With dozens of lawmakers walking out of the ruling coalition, the head of government was left in a minority in parliament. This is not what should have or could have happened on April 3 in Pakistan. This is what actually happened in Sri Lanka on April 5.
The economic crisis has deepened and the government’s handling of the situation has led to public unrest. This feature is common in both the countries as of today.
Record inflation and utmost economic chaos are the new rulers of both the lands which are, unfortunately, plunging the state and its people to abysmal suffering. While Sri Lanka is dealing with unprecedented food and fuel shortages along with blackouts, Pakistan’s economic situation is no different with its currency losing its value by leaps and bounds.
The only difference that has pushed the people of Pakistan to yet another crisis is political madness we all have witnessed in the past few days. This mayhem has made it clearly evident that our political figures (not worthy of being called leaders) are incapable of abiding by the Constitution and respecting the very institutions they are bound to serve, let alone serving the people and thinking about their welfare.
This selfish attempt to save a single man from being ousted is no different from the one he himself used to bemoan a few years ago. Both rulers, at the time of their political might, were believing in the same will-o’-the-wisp as Macbeth who had failed to realise that prophecies merely foresee the future. He thought that the Great Birnam Wood cannot move, just like these two rulers who know that the real fault lies in the very foundations of the land they have governed.
But both the times, trees were uprooted, forest was transposed, and precedence was set.
Both the times it happened in a country whose people had lost all hopes of being served justice long time ago; where judiciary, despite being an independent institution, was perceived to be subservient to parliament; where both disqualifying a premier over charges of moral and fiscal corruption as well as reinstating the other despite his own unconstitutional dismissal of the parliament have no preceding examples.
What presenting oneself for trial and accepting failure with grace actually means must be learnt from Richard Nixon’s presidency in the United States. Although he, too, initially rejected accusations of wrongdoing hurled at him as a consequence of the Watergate scandal and vowed to stay in office, he had to give in to the circumstances after losing political and popular support and ultimately resigned in August 1974 before he could be removed by impeachment that was underway. While the first part of his plan is equivalent to narrating the story of our previous premier, the second part is a lesson for the serving — accepting popular opinion and political failure requires dignity.
What has really disappointed the denizens of Pakistan is the show of lack of sportsman spirit from the sportsman-turned leader who, in the end, turned out to be yet another politician. His team, along with the entire lot of politicians currently trying to ‘serve’ Pakistan by coming into power, are regretfully alike. Saving a man should not cost a country its institutions and people. None of them thought what impact would the equation ‘$1 = Rs189’ have on Pakistan’s economy and the lives of its people.
This is precisely what Plato had feared the most about democracy. It has the capability of turning into anarchy within no time because the lust of freedom that is developed in the ruler by his subjects would not let him rest. It makes democracy immoderate in its very nature as the political demagogues seek opportunities to expose themselves as tyrants.
Yes, the ‘only I can serve the best’ ideology is the starting point of tyranny. The storm in a teacup that has brought Pakistan to the brink of destruction and humiliation is not the result of chaos. It is a state of madness in which everyone believes only in his might and power. A dead end at the end of the tunnel where there is no hope left of seeing any ray of light. (Tribune)