Only Sacred Cows

With the arrests of certain political figures, the uproar of accountability is on its peak. The anger is visible during National Assembly sessions which show that how they waste money of masses. “Tabdili Sarkar” wants to hold everyone accountable which is good but along with accountability performance is required too. The anti-corruption narrative holders must also focus on diminishing of incompetency. Masses do not want to see every politician and ruler to be hanged. But, they only want security, respect and equal rights for all.

The history of Pakistan is one of corruption and dishonesty by its leaders but let’s hope that time has come for a change and our next generations can feel proud to be citizens of a country where there is true accountability and minimised corruption. Where there is a will there is a way!

Accountability drives are not a new phenomenon in Pakistan. Since the days of Ayub Khan’s martial law till today, many if not most of the regimes have attempted to clamp down on corruption. But all of these drives came with hidden motives, hence there could be no true accountability. When those who were supposed to be role models for their integrity were involved in corruption and nepotism, Pakistan sank deeper into a vicious cycle of financial and administrative chaos and mismanagement.

The culture of bribes, kick-backs and money laundering deepened its roots and was accepted in the corridors of power, as well as the popular level. Now, when the country is facing a severe economic predicament because of serious debt crisis, dwindling exports, depleted foreign exchange reserves and low remittances, everyone’s attention has turned towards corruption. Accountability is being termed the only way to pull Pakistan from the brink of economic disaster.

There was once a time when the country was respected in the international community. Our ethics began to erode post-1971. That was when the politicisation of our state institutions began. It’s when those in power began compromising on merit, and when inefficiency and nepotism received patronage from those in power.

There has been seventy years, so many governments have been toppled due to the reason of the corruption and every government made big promises for full and fair accountability but nothing has ever happened, in these years, our country has never witnessed accountability in true sense. Hence due to lack of accountability corruption has gained deep roots in our society that it has become part and parcel of our life. Secondly, our country has also indebted by foreign loans. Half of our annual budget goes in paying the interest money on these loans. The total population of Pakistan is almost 220 million out of which more than 40 percent live in deplorable condition. They neither have their two time meal nor do they have access to clean drinking water, electricity, gas, education and proper medical facilities. Pakistan has reached to level where accountability has become essential.

PMLN and PPP have no vision other than saving money laundering and the looted wealth but Imran Khan has taken initiative and vowed to enforce ‘strict’ accountability. Since the process of accountability has started many different voices are being heard. Those who are convicted in corruption or have the fear of conviction are terming the process as political vendetta though it is not. Moreover, it has also been said that economy and accountability cannot move together which is totally absurd.  Making the accountability process controversial is very unfortunate. This is the same old gimmick which was used in the past to stop or to create hurdles in such initiatives. Democracy is always supported by accountability.

What is essential for this accountability derive is that it start from the top and secondly, no one should be spared if found guilty in corruption. Thirdly, NAB should work independently and there should be zero tolerance for any political intervention. Fourthly, the army has taken to task serving as well as retired officers but now is judiciary’s turn irrespective of any concept of sacred cow. A full and fair and across the board accountability process is required to take this country ahead. Progress in Pakistan has already been hindered in a major way by the fear of accountability that has been non-existent and the corruption of the rulers.

Pakistan is needed to recover the money from corrupt elites and use that money for the welfare of the people, to reduce poverty, in education and health sectors. It can also be used for the development of poor regions like interior of Sindh, Baluchistan, KPK and Gilgit Baltistan, as these regions have been neglected in the past, then it will be so much beneficial for the unity of Pakistan as people of these regions have been so much mislead by their own corrupt national leaders who have used their grievances but themselves involved in mega corruption. The solution for all the problems of Pakistan is rule of law and respecting the contributions of all without any discrimination

The first Budget of Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI) without any doubt carried the storm of rampant inflation which is unstoppable for the future also but do we have been left with another option? The biggest mistake of PTI led government in the beginning was, not to go to IMF timely as they were not fully aware about the economic instability. They were same as others with no homework at all and they also remained futile to communicate the real economic and systematic issues of the country. Additionally, they came into power for the first time. Moreover, task forces were made at the inception of the government. In Modern era, the survival and success of every nation and country is measured through the strength of its economy. Formation of inquiry commission against loans to determine the real looters of public exchequer is good step but it must start from Musharraf’s reign. How the nations fall, is all about economic imbalance they have!

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