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Dynastic Politics- The political lordship in Pakistan!

Surnames in Pakistani politics do not change, nor do the political slogans. “Kal Bhi Bhutto Zinda Tha, Aaj Bhi Bhutto Zinda Hai!” (Bhutto lived yesterday; Bhutto lives today) Someone would complain that the Pakistani nation has assigned a few families with troublesome business of ruling the whole country. The Talpurs, Mirs, Khans, Durranis, Makhdooms, Jatois, Magsis, et al. have maintained their thrones throughout the political history of our country, pre and post partition. No matter what happens, their might and influence do not get affected for generations.  British invaded Sub-continent, where Mughals were deprived of their empire; our political lords were awarded British Orders and allotted large areas of cultivable land to honor their faithfulness to the Queen. After a lengthy colonial period, a part of Muslim population was able to win a piece of land in order to be their own rulers but these families eased the process by not disturbing the poor peasants for things like parliament, democracy, and cabinet and kept them at work of ploughing for future generations and became our saviors from enemy nations. These families have good relations with Army and Democrats alike, so it does not matter, whether its Martial law or democracy, their influence can’t be weakened. A political party in the country can only strive to establish itself as a national party if these surnames are associated with it, but they only choose to be on board if they see their assets intact, leaving every party polluted. That is why the elections in Pakistan do not bring any real change but only prompt something similar to “Placebo Effect” that only provides people with a psychological relief to expect a transformation of the country into Utopia where everyone will have Roti, Kapra and Makan (Food, Clothing and Shelter), now a days, they also promise access to quick justice (a little change! ;), but they then delay it for their next term so they do not have to change their slogans and election manifestos.

The Problem!

The politics in Pakistan is too expensive and too dangerous for ordinary countrymen. The prerequisites to do politics include a couple of bullet proof SUV Cars, at least a dozen of gunmen (a militia of your own), Thana (Police Station) on your payroll, hundreds of sewing machines for distribution among local women to attract press, and most importantly Oodles of starched cotton fabric for daily wear to keep the reputation among nobles. Having all of the mentioned requirements does not guarantee your victory, in addition to said prerequisites; it will be required from you to pay millions of rupees to the political party from which you are seeking a party ticket (nomination) to contest election. I forgot, Pakistanis won’t use their own vehicles to go all the way to cast their vote, so the onus to arrange their pick and drop lies on you. Hence it is indeed an expensive career for ordinary Pakistanis amidst of soaring inflation, but it’s not just all about money, the political rivalry and feud often speaks the language of Bullets. So think twice!

Take a breath and understand the real issue!

The previous paragraph was too pessimistic for individuals aspiring to serve country through politics but lack “surnames” that simply disqualifies their prospect to be successful in their efforts.  Now who to blame? Both the civil and military establishments are at ease with current system and both have their own pawns to exploit things to their favor among our political lords. By the way it is not illegal in any manner to allow dynastic politics in its simple form since a citizen cannot be refused an opportunity to take part in politics only because of his family’s presence in the same business, especially keeping in mind the immense vote bank associated with these surnames. The same rule is applied for religious scholars, athletes, bureaucrats, traders, etc. So what is the issue?? The issue lies in the prevalent dynastic politics in the country where the country is treated like a family enterprise and the whole family is given critical portfolios without considering any merit. The women’s reserved seats are used to keep their wives and daughters busy, the governmental corporations are there to accommodate nephews and cousins, whereas Senate (upper house) is there to please any one left in the family. Whether the elections are rigged or not, it’s impossible to keep the political lords out of the system as the ordinary citizens do not get to participate in the elections. The ground is not even for the majority of Pakistanis and only few families end up ruling the country for eternity. You may term it as pre-poll rigging.

What’s the solution???

The democratic and electoral reforms can’t take place overnight and it takes a process that involves general awareness, constitution framework and genuine leadership to pave the way for its followers. In the milieu of Pakistan, the most effective way to surpass the current impediments in the way of ordinary countrymen is to restore and enhance the Local Bodies. This particular model is the fastest way to politically empower a large population and to keep democracy in the country unharmed. Another important step would be to make elections a matter of just few thousand bucks by strictly monitoring any lavish spending in this regard to woo voters so to make it affordable. But the real change will only begin if people stop voting for people causing all the trouble to them, to name few, inflation, unemployment, corruption, targeted killings, etc.

Things to remember!

– Dear Pakistanis, Raise your voice for electoral reforms, but in a civil manner (not with batons and cranes). As a suggestion, you can choose to protest on Election Day and boycott polling visibly (so they cannot claim a mandate of 18 Crores). Show some patience!

-If you cannot control your frenzy to vote, please grow up and do not go after Surnames! Evaluate candidates on the basis of their track record and social conduct. Look for any exception in the system (certainly there are a few), Please grow up!

-It’s your responsibility to spread this awareness among those who cannot read or write (start with your chowkidar, peons, Maids, etc.). Lead your way!

-Take part in politics (for reforms and not to support the current status quo), wherever you see an opportunity and educate others similar to you for the same so the current nomenclature of our political system can be altered. Be heard!

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