Democratic Credentials: Only Untainted Leadership Deserves Political Role

. Only Mir Zafarullah Jamali resigned as Prime Minister when he refused to endorse military action in Baluchistan, everyone else sided with the dictator in the hope of grabbing the top cabinet slot.

Democratic credentials:

Only untainted leadership deserves political role

Credentials for democratic leadership are widely confused or misunderstood in Pakistan. Service the people is aforemost benchmark for democracy which calls for sacrifice and giving, not taking. About two years ago Mian Mansha was the richest Pakistani followed by Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. After coming into power now Mian sahib leads the pack. How did this transformation take place? Seeking power for personal glory and wealth has become a norm in politics and PML-N leads the pack in this arena.

The founding fathers of Pakistan were men of credibility with solid democratic credentials. When the first Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated, his undergarments were worn out with only a few thousand rupees in his bank account. A minister from East Pakistan resigned when he realised that his personal telephone calls were paid by his office. In the first cabinet meeting presided by Quaid-e-Azam, when tea was served, clear instructions were given that no such luxury at public expense would be tolerated in the future.

Till 1958 Pakistan was debt free with all rivers flowing. Individuals at the helm had solid democratic credentials with a record of struggle and sacrifice for the nation. Khan Qayyum Khan was a stalwart of the freedom movement who played a pivotal role in the KPK referendum in which the province decided to be a part of the Islamic Republic. Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy was a brilliant statesman who was elected chief minister of the combined Bengal province. The list goes on. Unfortunately, they were knocked out of the political arena to be replaced by incompetent ‘thugs’.

In one of my chit chats with Lt Gen Ghulam Jilani Khan, I enquired if Mian Nawaz Sharif could write one paragraph in any language, or read a full page and understand it or speak extempore fore one minute. The answer was ‘No’. No prime minister after ZAB has written anything on the official files where the business of state is carried out. The federal and five provincial governments are run on verbal directives leaving the control of the paperwork to the know-all-do-nothing ‘babus’. A demonstration of good governance was seen by the nation on June 17, 2014. No one knows where the orders came from and why were they carried out.

The fact of the matter is that almost entire political leadership consists of individuals with no democratic credentials with any record of service to the people. They can neither read, nor write, nor speak, ‘muk maka’ and ‘lotacracy’ being their only forte. Since 1977 all cabinets were disastrous for the country yet the same faces are seen in all parties, with fresh claims and modified mandates to suit the times and their narrow self interests. Only Mir Zafarullah Jamali resigned as Prime Minister when he refused to endorse military action in Baluchistan, everyone else sided with the dictator in the hope of grabbing the top cabinet slot.

Running with the hare and hunting with the hound has been the norm in politics which must come to an end. When Iftikhar Chaudhry decided to challenge the dictator the nation sided with him in hope of a free judiciary. In the end he too turned out to be a hound. Instead of streamlining the judicial process for expeditious dispensation of justice he has left the institution in total disarray.

On August 14, 2014, the Kaptan will lead another charge on Islamabad, hopefully, without the hounds who have been hounding this nation since 1977 [Ed note: Imran Khan has since hinted at withdrawing his million march call]. The members of Zia’s Shura and his cabinet, who were responsible for destroying all civilian institutions and then indulging in the Afghanistan misadventure, the MNAs of the Qatil League and Musharraf’s Cabinet, who destroyed what was left of Pakistan, should not be amongst the chargers.

Naya Pakistan can only be led by untainted political leadership with democratic credentials. B-Teams cannot deliver; they can only hijack the movement as has been happening in the past. For the past 18 years, PTI has developed solid democratic credentials. The rank and file of the party, including the Kaptan, is clean, honest and qualifies to be a part of the A-Team. No B-Team members should be allowed to create confusion in the ranks of the chargers who are harbingers of change.

As the first generation of Pakistanis it is our duty to hand over Quaid’s country to the youth. The derailment must come to an end. Like the Kaptan, the first generation of Pakistan is old and frail. Perhaps this is their last march for their motherland, it is their swan song. As the march is against the demons of democracy it is imperative that the marchers are free of them. I refuse to charge with the demons, lotas and loteras in our fold. For real democracy the Kaptan must lead an A-Team of untainted individuals with solid democratic credentials; otherwise, it will be more of the same with only a change of faces only.

The time clock is ticking. We have to take over from where the founding fathers left in building national institutions which can then provide the much needed human development. A fresh start has to be made with new and clean individuals not tainted by incumbency of the failed governments. We the comrades of change have been struggling and marching for decades. Let this be our last march to bring glory to Pakistan for which our parents struggled and sacrificed. For the sake of the motherland, no B-Team members this time around.

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