CHITRAL: Politics in Pakistan has been a tragic exercise in futility since its independence. Instead of serving as a tool for progress and prosperity, it has become a catalyst for societal polarization, class hatred, and unchecked corruption. Due to it’s initial miscarriage it even allowed the army to take over and set an unhealthy precedence.
The story of how miscarried politics has failed the country is a long one. The Bhutto phenomenon, with its emphasis on class division, sowed the seeds of discord among sections of the society with far reaching negative effects persisting even today leading to a fractured society where meaningful discourse has been replaced by hateful rhetoric.
The introduction of money into politics, starting with Junejo’s disbursement of funds to MNAs, marked a turning point. This act transformed politics from a noble pursuit into a game of wealth accumulation and corruption. Today, the very idea of a well-meaning individual entering politics based on merit and ideology ignoring the financial benefit aspect, seems like a distant dream.
Elections in Pakistan are no longer contests of ideas and solutions. Instead, they have become grotesque spectacles of personal attacks and character assassination. It has even reached inside bedrooms and washrooms. Politicians actively foster hatred among their supporters, and continuously prod them turning them into blind followers who vote not for policies, but against their perceived enemies.
Once a party wins an election, it enters a cycle of revenge and reward. It’s initial focus for the first two years is spent on settling scores with opponents and the next two years in rewarding supporters, often with little regard for merit or competence and the last year is spent in saving it’s own tail from the corruption allegations it has accrued during past four years. This leaves little time for addressing pressing national issues, leading to a perpetual state of instability.
The notion that the political system will eventually stabilize itself is a dangerous delusion. With each passing election, the situation deteriorates further. In stark contrast to civilized nations, where voters are informed and engaged, a staggering 90% of Pakistani voters remain oblivious to the manifestos of the persons/parties they vote for and vote on whims, emotions, blind hatred or blind love.
This dire state of affairs demands a drastic change. The current political system, built on hatred, corruption, and self-interest, has demonstrably failed. A new system, based on merit, accountability, and genuine service to the people, is urgently needed. This requires a collective effort from the public, the media, the army and even the politicians themselves. Only then can Pakistan break free from the shackles of a broken political system and embark on the path of true progress.
Also read Meritocracy: A better alternative to democracy
.. CN report, 08 Dec 2023