Friday, March 13

A letter to our neighbour

With a sense of deep foreboding, I am  seeing the same old same old story repeating itself again in Pakistan. The attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team, the situation in Punjab, the corruption allegations, the threats from the military, the chatterati returning to their old way of thinking that its the military's or the  rotten politicians'  fault or that Pakistan needs Jinnah again or blaming Zia or needing Allah.

And this opinion is, by and large, found across the spectrum. Always the easy way out, reaching for the army!. I am reading messages which seem to say that President Musharraf was better than the existing leadership. Or it would be good that the current Army Chief should step in or when would be a good time for them to step in. But no, that’s not going to work. Here’s a question. Zardari is a corrupt man. So? What are your choices? Tell me an available choice that means that in 5 years time, you will have a better state?

It does not matter if its Zardari or Sharif really. What I am trying to say is that you have to stick with your leaders. Who are on the second rung? Have you seen your Nazims? How about the third rung of leaders? Say the chaps who are in University right now? Who will be the leader making decisions in your old age? Or for your children or  grand-children?

What kind of politicians and leaders are you creating and developing? Look at your political landscape! It is shattered, but it is the only one  you have. Stick with your civilian government and try to improve it rather than replace it, because you tried replacing your governments so many times before. Every time you replaced a government either through that silly Doctrine of Necessity or through a coup or what have you, the leader turned out to be not what you expected.

What else do you expect? That you will have messiah's? That somebody will drop down from Jannat to lead Pakistan into the heavenly kingdom? No Sir, I am afraid it wont happen that easily. You have to work hard - very hard indeed starting with tiny steps. Very small steps, which mean trying to improve things little by little and yes, having faith in your democracy. You have an elected government, work with it. Try to improve it. The Army is not meant for governing but is meant for security purposes. If the army is going to govern, will the politicians fight? A rather silly notion!

Dont give up, neighbours, keep on working, keep the army where it belongs, namely in the barracks, not in your parliament or in your municipal corporations. You also do not want to do regicide. I know there were 4 sessions where you had BB and Sharifs alternating in ruining your country, but that does not mean you let the army back in. It just means that you try for a while longer so that the politicians improve. Allow the 2nd and 3rd rung of leaders to start moving up into positions of influence, so that you can improve the political system.

But the sheer amount of cynicism? Come on, folks, life is tough enough. Instead of moaning and whining, try your best to think positive about your country, who else will?

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