*The Last Rites of a Crumbling System*
THE IMPENDING, UNAVOIDABLE AND CERTAIN DEMISE OF PAKISTAN DUE TO COLLAPSE OF NATIONAL WILL TO FIGHT RAMPANT CORRUPTION.
“Without strong watchdog institutions, impunity becomes the very foundation upon which systems of corruption are built. And if impunity is not demolished, all efforts to bring an end to corruption are in vain.“
- Rigoberta Menchú
Imagine a country where a parliamentarian would demand on the floor of the House that the services of fake degree- and license-holder pilots should not be terminated; where a convict is allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment by merely signing a stamp paper of nondescript value; where the courts would repeatedly block the executive branch from performing its constitutional functions on one plea or the other, and where they routinely bail out alleged criminals to escape investigation of the corruption they are accused of; where judges are caught taking dictations over telephone; where fabrications, distortions and downright lies adorn the screens for hours every evening without a check by the regulatory body; where key state institutions have been reduced to a cacophony of skeletons making a mockery of their very existence; where, instead of coming forth with evidence to nullify the allegations, a sitting judge of the apex court would take recourse to petty technicalities to save his skin, with other judges of the bench acting as accomplices; or where the guilty roam free and the innocent are caged.
Imagine a country where state interests are compromised in lieu of advancing personal, profit-based relations; where political parties are run as family fiefdoms committed to ensuring state capture by a few to eternity; where merit is forfeited to enable family members and associates to occupy key positions in the government; where democracy is only an apparel deceitfully used to hide cruel and despotic indulgences; where a sitting Prime Minister would help an alleged criminal escape the law in his official plane; where members of a former ruling family, duly declared absconders, unashamedly keep claiming their innocence; where the entire executive and judicial organs of the state are helpless before the marauding inroads that a property tycoon made by “putting wheels to his files” and getting away with plundering the holdings of the poor; where proven criminals step out of courts with beaming smiles and victory signs; where politicians operate as mafias and businesses as cartels; where bureaucrats are criminally politicised, judiciary has become a vehicle for providing relief to criminals and state institutions are used to perpetuate defilement of the constitution, rules and procedures.
Imagine a country where the word of God is a hostage in the hands of a fleet of obscurantist merchants of religion. And, worst of all, imagine a country where all this is done without remorse, without shame. That country is your country. That country is my country. That country, unfortunately, is Pakistan.
It is not what Pakistan was conceived for becoming, or how its founding father would have imagined it would evolve into. But, that is what it has become, and a large number of people may yet be convinced that it is the right thing to have happened.
It is as if we are numb to a million wrongs that afflict this country. It is as if we are blind to felonies, constantly driven by getting our needs fulfilled irrespective of the methods employed or the instruments used. All which is self-interest-driven of the powerful is construed as fair. However, if the same is done by ordinary people, we are quick to become moral vigilante brigades and raise accusatory fingers in their direction. In other words, we accentuate the malady that doing a thing the wrong way is the exclusive right of the beneficiary elite.
This is how deep the malaise has penetrated through layers and layers of the societal fabric with no hope in hell that it may, at some point in time, be reversible. In fact, with every passing day, this thought process is digging its tentacles deeper with the whole society standing on the sidelines watching in total and criminal silence. It is not a few odd people who have gone astray. By deliberately exercising our ‘right’ to stay silent, we have all become accomplices in this crime spree.
Look at our institutions. Look at the judiciary and the way it is conducting itself, letting criminals simply walk away; or the NAB with virtually no convictions to show by way of performance; or the financial institutions failing miserably in expanding the taxpayers’ base and trying to extricate more from the ones who are already captive in their hands; or regulatory bodies facilitating non-conforming organisations in expanding their illicit networks. These are symptoms of an inherently dishonest and diseased system that works by criminalising all annals of governance.
The state institutions have become impediments in the way of every possible effort to clean up things with the judiciary repeatedly obstructing the executive branch of the state ..................