A maturing Pakistan

Shahzad Lodhi

To change is to get mature. This is as true as change is constant. The fact of the matter is that time spares no body and only those survive who realize the change and align themselves with the new requirements. Pakistan is passing through a change which may give it a new look altogether in times to come. With apology to all those who see a weaker or a divided Pakistan in view of the rapid changes and political turmoil the country is passing through, a new vibrant Pakistan is in the making.

The ongoing controversy over the appointment of judges heightened by the official notification has been fully debated in the media. It has not only sent shock waves among the saner elements but has in many ways raised questions about the mode of governance and the motivating factors behind such misadventures. Perhaps such a stir was long over due to set the ball rolling for a rethink of the whole range of the modus operandi of centers of powers in the past.

Fortunately, there seems a silver lining in this apparently disturbing scenario, thanks to a rejuvenated judiciary and dedicated Armed forces. Political parties by and large have been unable to steer the ship of state clear out of stormy weather. But credit must be given to the media which has played a balancing role in not only educating the people but also trying to show things in true perspective. True that our media needs a code of conduct that may keep its newly acquired freedom in certain limits its positive role in raising awareness and educating general public is undisputed. There were days when only one state television used to run in Pakistan. Reporting was done in accordance with the then government’s directives. Now according to estimates at hand more than one hundred tv channels are operating while growth is expected to be seen in coming years. Media has helped people to form and reform their social and political beliefs. It has given an encouragement to a common man to stand for his rights and condemn injustice in the society. Education of the masses is a must to progress and our media has fortunately done this job well. Civil society is seen standing against inequality and corruption as social evils. It is now believed that those holding public offices are accountable and answerable for everything they do And if something negative is reported against them in the national press, they will have to explain it before 17 crore people of Pakistan with whom the ultimate power rests.

Our national institutions are showing signs of life and asserting themselves after a long gap of unconsciousness. This is heartening to see and must be encouraged. During this phase there may be disagreements between various centers of powers which may undermine the process of change as a whole. Such rifts do occur when transition is in the swing. However it should be binding on all to act in accordance with their roles defined in the constitution and to resolve issues in the best national interest.

In the past Military had been taking over politically elected governments. Political governments wasted time and did not fullfil promises made to the general public during days of elections. On the other hand Judiciary endorsed military take overs. Inspite of great difficulties inflicted on the masses through lack of good governance, there is strong belief that Pakistan is on its way to progress and soon its institutions will start working independently and in full swing. It’s important that dictatorship in or by any institution should be avoided and discouraged. Extreme steps that may derail the democratic setup should not be taken while finding an amicable solution to issues.

One hopes that the reported signs of realism in all stakeholders of power will be a good omen for the country. A word of advice for political parties is that they those should start aligning themselves with fast changing dynamics of politics in Pakistan. Hollow slogans and mere pledges to bring revolutionary changes may not work in times to come. Political parties will now have to perform.

Focus should be given on public welfare instead of wasting time in political victimization. Efforts must speed up by the incumbent government to provide relief to masses at large. It should start working for public welfare projects such as setting up new businesses, hospitals, schools, roads, water filtration plants, water reservoirs, factories etc. An exclusive program of extending small business loans on easy installments to unemployed youth can also be started. It’s only performance which can win can peoples hearts and minds now.

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