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Continued from Previous……
Why are we where we are? One does not need higher education in sociology, anthropology, political science and economics to understand. Of course, such education may come in handy to prepare formal reports with proper statistics.
Those of us who have lived in this society and are still desperate to continue living here till death do them apart, can see the major areas where things consistently went wrong. Some of these are mentioned below.
Corruption has continued to live in the land of the pure since its inception. It is amazing to note that many people who had been living an upright, conservative life for generations, became grabbers and looters overnight. Those who had no property in India, came here and grabbed as much property as they could. It is also true, that many who had big properties in India did not get anything after migrating to Pakistan. Those who were already living here went ahead and possessed the properties of those who migrated to the other side. A Settlement department was established by the government right after partition which kept working for several years. Its mandate was to verify claims of migrants/refugees and settle these accordingly. The department became known for bribery and corruption from day one, which flowed and flourished through every pore of it. Financial corruption was followed by moral corruption, social corruption and religious corruption. The monster of corruption is now bigger than Godzilla and runs amok in our hearts, minds, homes and streets. Bribery is an accepted way of work and is exchanged openly and unabashedly, on the streets, in the offices, and other places of interaction. Corruption is the order before prayers and after prayers, during Ramadan and Umrah and Hajj, and all other times of the year. The highest ranking social, political, religious elite is embroiled in corruption to the hilt.
In the ranking of markers for decline, corruption ranks number one. It is most proficient also as it has given birth of so many other monsters.
Politics in Pakistan was always dominated by the rural/urban elite. They had resources to contest elections or manipulate election to get to assemblies. Once there, their next battle would be to get hold of a juicy ministry, or any ministry if the choicest one was not available. For the rest of the tenure of membership, all of the ‘elected representatives’ elected to do only two things: one, recover the expense with interest incurred to reach assembly; two, amass enough money to last for next several elections and generations. Over time, the process has become more refined and more profitable. Hardly any one of them ever worked for the interest of the country; rather, they worked against the country to get their own interests. They sold short term and long-term interests of the country cheaply and got away with it. A renowned politician once commented, ‘do you think it is easy to do corruption? It takes lot of effort and hard work’. Our cream of creams achieved excellence in political maneuvering, manipulation, extortion and arm-twisting.
Political parties soon found that they also need terrorizing power and quickly established youth wings or student’ organizations. All major parties had a student subsidiary, most resilient is the one from a religio-political party. The student organizations have now been replaced by students cultivated in the establishments of parties who exclusively work for them with loyalty and ferocity. At least one political party achieved extreme heights in terror, extortion, grabbing and looting and thrived at the expense of people.
Our politics was wrong from the word ‘go’ and has been going from bad to worse.
To begin with, there were three power centers: legislature, executive and judicial. Military soon became the fourth, and the more dominant power contender. Somewhat later, the fifth contender, Media, joined the oligarchy of power brokers and hustlers.
Power struggle has caused pre-term fall of governments, military takeovers, interrupted democracies, major policy shifts to save power base and so on. The summary is that the power struggle has created its own monsters which come back often to haunt it.
Governance and the interest of people have been severely hurt in the process of power struggle. Long term policies for development were abandoned for short term interests. Nothing of substance could be achieved in major areas namely economy, education, development, governance and more.
To be Continued……
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