Articles of the year 2009

Ray of Hope
Published on May 09th, 2009

It is very seldom that we Pakistanis are given any good news. Our Cricket team has lost to the weakest Australian team, with the Taliban beating us on the battlefield. We are indeed on seemingly hopeless downward spiral. And then Nawaz Sharif has given us that little something to make us stand taller, and be proud of our political leadership. He asked for and took the resignation of Haji Pervez the MNA incumbent from Rawalpindi. By virtue of the importance of his constituency, his clout within the PML, is formidable, making the decision to sack him that much more difficult for Nawaz, and that much more meaningful to us Pakistanis.

The inherent success of the acceptance of the Taliban movement within the public, due to the bypassing of merit at all levels, has given the Taliban a very strong example of all that is wrong with the society and government in Pakistan. Giving the Taliban yet another excuse, to encourage the rising up against the Government of Pakistan.

In a war such as we face, the Taliban are used to exploiting sins, real or imagined, to spread their version of morality and of Islam. The Youth of Pakistan living below the poverty line, and seeing their parents scrabbling to put food on the table, and without money for their school fees, watch the privileged few, wafting about in their air-conditioned Land Cruisers, knowing that they, and their children count amongst their privileges the right to cheat at exams. This is all the more painful, for the children of the poor have as much difficulty studying to pass as the rich.

Nawaz Sharif has with this one move, showed that he is re-establishing a moral code that was long forgotten - in the political world.

Merit-cheating-stealing-looting, even plunder were part of the perks of the elected few. This was damaging the social fabric of the nation, for it rubbished the dream that democracy would ensure the spread of justice and fair play. And that is why the sacking of the MNA is such a well timed and welcome move and may lead to some more cleansing of the Augean stables.

Nawaz Sharif has thrown down the gauntlet, first standing by his commitment to the judges movement, and now making an example of his errant MNA, the people are convinced that this could lead to some house cleansing by the other political parties. It will not be long before Nawaz Sharif zeroes in on the despicable NRO, which is the most disgraceful law that was given to us as a parting gift by the generosity of Bush, before he left the White House. When Mr Sharif does remove the NRO, we shall see how many honest parliamentarians are left standing.

We hope that this is just the beginning of many such good riddance's from the body politic of Pakistan, and now with the 'good' chief justice to watch over us, joined by Nawaz Sharif, in his new role as super cleanser, The younger brother is doing a superb job in the Punjab, and if this can continue for a while, the other provinces may perforce come around.

The people are also pleased that Nawaz is laying an example of honesty and merit so that the people do not feel that their future is hopeless and would pray for the Taliban to rescue them from the rapacious politicians.

This then is our ray of hope, without having the US or others beating us over the head till we see the light. To see the Americans read out the riot act to Karzai and Zardari like errant schoolboys is so demeaning, for surely these were steps that should have been taken by our leaders themselves, without being told what to do. The sheepish looks on the faces of Karzai and Zardari said it all. We do have the wherewithal to put our own house in order, and maybe the Afghan house as well.

Meanwhile Nawaz Sharif is our best bet and perhaps we should get ready for a long march into Swat and beyond.