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Garbage in, garbage out


May 3, 2011
Garbage in, garbage out
Published: October 7, 2011

Marvi Memon

Let us assume that you have a driver who has done three fatal lethal accidents with your family in the car, would you keep or fire him? I am sure that if you care about your family, you will not expose them second time to such a driver, let alone a third time.

Similarly, if you say you love your country, why do you keep exposing it to the same leaders and candidates, who keep either looting or through their weakness allow others to loot? The same people who have either been in power twice or thrice, or those who keep making mistakes of wrong choice of alliances for personal gains to the detriment of the country, are chosen by you!
Let us be clear here. There is something drastically wrong with us, if we keep making the same mistakes repeatedly.
As a child, I remember being told by my father: “You are allowed to make new mistakes, but not the same mistakes twice.” Well Pakistan as a country of voters has been making the same mistakes for the past 64 years and, in the process, has haemorrhaged its core. We all know what sort of leaders are no good for us, but we keep forgiving and trying them thinking they will change. It does not take many brains to figure out that if you try the same route, it will take you to the same destination. If you wish to be developed, you need to take a different path with a different driver. If you wish to be failing, please be my guest and keep taking the same leaders and candidates!

The interesting point these days is that even those leaders, who are relatively cleaner, are taking the same used and rejected candidates that have been tried and tested by every single party since they need electables. But what is the definition of an electable exactly? He is a candidate who has the capability to be elected by the electorate and, thus, is a high-value choice. Isn’t it sad that what makes an electable such a hot prized property for each party is the exact thing that destroys the country’s roots. The same candidate has created political expectations, which expects jobs without merit and releases from police stations without merit. So an electable is good because he can do wrong things and break rules due to his muscle power. Wow! What a country! We expect to break rules and then succeed, as a developed country. Incredibly, wishful thinking.

Is it not the same rat race every leader is in? They are chasing the same candidates, who have done the rounds of each party. There are maximum three such muscle men who have been elected for years in each constituency. They run their constituencies through muscle and fear and they get into assemblies and loot very capably. Instead of some clean image, the word ‘politics’ inspires words like patha and batha. So, are we going to change ourselves? If we don’t, certainly we deserve the hunger and the terrorism and the loot and plunder. We don’t deserve any better because we send to the assemblies only those we expect favours from; favours of breaking the rules of the land.

So, what is the choice here? Everyday, I meet people who are tired of politicians. They can see through their lack of sincerity and decisions taken for their pockets easily. Yet, when it comes to choosing leaders, they are addicted to them. My message is: “Cut the addiction.” If you want change, then you must have the courage for it. Imagine a Pakistan where respectable people who do not break the law get elected to power; they would fix the country. However, I am convinced that Pakistanis don’t want that change because they like shortcuts.

Well, the breaking news is that shortcuts get short circuits and hard work gets real reform. If you wish to see a successful country, then the right seeds will have to be sowed. The right candidates in each constituency, who have not done the rounds and who have not been tainted, need to be given preference by the great leaders. A leader is no leader if for the sake of his personal power he invests in bad candidates; he is equally tainted if he chooses tainted men.
Pakistan will only reform, if there is democracy in the political parties and those parties have respectable men and women. It is so easy doing it the wrong way; join a party that has muscle bad and electables. These electables either loot themselves or standby and are gutless, while their colleagues loot. We need men and women of courage, who have the courage to take the right decisions, however unpopular, so that the country is fixed once and for all. That is the kind of team it would be an honour to serve next to. Not a team of compromised looters.

Having served in an assembly of majority looters, I am convinced that to-date no leader exists, who has taken the real plunge. Someone who invests in good people not in muscle men. Well it is time someone did it. Every constituency has men and women of character. Can we please encourage them to join a leader, who is not hungry for looters or for the sake of his/her premiership?

We need experts in their fields; undoubtedly, the best of men and women, who will create new politics. A politics where they will serve their people by creating right expectations and not doing wrong things to gain their favour. Leaders who have the courage to dream the right vision and then sacrifice for that. Leaders who will say ‘no’ to breaking the rules when forced by the electorates. Leaders who will reform their electorates, shortcut minds. Leaders who will get rid of the addictions. I refuse to do the easy wrong thing. We will do the right and tough things because we care about fixing Pakistan versus getting a leadership through shortcuts. At the end of the day, Pakistanis are believers. They know Allah is watching. And Allah does not like loot, plunder, cheating, corruption, muscle power and shortcuts.

The writer is a former Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan.

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