The never-never land

Published: August 7, 2016
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amina.jilani@tribune.com.pk

amina.jilani@tribune.com.pk

Someone is nearing the right tack — Hussain Nadim on July 30 in his column “The need for retirement in politics”. On the face of it, not possible. It would have to be a constitutional innovation. You can, under the unworkable Pakistani parliamentary system limit the prime ministerial terms. But you cannot have an all round retirement age in democratic or obviously any other form of politics. Age is not the overriding problem. There have been oldies in global politics who have kept their commitment, honour and honesty intact — not the case in this great Islamic Republic. However, Nadim has got the point that what serves now in Pakistan for the political class is outmoded, jaded, been around for far too long — the top culprits date back to the 1980s — and they have no concept of the 21st century or of the aspirations of the country’s youth which the writer represents. More importantly, they are incompetent to the point of destruction; they are corrupt to the point where they endanger the nation; they have one-track minds; they are self-indulging, care nothing for the voters who have either been rewarded or brainwashed into voting them in — in short, they are collectively a menace to society as known in this land.

Surveying, even objectively, the political scenario in this country is morbidly depressing, mind-numbing. The ruling party, with its ‘N’ signifying the ownership of its great leader, and he himself have been with us off and on for almost three decades and have delivered nothing that could or can alleviate the plight of the majority of the (now) some 200 million citizens. Their intent, their policies and their projects are geared to the lucrative, to pockets and to self-projection. The leader and his team of relatives and tufthunters have moved seamlessly from one century to another with their mindsets firmly rooted in self. Enough, but the electorate are the three proverbial monkeys.

The once great party of the people, formed by one of the few internationally recognised acceptable leader of a country, unfortunately flawed in his brilliance to the extent that a former British high commissioner in his memoirs correctly forecast that he “was born to be hanged” is no longer even a shadow of its former self. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto initially had the right ideas, but his intent was sinister. He paid. His daughter did her best against pretty monumental odds, and like her father, but far less deservingly so, paid her price. The PPP is nothing without the Bhutto name and whatever be the projection (apart from the fact that dynastic succession in political parties is all wrong) young Bilawal is not a Bhutto. He is a Zardari, and he just does not inspire hope. The party, isolated in Sindh, has just made a move that young Nadim advocates, out with the old and in with the new. But it is an eyewash. The new chief minister and his cabinet can hardly be named new; again dynastic politics come into play. And besides, the rulers of this sad province are the Zardari siblings, the brother who rules from afar and the sister who sits on the right hand of the nominated chairman.

Imran Khan and his party are already has-beens. They have come, tried, failed, and again inspire no hope.

In another era, it was suggested that had we ever had a military dictator who was actually a dictator, he would do his job, issue a blanket disqualification of all politicians who had sat in the assemblies from 1985, including their kith and kin, survey the scene, find new fresh faces, brains, competence and the right intent, install them and go home voluntarily. It didn’t happen. The military will never bow to a bunch of politicos they cannot respect. That is why they are where they are. And, General Raheel Sharif, do not be distracted by idiots — do your duty, go home in November with your head held high.

Surveying, even objectively, the political scenario in this country is morbidly depressing, mind-numbing. The ruling party, with its ‘N’ signifying the ownership of its great leader, and he himself have been with us off and on for almost three decades and have delivered nothing that could or can alleviate the plight of the majority of the (now) some 200 million citizens. Their intent, their policies and their projects are geared to the lucrative, to pockets and to self-projection. The leader and his team of relatives and tufthunters have moved seamlessly from one century to another with their mindsets firmly rooted in self. Enough, but the electorate are the three proverbial monkeys.Someone is nearing the right tack — Hussain Nadim on July 30 in his column “The need for retirement in politics”. On the face of it, not possible. It would have to be a constitutional innovation. You can, under the unworkable Pakistani parliamentary system limit the prime ministerial terms. But you cannot have an all round retirement age in democratic or obviously any other form of politics. Age is not the overriding problem. There have been oldies in global politics who have kept their commitment, honour and honesty intact — not the case in this great Islamic Republic. However, Nadim has got the point that what serves now in Pakistan for the political class is outmoded, jaded, been around for far too long — the top culprits date back to the 1980s — and they have no concept of the 21st century or of the aspirations of the country’s youth which the writer represents. More importantly, they are incompetent to the point of destruction; they are corrupt to the point where they endanger the nation; they have one-track minds; they are self-indulging, care nothing for the voters who have either been rewarded or brainwashed into voting them in — in short, they are collectively a menace to society as known in this land.

The once great party of the people, formed by one of the few internationally recognised acceptable leader of a country, unfortunately flawed in his brilliance to the extent that a former British high commissioner in his memoirs correctly forecast that he “was born to be hanged” is no longer even a shadow of its former self. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto initially had the right ideas, but his intent was sinister. He paid. His daughter did her best against pretty monumental odds, and like her father, but far less deservingly so, paid her price. The PPP is nothing without the Bhutto name and whatever be the projection (apart from the fact that dynastic succession in political parties is all wrong) young Bilawal is not a Bhutto. He is a Zardari, and he just does not inspire hope. The party, isolated in Sindh, has just made a move that young Nadim advocates, out with the old and in with the new. But it is an eyewash. The new chief minister and his cabinet can hardly be named new; again dynastic politics come into play. And besides, the rulers of this sad province are the Zardari siblings, the brother who rules from afar and the sister who sits on the right hand of the nominated chairman.

Imran Khan and his party are already has-beens. They have come, tried, failed, and again inspire no hope.

In another era, it was suggested that had we ever had a military dictator who was actually a dictator, he would do his job, issue a blanket disqualification of all politicians who had sat in the assemblies from 1985, including their kith and kin, survey the scene, find new fresh faces, brains, competence and the right intent, install them and go home voluntarily. It didn’t happen. The military will never bow to a bunch of politicos they cannot respect. That is why they are where they are. And, General Raheel Sharif, do not be distracted by idiots — do your duty, go home in November with your head held high.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Parvez
    Aug 8, 2016 - 12:33AM

    Good write up…..ET please correct this as whole paragraphs have been repeated. Recommend

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