By Adeela Naureen and Umar Waqar
George Carllin wrote something in eighties that still touches peoples heart and somewhat reflects present day elite of Pakistan in my reckoning. An abridged parody of one of his poems is presented here:
The paradox of Pakistani elite at present is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Motorways, but narrower viewpoints.
We have bigger houses and smaller hearts to accommodate, more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees (including fake ones) but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems
We yap too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom with no conviction in God Almighty
We believe in smart work and not hard work, we cheat Pakistan and her people, and think we can get away with it
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a quick buck but not a life.
We've added years to life not life to years.
We've polluted the air as well as the soul
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and growing poverty
These are the days of suicide attacks, no electricity, burning trains and shameless laughing in talk shows
These are days of quick trips(at the cost of public money), disposable commitments, throwaway morality, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.
Having moved to Zimbabwe we have seen Pakistan as outsiders for last six months with things getting from bad to worse. Our entire optimism seems to be getting diluted in empty space with few signs of hope in Pakistan. The scandalous behavior of our elite has pushed this wonderful country to the brink of disaster, can we do something about saving Pakistan.
We are day dreaming, and struck with an idea of a grand reconciliation, nothing like an NRO but real reconciliation. Not long ago in South Africa, we saw the dawn of a new era, where a century of hatred between the oppressed African people and the ruling white elite was turned into an opportunity by great leadership of Nelson Mandela, can we learn from it, especially when the ruling elite is not a foreign occupying power but people from our own stock (although worse than a foreign occupying power).What should be the contours of this reconciliation process and how can it benefit the common people of Pakistan. Let us analyse the state of affairs before embarking on any concept of reconciliation.
Let us acknowledge that there are no angels in the elite of Pakistan, and the system has been rotting to the core as far as rampant corruption is concerned. Topping that is the fact that the elite has become shameless and possessive about the power that it derives from corruption and is not ready to shed an iota of it.
It is a known fact that the billions illegally possessed by the elite (either in form of real estate, industrial units or dollars stashed into swizz banks) belong to the people of Pakistan and there is no way we can move to progress without that fortune.
We have tried hard to push this ossified system of pseudo democracy to make some visible progress but the ruling elite is one big selfish hurdle that is not ready to part away with its methods and intrigues and has to be either removed or made obsolete, rather cut from the body of Pakistan through ruthless surgery.
Despite tall claims and self created slogans of ‘system will get derailed’, and that ‘Pakistan’s survival lies in the hands of these so called democrats’, we are very sure that this ruling elite of approximately three thousand families does not constitute Pakistan, Pakistan is the rest of 17,999,7000 people who have been suffering from this very elite since the birth of this country.
Whereas a bloody revolt may be knocking at our doors, the ruling elite has still time left to save their skins, go for a Grand reconciliation, not amongst themselves but with the 17,999,7000 people of Pakistan.
The formula, make the ruling elite de possess the riches, confiscate, and distribute to people of Pakistan by bringing a permanent change and not for the sake of the change.
A caretaker government headed by likes of Abdusattar Eidhi and Ansar Burny duly supported by the Army and the Judiciary and some clean names of the media and civil society be formed for at least two years with the following targets;
Collect Pakistan’s 2000 Billion US dollars from the ruling elite. Ruling elite may be made to acknowledge through an open media trial that the money does not belong to their fathers and grandfathers but of people of Pakistan.
An independent screening commission be formed to make sure that the members of the ruling elite are distinguished as black or white and no one is left with grey color. The ones with black label be given a choice to work as common citizens of Pakistan(after confiscating their riches) but barred from holding any public office for life time with every one placed on exit control list.
An independent election commission be formed (in real sense) to supervise electoral process including preparation of genuine voters list and delimitation of electoral wards and constituencies with a task to hold elections. Minimum qualification to stand in provincial and national assembly election be graduation and that too of genuine and authenticated nature.
An independent development commission to supervise tax collection and spend the 2000 Billion US dollars of Pakistani money on education, infrastructure, poverty alleviation and fast paced development, half of this fund should be exclusively used for Baluchistan with constitutional guarantees for continuity of these development programmes for at least next decade.
We representing the youth of Pakistan have suggested a solution, it is only for the people of Pakistan to bring the change by bringing down these Big people with Small Character.