Change the Rotten System


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Both PML (N) and PPP institutionalized corruption on such a scale the Pakistani nation continue to feel its effects today. In their 18 years in power (1988 to 1999 & 2008 to date) Pakistan’s foreign debt metastasized to 67 billion dollars coupled with almost equal size of domestic loan received from local banks, most of which went into their pockets or those of their cronies, friends and relatives. The country will continue paying for all that debt and its interest for a long period to come. This is about time to change the rotten system.

After five years’ loot and plunder of PPP regime, people welcomed PML (N) with a lot of hope because they were thirsty for change due to their day by day declining economic condition, poverty and hunger. No one thought about the kind of person Nawaz Sharif who had spent about a decade in Holy Harmain Sharifain, with the hope of an entirely changed Nawaz Sharif and relying on his new pledges made during election campaign, they focused more on the prospects of something new better than earlier, and the impact a change would have on their lives, which had become difficult, hard and dull… politically, socially and economically – Nawaz Sharif was once again viewed as savior. Unfortunately, it has only taken a couple of years to realize that the anticipated reforms pledged in election campaign by PML(N) would never materialize, and ironically, conditions have grown comparatively worse under the PML(N) regime.

Under this rotten system, this government has added to the problems of people of Pakistan and country is now inflicted with a large number of diseases due to bad governance, leadership crisis, unfaithfulness, non-stop cancerous corruption, cronyism, lack of accountability, financial mismanagement, unethical practices, lack of rule of law, and lack of nationalism. Corruption has reached at new dimensions, where the corrupt are protected rather rewarded for the crime which involves ruthlessly looting and plundering the state. The country has been plunged into unending darkness. None of the public sector can be named that has improved under the rotten system of this government. The constitution is being constantly flouted, the human lives have no respect, the people who robbed the state of its meager resources are being protected, property and life of anybody is not safe, and defiance of court orders is norm. While everything is failing, the Prime Minister is busy in his foreign tours at heavy state expenses, with no visible benefits to the people. Pakistan again finds itself at the crossroad. There is no viable political leader in any party to take Pakistan out of the mess it currently is tangled in.

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif – a very popular military leader, has bluntly accused the RAW of constantly interfering in Pakistan and spreading terrorism countrywide, has made it very clear that Kashmir is unfinished agenda of partition and Pakistan cannot abandon Kashmir under any conditions, has gained remarkable military victories against terrorists and now determined to root out economic terrorism as well; has taken back peace, and has become a source of discomfort for some of the countries by occupying the international political space and pulling the country out of international isolation by playing a proactive diplomatic role. The people of Pakistan love the army and its commander; he is the man on a great mission. Like always, the institution he is representing has been forced to fill the vacuum created by the political parties.

Independence of the country had opened up a bright future for the citizens who hoped for a better standard of living, economic development, prosperity and a fuller life, which doors have been tightly shut by our politicians. The country, instead of making progress has gone into a downward spiral, economically, politically and socially. Every citizen is constrained to think as to sixty eight years later where does the country stand? Generally the military regimes succeeded in stabilizing the economy and seemed to give good direction to the country but as soon as the civilian regimes took over they again ruined the country and its institutions for their personal greed. I am not anti democracy; I want democratic institutions to flourish and serve the country in real sense and remove the prevailing ills. But I don’t expect that happening. Nevertheless, democracy must rule, but for that to happen leaders of good integrity are needed and they are nowhere can be found at least in Pakistan.

In this rotten system, corruption, malpractices and misuse of authority, all have a close nexus with terrorism. It was job of the politicians to eradicate these menaces to escape from terrorism but they have always shown their reluctance rather there are evidences that some political parties are promoting and patronizing the terrorists and terrorism. The military forces have shown unprecedented restraint during the last about eight years letting the so called democracy to run but politicians have shown no political will to get rid of ills like corruption, malpractices and misuse of authority.  What they are doing apparently is also half heartedly.

It has now become increasingly apparent that excessive and unbalanced concentration of power in the Prime Minister and the Cabinet has subverted the system of checks and balances in government. Unfortunately constitution of Pakistan 1973 carrying Parliamentary form of government has become entirely ineffective, increasingly abusive of the rights of the people, including the right to have government be accountable to them and not to power elite. The system has proven to be oppressive, negative in purpose and authoritarian in spirit, providing no relief to the common man. Our military forces are the most cohesive, disciplined and powerful institutions of the state, and should continue to exercise their role in the affairs of the country. National thoughts and emotions demand their role fixed by the words of constitution. The constitution of Pakistan needs revisit transforming the system to Presidential one simultaneously fixing the role of Armed Forces in the constitution.


Shaukat Masood Zafar
Shaukat Masood Zafar
A well known freelance columnist writing for daily Pakistan Observer, and several other national and international websites and newspapers. Economy, Politics, and Agricultural & Rural Development are especially areas of his interest.


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