Thursday, June 23, 2011


Pakistan is one of the countries where politics is taken very seriously by every individual be it a hawker selling vegetables and fruits at doorsteps of people or a businessman sitting in a 5-star hotel, having a sip of cappuccino and leaving a currency note of green or red color (depends on the brand of suit worn by the tipper) for the waiter as tip. Like every other country, politics affects everyone from mother’s cradle to eternal grave in Pakistan but the difference is that we take our politics and politicians very totally. 

We, the people of Pakistan, have been under immense turmoil since the previous decade or so. To summarize the last decade, we can say that in the name of keeping ‘Pakistan First’ we gave our land to foreigners for the purpose of invading our neighboring country with whom we had cordial and brotherly ties and eventually became the battlefield ourselves. We gave our friend away for securing ourselves and as it turns out we end up being the biggest problem of the world as many leaders put it.

For all these miseries of naughts of 21st century, we had a lot to learn from. One needs a very gigantic stomach to digest all what we’ve been through. Credit goes to us, cheers. But for all our patience and heavy digestion, we are still on ground zero and this time the credit is not ours. We have to applaud our politicians for that matter.Our COMPETENT and VISIONARY leadership has brought us everything but serenity. Imagine, this month is the most important month of the annum due to the pecuniary factor but our leaders are fighting to label someone as ‘wajib-ul-qatl’ and the others in return chanting slogans that a wagon conductor would rethink before uttering. Their actions have compelled us to believe that politics is a game of dirt and deception. The one who is more cunning, breaks promises and able to deceive his opponent is ranked as one of the best politician. We all know that nowadays, our worthy President is the best politician.

We define politics from the traits of our rulers, the traits which are everything but sincerity towards their elector. I guess I am wrong here, they are sincere towards their elector but this purely depends upon who is the elector. Our politics has become so pathetic that I don’t like to label it as politics as politics is a divine duty undertaken very efficiently and sincerely rather I would call it is pathelitics (pathetic politics). Finding it very difficult to find a person in our leadership who can be called a politician in real sense but we had many in our history includes the likes of, to quote a few, Khalifa Haroon ur Rasheed, Tipu Sultan and above all our Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) who gave us great examples of how to conduct politics.

While criticizing the patheliticians, one should also scrutinize the system in which they operate and through which they are elected. Just a preliminary analysis of our system would unveil that it is the system that actually promotes corrupt leaders to take charge. A system in which you need a considerable amount of money, Kalashnikovs and their operators to ward off the opponent and above all a tag name of baradari (caste) to get the voter of your caste on your side. If you have above three things then congratulations, you have all what it takes to be a legislator.Besides these factors, another important factor is the motivation for a feudal lord or the industrialist to enter the legislature. These capitalists and feudal lords use legislature to legislate whatever is in their favor. Glaring example of recent budget: our parliamentarians didn’t veto the tax on bricks but took stand to exclude the proposal on removing subsidy on fertilizer and wheat (though it also benefits general public). The problem lies in the very system. It equips the legislators so much that the lust and intoxication of power distances them from their electors. Take those powers of legislations and make them a mere representative of people, whose sole duty will be to forward the concerns of people and I am damn sure there won’t be any one of the existing legislator available for that purpose.

We get it wrong when we define the politics from the actions of our rulers. Politics is a divine duty performed by the person who is considered as the best among the people. It is time we redefine politics to its old definition i.e. taking care of the affairs of the people and shred that definition of pathelitics in a paper shredder. We have been misled by our rulers and even by our clergy that politics is not a work of common man. I remember, few noble people of my locality used to come to me to engage me in activities relating to propagation of Islamic fundamental practices and leave the politics to these patheliticians and I always got confused at that notion as I always questioned the purpose of our presence on this planet. Was that the sole reason that we were transformed from a sperm into a human being who really can affect this world? Surely we are built for more, not just for sitting in cafeterias and discussing the hottest girl of the town or alienating ourselves from the society and sit in the mosque. We have to balance ourselves. This is our responsibility to prove these people wrong who take politics as a bad thing. We have to believe that politics is a noble work and surely this is the only way out for us if we have to overcome our miseries. I think we should start teaching our children to write a paragraph on ‘I’d become a politician one day’ instead of producing doctors and engineers. If we want to come into politics then we have to be a politician rather than a pathelitician.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


This piece was presented to National Accountability Bureau's Essay Competition and it got 3rd prize.

Pakistan is a country that has immense potential and all the ingredients to line itself among the developed nations on this earth. Loaded with vast resources of minerals, one of the best manpower in the world, exemplary irrigation system and huge amount of agricultural land, it becomes difficult for one to understand that why Pakistan isn’t able to expose itself in front of this world as a developed and prosperous nation.
Many say that Pakistan’s geopolitical location isn’t letting it develop and many call corruption as the root cause of our ills. Whatever the reason may be but there is something which needs to be appreciated that Pakistan has got all that makes a nation halcyon.
Corruption has long been attributed with Pakistani system. It has been one of the greatest hurdle that has put a lot of dents on Pakistan. We are not being able to meet our daily government expenditures due to that very corruption and hence we take initiatives like getting loans from international financial institutions and other world powers who in return demand concessions which are sometimes detrimental to Pakistan’s sovereignty and its people.
Putting an end to this corruption is a daunting task faced by Pakistani people. Much of our potential and finance goes to the pockets of our corrupt rulers and people in civil service. There is a dire need to investigate the causes and the measures to be taken to stem this ill out of our society. All we need to do is to first point out the loopholes in our system and then apply the patches to resolve this ailment.
The dilemma of corruption in Pakistan is that it can be found on every level from civil bureaucracy to military offices, from higher officials to lower staff and from general public dealing to private sector. We have to act fast on all these fronts to save this nation from going into misery. Some of the proposals to make Pakistan corruption-free are entailed below:

Civil bureaucracy is a very important element of government functioning. In fact it provides the necessary advice that is required to function effectively. Being the guardian of national exchequer, civil bureaucracy has all the required funds at their disposal to use and that makes them vulnerable to fall into corruption. Every federal ministry / division, at the start of new financial year submits its financial projections and demands for their expenses to be incurred in the coming year and they get the money against their projections. This allocation to them, which is on the basis of their projections, strictly needs to be watched either by Finance Division, NAB or FIA. Any agency or ministry failing to utilize their funds properly should be charged and held accountable.
We have offices and divisions which communicate and serve directly with the general masses for example for the issuance of traffic licenses, armor licenses, affidavit issuers and many other functions which involve public dealing are plagued with corruption. The officials working in these areas have the power to stop or accelerate the work of a citizen and in return citizens use money to get their work done efficiently.
It is proposed that in these types of offices, stringent timeline rules regarding issuance of necessary licenses and other documents should be practiced to stop the official from stopping or decelerate the work like it is done in NADRA, where there is a set time frame for issuance of NICs. Anyone who wants to get his work done urgently can always have the option of getting it on urgent basis by paying additional fees. If this system is installed in all the public dealing offices, then the ratio of bribery in our society will decrease manifold.
Law enforcement agencies, having the mandate to maintain law and order in the country, have the power to settle issues among people and charge anyone found guilty. According to international reports, Police is a department which is the most corrupt in our society. There should be a proper training program for our police officials and workshops may also be arranged by NAB to de-motivate the officials involved in that practice. They should also be given a pay raise to meet their day to day needs efficiently.
To get every job, there are requirements which one should fulfil in order to be able to qualify for it. A criteria must be set that people who are planning to enter into offices which are prone to corruption, must first undertake crash programs and workshops of Anti-Corruption (which can be held by either NAB or FIA) to give the officials proper education regarding this ill.
Pakistan is a country that got all what it takes to be the best. Only need is to streamline our direction and find the panacea of our ills. We have experienced in one of our government agency i.e. Motorway Police, where necessary measures like pay raises, proper education and performance based incentives were given and the result we got is a department which is almost free of corruption and ultimately it led to society being washed away from corruption. Corruption is a huge problem and harsh measures are required to curb it but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible to curb it. We can follow the Motorway Police model to eliminate this corruption which is killing Pakistan from its very roots.