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The Beginning of the End

Faisal Raza

Vote of confidence or no confidence, all hell breaks loose or not, though the stage is set for the clash of the titans. In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, Claudius is a politician who is cognizant of manipulating public opinion. He acts as if he believes that the end justifies the means. He has no scruples about defying the Ten Commandments. He frightens Laertes by referring to the Divine Right of Kings but ostensibly had no reservations about killing a king himself. The Claudius here is our opposition figures, aligning with the king-makers; perhaps to kill them softly.

Our prime minister, however, is a man like Hamlet, a shrewd idealist, with a strong commitment to the conventional morality of right and wrong, or at least as he likes to be seen. He swings and spins the fundamentals of justice to his favor but he has got all caught up in the cobweb of the single transferable voting system. He cries foul but who would listen when there are so many crocodile’s tears. As you sow so shall you reap, he may hear in his conscience but if it’s clear of clouded vision that power often does.

Not a long ago, he had a Trojan horse, Jahangir Tareen, the chief architect of his reinvigorated party, who tricked the men of all sizes to siege the capital, our city of troy, Islamabad. As the unheard melodious are sweeter, he too got embroiled in sugar, embezzling a few billions of poor nation. Yet, some argue, has he not just taken back what he had invested in? He could resist the fall of the empire, but out of favor, he has become an Achilles heel. Something is definitely not right in the state when one of your biggest province is ruled by a political pygmy. The plot thickens by a day and the days are getting longer. In the times like these, Beware of ides of march, so is said, but it was the Autumn of 2011 when an engineered yet successful rally in Lahore catapulted him into the muddled political arena. Before that, despite his popular appeal, he was neither here nor there. The factors that contributed to his meteoric rise must be kept in mind while analyzing the political mess that he might find himself in from this time onward.

In the prince, a book about the art of ruling with acumen, Niccolò Machiavelli drafted ‘The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.’ With the likes of Shahbaz Gill, Shibli Faraz, and Faisal Vawda, not much is expected on this front either, and especially when saner minds like Fawad Chaudhry have been pushed to the sidelines or sincere Grassroot politicians like Nadeem Afzal Chun have been forced to resign. There’s definitely a case for introspection, not only on the political side of things but also at the macroeconomics level too. The GDP is growing at -0.38, lowest in last decade and in the region, and inflation climbing up to 8 percent, if his predecessors have been guilty of accumulating a large debt, so is he. So far, the total national debt (foreign and domestic) stands at US$283 billion which is 98.7 of GDP.

The argument is that it for debt scheduling and it’s inherited but there’s no progress in wealth production and belt and road initiative has been stalled due to the lack of political stability. The IMF-driven policies, spearheaded by the senate- seat defeated Hafiz Shiekh who has no stakes in the country of his origin, except being a finance minister, further plummeted the masses in the downward swirl of misery and destitution.

The justice system is as frail as it has always been. Police and bureaucratic reforms or local bodies’ initiatives have not even been touched upon. The fear is that state institution if become neutral at least at a high level shall further weaken the government which is barely surviving on the razor thin majority. The test of which is already upon us. Judges’ positions have been compromised, either to settle the personal vendettas or thwarting constitutional crises that the incumbent government so easily gets herself in. The sad tale is not much different from the old saga of Judaical manipulation.

In 2020, Pakistan’s press freedom rank dropped to 145 out of 180 countries in Pr-ess Freedom Index ..so mo-stly, it’s the same old system, nothing new or newness has come out of this revolutionary party’ that so many youngsters and disgruntled masses hoped for..

But definitely, it’s a long walk toward freedom but the confluence of ideological models the Mr. Prime Minister presents doesn’t make a coherent case. The Chinese model he purports for poverty alleviation is hampered by the restrictions on private property rights and freedom of speech. The treatment of Uighur Muslims have been subject of worldwide condemnation, then in the same breath he alludes to the Westminster style democracy, but he hasn’t shown up in the national assembly to answer the questions of parliamentarian on regular basis and perhaps he even doesn’t know the names of all his MPs. goes on his recent tirade of media talks on the moral degradation of the west where he once lived and then wants our expatriate to stay there and send foreign remittances. The contradiction is the beauty of Euclid’s mathematical models but in politics, too many U-turns dent your reputation. Yes, he lived in the UK but it has not made him Winston Churchill. As for the model of state of Medina, and the beauty of its justice system for poor and rich alike, he fails to walk the talk when members of his own cabinet are not apprehended for serious charges of corruption. The Charmain of NAB is on the record before his video went viral that if he starts the proceeding against the members of the ruling party the government can’t function for a day.

In a post senate election TV address to the nation, Mr. Prime Minister remarked that he spent 7 days in the jail during general Musharaf’s rule and he witnessed that most of the inmates belonged to the lower strata of society and big fishes loomed largely.

It’s an honest observation, however, Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years, came out of it, ended the apartheid in South Africa, formulated the truth and reconciliation commission, and took his country out of her dark history. In his book, long walk to freedom, he wrote ‘I could not imagine that the future I was walking toward could compare in any way to the past that I was leaving behind. He’s right to not give NRO ( national reconciliation order, promulgated in 2007) to the opposition but he can bury the hatchet and take the country and his party forward. The reality is, the cronyism in his party is as rampant as in any other and there’s no leader who can head the PTI if he retires. So, even, the future of the party that he so passionately formed hangs in the balance.

The book Cat in the Hat was written by Dr. Seuss to invoke rebellion in children. In the sequel to The Cat in the Hat, titled The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, the Cat symbolizes the absolute dictatorial power, perhaps in the disguise of democracy. The Cat strives to clean up a mess she made with a dress that was not her but ends up making things worse. Upon realization that she can’t do it all by herself, she sought the help of others, particularly of the working class. Perh-aps, it’s high time for leaders of all parties to put their ducks in a row and work for the progressive development of the nation-state

Well, Mr. Prime Minister might like these verses from poet laureate, the great Faiz sb, while he ponders about his next moves..

ye daagh daagh ujala ye shab-gazida sahar

vo intizar tha jis ka ye vo sahar to nahin

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The Frontier Post

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