Lingering effects



July 24, 2022

Hindsight is a priceless faculty particularly when it is delved into with a keen sense of delineating the lingering effects of national events that continuously poison the present polity. Pakistan has been singularly unable to shake off the persisting negativity generated by the decade-long rule of Zia regime. Zia kept his hold on power despite sending an elected prime minister to the gallows and unceremoniously ending the duly elected government of PM Junejo that was the only legitimate cover he had for his rule. By many accounts Pakistan is now again placed in such a situation of uncertainty and now what is observed is that how long it will take to convert itself into an upheaval. When closely observed, the situation is underpinned by contradictory stances taken by major stakeholders that fly in the face of reality.

The scenario therefore appears very hectic with the incumbent government desperately grappling with rising inflation though this assertion is far from truth. The inferred reality is that everything is topsy-turvy and the paint job may not last for very long and even what is in the offing is certainly not clear and is causing further confusion. By the look of things battle-lines are clearly drawn between the overt and covert factors responsible for determining national affairs. Both sides are battling their demons painstakingly hiding their conflicts. It is quite clear that both sides are suffering equally though they maintain a bravado that is just as skin-deep. Discerning observers can gauge the discomfiture but are helpless to fathom the end result. In the meanwhile national issues are direly neglected and the wavering downward slide continues. Looked at closely the problem is not simply a deep divide between political elements of the state but it carries in its wake deeper socio-economic malaise that is not properly diagnosed.

These issues require cool and steady approach to devise some sort of a solution but in the current state of frenzy this looks highly improbable. What is more worrying is the fact that some decisive elements prefer the state of frenzy the country is in because such state provides them a chance to retain their hallowed state of saviours. Their policy has always been to keep perpetuating the frenzied state of affairs so that the focus does not come to the essentials that they prefer to manage on their own without any interference. The result is that the most important geo-strategic issues are dealt with by this particular segment of the state according to their particular perception without keeping in consideration the wider interests of the people of the country.

The real policy makers are widely known to willingly ignore the fact that the regional shifts that are fast are corresponding with global shifts complicating the situation fundamentally that requires development of a national consensus about policies framed to tackle them otherwise the situation will become untenable with the potential to keep the arbitrary decision makers engaged in conflict for long time to come. This ostrich-like approach is now recognised by the rest of the segments of population except the arbitrary decision-making apparatus and they have now started to speak out pointing out that the solo flight may ultimately prove detrimental to the national interest.

Matters as they stand today clearly point out that no lesson has been learnt from the gross mistakes of the past that had caused great harm to the country. Instead of correcting their course these elements keep on harping about the resilience of the people of Pakistan thereby implying that it is only resilience that is required to remain constant as no change in perception would be allowed to happen. These forces do not care that the Pakistani polity has reached the end of its tether and it is not far that the patience will completely run out. It is not realised that it is futile to expect that a fast-growing horde of people can be fed on promises without finally bringing them to fruition. The people of the country have reached the point where they do not know where they stand and if the situation is allowed to persist then they may lose whatever moorings they are left with.

The situation is so dire that it not only requires total reappraisal but also immediate change of course. It certainly cannot be left to a cabal of people and the popular leaders are provided no authority but to take notices and issue hollow directives. The current scenario demands some people to abandon their ivory towers and com down to see what is actually happening with a view to rectify the ills afflicting the nation. It must be realised that the welfare of the common man is the real issue of the country and it should be the paramount concern while managing the country instead of playing games. TW


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