As the country inches towards a holistic default — economic, political, moral, ethical, legal, judicial and constitutional — one might question what brought us to this deplorable juncture. How did a resource-rich and resilient society turn out to be an abode of defaults? Who has hijacked the fate of a nation of 224 million people where taking one’s life is much easier than living it? Who has imposed the ruling elite on the fortunes of the country?
The answers to these questions might vary based on different contexts, people, perspectives and interests. But one thing is certain; those running the country for over seven and half decades now are behind the ruthless national ruin. The successive governments, regardless of their nature and composition, framed policies in such a self-serving manner that only brought misery to the populace. In other words, the hybrid ruling elite has been at war against its own people through self-serving policies and corrupt practices. And the public has remained an accomplice to this in the form of chronic compliance to injustice and systematic brutalities. This passivity transformed the people into the subjects of sustainable exploitation. Historically, people have never been as desperate for survival as they are today. The country’s daily wage earners and lower and middle-income groups find their existence unbearable. At a time when people fight the war for survival and view taking their lives as a win-win situation, the government is fighting the battle for perpetuation of power and greater riches. As the country’s reserves dive to historic lows; those of the elite touch the highs.
For a sane, selfless and compassionate mind, nothing is as painful and scary as listening to the confession of chronically seated leaders of their inability to accord a viable direction to the country and countrymen. Recent acknowledgements and divinely painted statements made by the economic tsar about the country’s economic plight are disappointing, at least for the public. This is akin to taking a country’s reign with the promises of prosperity but ending up ruining it.
If Pakistan’s prosperity is God’s subject, why have they been there for so long? Even if this is accepted as true, why have the people been made to hear promises and claims of development in the name of democracy, patriotism, constitutionalism, justice and politics? Were these narratives a part of the ploy to come to power and plunder the country’s resources? Suppositions aside, political, religious, judicial, colonial, bureaucratic, corporate and crony capitalist elite never had a plan for the country’s prosperity or stability. They only knew how to successfully and sustainably carry on looting national resources, accumulate wealth and shift it abroad.
Throughout history, the public has rarely ever benefited from anything. Almost all the alms and aid received by the successive governments since the country’s inception ended in elite-owned offshore investments, palaces and islands. But now it is the inflation-hit public that has to pay the price of the ruling elite’s luxuries. The public, particularly the middle class and daily wage earners, have been made to repay the same in the name of hyperinflation and unjustified taxation. Had the elite cared even a little for the public, they would have at least contributed a little from their heists and ill-gotten wealth in the form of reducing their lavish budgets and self-imposed allowances.
Resultantly, no matter how much the dollar increases in value; no matter what level of inflation the country reaches; and no matter how far one’s life turns out to be a tragedy, it does not bother those who enigmatically matter. This is because whosoever has brought the country to the road of ruin will lose nothing except flying to their respective home countries abroad in the case of, God forbid, a national collapse.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2023.
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