LAHORE: If democracy is not seen to serve people, through good governance, commitment and integrity, then it will never take root in the country. The best of systems are bound to fail if those given charge to steer it, lack the morality and integrity required to assume their roles as guardians of the state exchequer. Laws will only be legislated to enforce the rule of law, protect the lives and property of citizens, collect taxes without any fear or favour, prevent pilferage, make appointments on merit, invest in the development of human resources, facilitate in punishing criminals, only if legislators themselves are not involved in nefarious activities. Financial and administrative discipline can only be enforced through strict regulatory controls and appointment of men of integrity to head such institutions.
An elected public representative, who does not pay taxes, openly and defiantly leads an immoral life, sponsors politics of violence and gives false information under oath, has no right to seek re-election. Terrorism can only be curtailed or eliminated, if there is zero tolerance for armed outfits belonging to all religious and political groups, whether in power, or out of power, belonging to banned groups, or affiliated with registered political parties. Why should academic degrees and nomination papers submitted by sitting parliamentarians and newcomers for the forthcoming elections, not be scrutinised? The submission of fake degrees or false statement of assets confirms that the individual has no morals or integrity and, therefore, under no circumstances, should he be allowed to stand for elections. Otherwise, there will never be a change for the better nor will the Quaid’s vision of Pakistan as a modern, democratic welfare state ever see the light of day.
Malik Tariq Ali
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2013.