The slide into chaos

Prelude

In elections 2013 I voted for the PTI candidate from my constituency NA250. At that time like millions of others, one was tired with the PPP’s shenanigans and was hoping (against hope) for change. The PTI candidate won, and that is the last one has ever heard of him. To my observation and knowledge he has done absolutely nothing for this constituency in the past 14 months or so. For the provincial assembly seat I noted for independent candidate Jibran Nasir, who I did not know or had even heard of before.

But someone told me about him, I read up on him and decided without hesitation that he will get my vote. Jibran lost. But like before he has gone on to do tremendous humanitarian work, with the victims of Shia killings (he himself is a mainstream Sunni), IDPs and more.


Whatever is the final outcome of the theatre of the absurd being enacted in Islamabad, everyone is will be a loser. Above all, the country and an already degenerating civil society will lose out immeasurably. This is not a discussion about which antagonist one supports. This is about our unfortunate country. Beleaguered, directionless, imploding from within. Like a moody, unpredictable volcano which spews forth dust, heat, lava ever so often, all the time threatening to cross the limits and explode once and for all in a death-explosion that destroys everything.

First we have a government which by any reckoning regards Pakistan as its fiefdom. Visionless, totally removed from reality, spineless, nepotistic, inept, monarchist, bigoted, power-hungry. I am not even talking about rigged elections or even corrupt, for corruption has to be proved (ask Mr. Zardari all about it), but every other attribute I have mentioned needs no proof. It is blatantly visible all around us. A government which took over 8 hours to handle one single gunman holding up the federal capital (Sikander, whatever happened to him finally?) and effectively the whole country, can well be expected to be absolutely clueless about handling crowds of tens of thousands.

In our profession of corporate public relations, we counsel clients that the majority of crises are self caused and crisis are actually festering issues that have not been attended to timely. The PML (N) government conclusively proves these 2 edicts. First the sheer stupidity of diverting Dr. Qadri’s international flight from Islamabad to Lahore, exponentially enlarging the noise around his arrival in Pakistan (self-created crisis). Then the Model Town massacre and trying to sweep the fallout under the carpet (not attending to an issue timely and turning it into a crisis).

But what have Imran Khan and Dr. Qadri, and Imran Khan especially, done to this country?

  1. FDI has come to a virtual stop.
  2. The stock exchange is down several hundred, if not several thousands of points. Each point, FYI, is about Rs 500 million (Rs. 50 crore) in equity value.
  3. Millions of people’s daily livelihoods have been impacted.
  4. The basic civil rights of people in Islamabad have been trampled, whether they like it or not.
  5. Loss to economy of over Rs. 700 billion, according to some economists.

These are the measurable disasters. Much, much, more damaging is the mutilation caused to society, nationhood, to the very way we think. Imran Khan is expounding that except for him, all is falsehood and people should have no respect for the constitution, the laws of the land, the parliament, the courts, the rights of others. He talks of the corruption of the Sharif brothers and how they don’t pay taxes. In the next breath he asks people to stop paying taxes and utility bills. He talks of an elite ruling the country, and is himself flanked by feudals Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and others. He wants the rule of law to apply, then says he will personally hang policemen who confront his supporters in their line of duty.

He has been saying elections were rigged since fairly soon after the elections, but had no issue in his party men taking oath and sitting in the national and provincial assemblies for well over a year. I could go on and on but the point I am sure is clear. What in a nutshell is the impact of his megalomaniacal ranting is to divide the nation, even down to members of a single family. He is preaching that sedition, disrespect for everything you do not agree with, foully abusing your opponents and giving threats are the only means to achieve what you want, irrespective of the cost.

It will take a long time for society to recover from this soul-destroying pedagogy that he has been spewing forth in an endless verbal diarrhea for well over 2 weeks now. True leaders are deeply visionary and statesmen. Not rabble rousers. What this country needs is a leader like Mahathir Mohamad, Lee Kuan Yew, Mandela. IK does not even come up to one percent of their stature or capability.

Perhaps worst fallout of all this will be the disillusionment that his youthful followers are bound to face. The future of Pakistan, its youth, is desperate for a change, for a bright future, for a productive and meaningful life. Their faith in him is almost blind. How easily he could have used his power over them to do good for this country. But the truth is that he wants only power and has deluded himself that only he can bring order and prosperity to Pakistan. The tragic irony being that to achieve order and prosperity, his tools are disorder and anarchy.

The living saint in our lives, Maulana Edhi has amply proved that to do good, even on a world record level, you do not need to be in power and you do not have to be educated at Aitchison and Oxford.

2 Responses to The slide into chaos

  1. Hunaid says:

    You speak of Mahathir Mohamad, Lee Kuan Yew, Mandela….do you honestly believe that a leader like those can evolve from Pakistan? The world needs the kind of leader that you speak of in one of the countries like China, USA, UK or Russia. The great leaders (Whether you agreed with their policies or not) like Churchill, FDR, DeGaulle, Mao, are not to be found anymore. Not since Sadat, has a Muslim nation had a leader that can capture the hearts of the world – look what they did to him. Society has to go through complete chaos for someone to emerge who can speak in a way that draws attention and thought.
    Is there another practical and realistic alternative to IK? I would like to hear about them.

  2. Naheed says:

    Thank you for this read! I haven’t ben following what is being aired on tv for the past two weeks, but one thing I know for sure that this Inqilab is not going to get this nation anywhere. It’s only our true determintion and honesty towards our land that will bring good times.

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