Pakistan, Politics and Corruption

By Hina Bashir.

With regard to Military, Pakistan is one of the strongest countries whereas politically it is one of the weakest countries in the world. Pakistan is facing a lot of economic, political, national problems and the main root cause of all these problems is corruption and terrorism. After the creation of Pakistan one of the hindrances in the development of this country is corruption. Pakistan can stand up against the external enemies of Pakistan, but is unable to face the supreme internal enemy, which is eating away its foundation like termites and ultimately cause the house to collapse. Since the last decade one of the grave problems for the Pakistan was terrorism. General Raheel Sharif took the charge of Pakistan army, when Pakistan was being threatened by the terrorists. He gave unwavering moral courage to the people of Pakistan and to the army in the face of an existential threat. His undaunted strong personality saved the country from becoming a battleground and asylum for the terrorists. He started Zarb-e-azab operation and showed the great military power of Pakistan and gave a strong message to the enemies of Pakistan.

Economy and social development of Pakistan have suffered incalculably due to the negative effects of corruption and terrorism. Pakistan is able to tackle the external threats of terrorism and has shown to the world and to the enemies that it is not easy to decimate Pakistan. But the root cause of hindrance in the development of Pakistan which is corruption is difficult to confront. Pakistan army gave innumerable sacrifices to save the country from external threats. Now, it is time for the people of Pakistan to save the country from internal threat which is eating away the roots of Pakistan.  Fight against corruption is the same as the fight against terrorism.

Pakistani political system believes in democracy but has a different version of democracy and politicians mold the system of democracy according to their interests. Democracy gives people their legitimate right to vote, people contribute in political process and select their representative to govern them, they give mandate by authorizing the elected members to hold public offices and make appropriate decisions to run the affairs of state. The elected representatives remain accountable for their actions, while, the system of electoral democracy also empowers the voters to take away the powers of the elected members, if they do not follow the policies for the development of country, if they fail to eliminate the social problems and if they are unable to provide the basic rights to the people.

In case of Pakistan’s version of democracy, it has the same system of representatives according to the constitution, but the elected representatives grossly violate the public mandate for obtaining their selfish and materialistic gains. Pakistani politicians take the voters as subject, use them for their own purposes and take all their hopes away by neglecting social problems and by abandoning them with their basic rights as citizens. One of the grave issues of less development of Pakistan is that we don’t have a sincere leadership. Our politicians do not work to eradicate the social problems because they themselves are the reason of social problems. In the name of democracy, Pakistan is governed by elites and businessmen. All the politicians work with tribal mind set in the name of people with democratic camouflage. Throughout the history Pakistan has never been democratic in true sense but often autocratic, plutocratic and kleptocratic. In the name of election politicians transfer power from one group to other group.

Since 1970 Pakistani political system has been an instrument for two families, Bhuttos and Sharifs, both are corrupt. We never had the chance to decide that who will run the system and how. These politicians have created the history of corruption for Pakistan. They consider corruption as standard of fitness, intelligence and a norm of political worthiness. Every person has the authentic list of another person’s misdeeds but without taking action they have equally strong urge to wet their beak in the same way. Lt. Gen Shahid Aziz, the former chairman of National Accountability Bureau, while speaking to news media said that he was appointed as chairman with the pre-condition that he will not open the case of former politicians and other influential people.  The lack of accountability has been affecting the confidence poor people, local and foreign investors.

Pakistan has been facing a lot of energy crisis and water crisis, one of the main causes of this critical situation is the flippant attitude of the politicians. India and Pakistan came into being at the same year and India has constructed more than 4000 dams to combat energy crisis but Pakistan has only constructed only 150 dams in all these years.

Even the educational sector of Pakistan is not void of bad effects of corruption. Due to non-serious attitude of politicians the educational system has been divided into public and private system. This widening gap between public and private system is increasing the gap between the poor and rich and further dividing the country between upper and lower class. Money and budget is not the only problem of educational system of Pakistan but there are several other gaps. Government and political leaders really need to take the educational problems seriously in order to cope with the gap between upper and middle class on the basis of educational criteria.

After the establishment of Pakistan, nation started with a beacon of hope to move toward the development but due to the corrupt policies of politicians that beacon is no more. Poor people are deprived of their basic rights and they are surrounded by hopelessness and despondency. Pakistan has been facing a lot of severe problems in the past due to dismissive behavior of politicians. Our dysfunctional history has caused us great grief, most hauntingly is the separation of East Pakistan in 1971. Politician’s desire for power and wealth resulted in the separation of country with same beliefs, religion, tradition and culture.

We have democratic system but we have no system to run this democratic system. Pakistan needs a true and honest leader. Pakistan’s history of politics has changed the meaning of the word “politics”. Now, whenever the word “politician” comes into mind it gives the image of corrupt and elite leader with feudal mindset.

Pakistan has huge amount of natural resources but there is a need of true leadership which will sincerely use these resources for the development of Pakistan. Number one purpose of politicians is to maintain and secure their own platform of power that is the main reason of political instability of Pakistan.

Writer is an English literature student and hails from Islamabad.

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