Generally, all politicians are tarred with the same brush, despite some having earned the honest and trustworthy label. Without stooping too low, and discussing their stories of material wish-lists, the absence of a state system that can manage accountability is the most distressing thing about this whole affair.
How is it that these high position holders can manipulate the Constitution and mold laws according to their own interest and desires. Is it the system by itself designed to exploit those at the margins? Or have the people manning the institutions of our state lost their human substance?
Under this sad state of affairs, the misuse of power and extractive policies are an ever present reality. It’s just a matter of chance who gets to avail state power and use it for their own interests.
The Toshakhana laws were made in 2002 to retain gifts ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 400,000 after paying 15% of their value. The Toshakhana record was made public on the instructions of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who as Chief Minister in 2009, deposited all received gifts in the Toshakhana, contributing positively to his sinking image after the unprecedented inflation and economic chaos.
Later, it was updated by former Prime Minister Imran Khan by paying 50% of their actual value, irrespective of considering the option to auction the gifts publicly for the sake of the people and to contribute to the welfare of the state. The gifts received by government officials, whether small or big, are essentially the property of the state and should be deposited in the state treasury.
The Toshakhana list is not only limited to our politicians, it also includes technocrats, ministers, parliamentarians and bureaucrats. This indicates that accessing the Toshakhana and its valuables is a rather common behaviour by our authority and position holders, and indicates a serious fault line.
The lawmakers themselves are the actual beneficiaries, thus, the dilemma and the reason behind the political fiasco is the absence of the human substance. This is problematic because though they are objectively present in every scenario, the legislators substance is necessary to add value to our political system and create something valuable for the people, whether it is a material item, a thought or an emotion. A substance is an individual being of a certain sort, for example, being with a particular nature that we call ‘human’, and a human without substance is morally corrupt.
It is not the first time that Pakistan finds itself in such an embarrassing situation; the politicians’ endless corruption cases, extraconstitutional activity, unjustifiable foreign properties, and recently leaked immoral audio and video leaks.
Their legitimate claim for power is actually illicit, based on their previous performance, and the more obvious is their political rhetoric and blame game against each other.
Most of the politicians, including senior representatives of the political parties are using extremely objectionable language against each other. Their unjustifiable stances are nothing but their political immaturity and lack of visionary leadership, and the media is their tool to assert their righteousness. The situation is extremely grave that all harsh debates are out of the parliament floor, where they can go against their opponent to any immoral extent.
The last thing is the marginalisation of the Constitution, which has been observed under recent Supreme Court debates, knowing the fact that it is the only legitimate way for democratic survival. Still, most political parties and their representatives are arguing to negate or divert from the coded laws. It seems that they haven’t learned anything from history; their political interest dominates our experienced truth. Their constant blunders and misuse of power may push the state into another upheaval. Thus, political stability ensuring smooth transition of power through elections is the only legitimate option.
However, decay in terms of political substance has tarnished our political system. Each living creature, including humans, maintains their identity through change, as well as possessing a nature or a person’s essence, that makes certain activities and functions possible. Yet the direction has to be aligned with human welfare, otherwise it’s nothing but a crime in the name of 22 million Pakistanis.
Though we are in a continuous process of witnessing endless cases and their respective denial, there has to be an end for every story. None of the alleged public office holders has the right to rule; their unjustified acts have exposed 50% of the public under the poverty line. Such a realm must be composed of beings having some reason, principle for mutual cooperation, otherwise prepare for the unsaid.
Leave a Reply