Rangers (personnel) deployed for Shahbaz’s security. If not, then I should also be given Rangers security”. “Giving such a huge security (cover) to accused Shahbaz, who is allegedly involved in 23 NAB cases, is sending a very negative message to the public at large,” Sheikh Rashid alleged and added the Sharifs had looted money everywhere, including Qatar and Kuwait. He claimed: “They didn’t spare even Osama Bin Laden as they received money from him. They received money from Osama when he was respectable to everyone.” The minister said the difference between the Sharifs and Zardari was that the Sharifs knew how to protect the money they had looted and Zardari used Falooday Wala and deceased people in this regard. He asked Shahbaz to quit the PAC chairmanship since he was an “immoral” PAC chairman. “I once again say that Imran Khan has committed a blunder by agreeing to Shahbaz’s appointment as PAC chairman,” he said.

The different statements clearly manifest that Pakistan has become a land where political leaders and businessmen, like Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, Malik Riaz etc, have no fear of accountability. With their ill-gotten money and power, they are successfully escaping justice on mere technicalities. They are openly playing with the weaknesses of the system. Tragically, all institutions are helping them in concealing their corruption, crimes and immoral activities. They have every tool and power to muddle the truth and even burn down all the evidence of their corruption. Even, after being convicted, they become parliamentarians and get an NRO to evade punishment and sentence. It is a mockery of justice that Shahbaz Sharif has been elected as the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The sole purpose of the PAC is to unearth financial irregularities and corruption of the previous five years when the PML-N was ruling the country and Shahbaz Sharif’s government was ruling in the Punjab. How can Shahbaz Sharif, himself facing corruption cases, unmask the PML-N governments’ corruption?  Is it not a tragedy? Imran Khan, who pretends to be an honest leader, has also given his accent to elect Shahbaz Sharif as PAC chairman. All corrupt politicians shamelessly claim that they would not allow any harm to come to the country’s so-called democracy. Is it not a travesty of justice and mockery of a real democracy? Without merit, accountability, rule of law, education and classless social and economic systems, no real democracy can flourish. Pakistan’s democracy – really based on ignorance, poverty, feudalism, class-riddled economic and social systems – has become a tool of exploitation in the hands of the corrupt, evil and unpatriotic ruling elite.  In Pakistan, there are some families like the Sharif, Bhutto and Chaudhry families that are ruling the country and running their parties and so-called democracy. Pakistan’s political and social systems protect the family oligarchies, not political parties and democracy in the country.    

Pakistan’s ruling elite and pseudo intellectuals have also played a havoc with the stability of the country by distorting history, facts, figures and the truth. All these leaders, who now become champions of democracy, used to refer to General Zia as greater than the Quaid. Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif got an NRO from another dictator General Pervaiz Musharraf. Everyone knows that all these leaders are corrupt but, tragically, their so-called intellectual followers like Nawaz Sharif’s followers Pervaiz Rasheed, Mushahid Hussain, and Asif Ali Zardari’s Aitzaz Ahsan, Sheri Rehman, Qamar uz Zaman Kaira etc. are trying their best to prove their respective leaders innocent, honest, nationalist, and greater than the Quaid. Their supporters including columnists, media men, poets, politicians, officers bankers, businessmen etc, are writing and speaking in favour of them with very emotional language and are deceiving, disinforming and misleading innocent, illiterate and gullible people. They are painting devils as angels and saviours of the people and the country. Is it not intellectual dishonesty? Is it not a distortion of history?  A nation, which does not understand and see the truth, is bound to perish. Unfortunately, our intellectual class is committing a sin by concealing and distorting history and the truth just to please their corrupt leaders and protect their own interests.  Teal Scott has written: “a thousand times we die in one life. We crumble, break and tear apart until the layers of illusion are burned away and all that is left is the truth of who and what we really are.” But, in Pakistan, illiterate, simple, poor, emotional and gullible people would not be able to tear apart the layers of illusion created by the vile ruling elite and its corrupt intellectuals and understand the truth and its magic power of freedom under the prevailing cruel system. 

T. S. Eliot has aptly said:

“The eyes are not here

There are no eyes here

In this valley of dying stars

In this hollow valley

This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms.”

There are two laws in Pakistan. One is for the poor and the other is for the ruling elite. No doubt, Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari will get an NRO in the coming days because all the ruling elite, including Imran Khan’s PTI, is a part of the corrupt system.    

On the other hand, relatives of the Sahiwal encounter victims are still waiting for justice. Despite Imran Khan’s pledges of giving speedy justice to the family, no result has yet come. The police’s history tells us nothing will happen in the coming days. The Model Town tragedy is still waiting for justice after almost five years. The case of Naqeeb Ullah’s killing by Rao Anwar is still not decided. Ayan Ali has left the country while the officer who arrested her has been murdered by unknown people. No one has been arrested in the case. 

Now, unfortunately , the poor people don’t have any hope for getting justice in the corrupt system. If a rich man goes to jail, he becomes a hero and leader in the eyes of people. But, if a poor man faces jail, he lives with the stigma throughout his life. He is considered as a criminal even after proving innocent. Luckily, if a poor man gets justice, he or she is bound to suffer the entire life. Asia Bibi’s example can be given in this perspective. After facing incarceration for nine years, she got back her freedom through the Apex court. But, she has to leave Pakistan and live in exile for the rest of her life. Is it not a failure of the state and its institutions in providing security to it citizens?

 The minorities are not safe in “the land of the pure”. The holy Quran states there should be no compulsion in religion. But, tragically, according to a report released in 2018, by the Movement for Solidarity and peace, around 1000 Hindu and Charistian women are forcibly converted to Islam and marrying off to Muslim men every year in Pakistan. It is a sheer violation of the Quranic order and Islamic teachings committed by the so-called Muslims in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.  Our society has become so immoral that , according to the Edhi Foundation, around 345 new baby girls’ bodies were found in garbage from January 2017 to April 2018 only in Karachi. According to the Sahil, 11 cases of children’s abuse are reported daily in Pakistan. The HRCP reports 213 cases of honour killings were registered in 2018. In short, due to the corrupt ruling elite, the people of Pakistan have lost faith in love, kindness, rule of law, honesty and merit. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says: ‘he who has no kindness has no faith’. Given the social, political, cultural, economic practices and police atrocities, which are plaguing our nation and society, one can easily say that the people have lost their faith in goodness and hope.