Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, April 27th, 2018

Politics of Holograms

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Politics of Holograms

People have dreams and they wish to see them turning into realities in their life time. Politicians create national dreams and try to make them true during their tenure. It is true that politics is the name of possibilities but here in Pakistan the game of possibilities has turned into game of blames and controversies. Instead of creating dreams, holograms are created to deceive the people.

Once these holograms are close enough to be touched they disappear instantly. And then a new hologram is enacted. We have experienced it when we were told that Musharaf is the root cause of all evils. Now Musharaf is gone but 'evils' are still living here. After Musharaf we were told that once Chief Justice is restored then 'canals of milk' will decant into Pakistan. We are still waiting for those canals of milk. Again today we are in a yoke that forces us to believe that Zardari is the root cause of corruption.

I do not claim that he is not involved in corruption but when I remind the days when he was chosen as Co-Chairman of PPP and then president of Pakistan then no one expressed fears about his corrupt nature. No one even tried to remind the nation that he was once called Mr. 10 percent. We have the right to ask these anchors, writers, and politicians that why they were silent at that time. What is reality - their silence in the past or their today's hue and cry of corruption?

This game of creating holograms is not confined to politicians only but Media hawks also play their role by siding with one side and criticizing the other. The one favoring media's point of view becomes their partner and the other one will have to face the rage of media. Mostly opposition is their partner while government is the combined target. Government is blamed and derided while opposition adds fuel to the fire. This partnership will continue till elections and then just like football match players will change their sides.

On international issues our media and politicians' stance is mostly bizarre. After Osama's death here in Pakistan civil government and army enacted a hologram of sovereignty just to protect the helplessness of Pakistan. Everyone took part in it but media hawks played a dual role of arousing public sentiments against the US and targeted Pakistani establishment to punish it for going together with the secular political segments. Very few media groups were aware of the consequences and they fully elaborated it to the government. From the very first day it was clear from army and civil government statements that they wanted to bury the issue and it became reality when recently General Shuja Pasha visited US and had an agreement with CIA regarding the intelligence co-operation and misunderstandings.

Our media which avoided the unavoidable is now unexpectedly silent about Pasha's agreement with CIA. Even no one spoke about this 'unexpected' act of the ISI Chief. And now the hologram of sovereignty, sovereignty which actually belongs to Almighty Allah according to our constitution dissolved amongst the media hawks. Isn't it our right now to induce these so-called analysts to speak in detail about that particular meeting and disclose the particulars of it? But they wouldn't as they won't dare to touch the hives of bees. Though they claim to be digging out the truth, in real sense they fear it, or hide it as long is hiding it is in their favor.

Here is the difference between our and western media. Western media only target such policies of their governments which adversely affect the tax money while here in Pakistan media only target those aspects which are not in accordance with the wishes of fundamentalists. Our media criticized the government decision of Pak-Afghan transit trade agreement. Media howls about load shedding but it is silent about Indian offer of supplying electricity. Media always emphasizes on the role of Pakhtuns in Afghanistan but it does not open its lips about the massacre of Pakhtuns since Zia's Western funded Jihad. Only few writers and analysts dare to speak about it but their point of view is buried in the slogans of corruption and strategic perceptions.

Thinking deeply, corruption seems the result of understanding between civil governments and establishment. Establishment has its own sphere if it is not intervened it will always ignore the corruption. That sphere is its defense budget and its role in making foreign policy. Unfortunately our politicians, who have been democratically elected by the people, do not have the potential and the authority to decide about the defense budget and the determination of foreign policy.

Once the politically elected government is give the authority to decide the budget and the foreign policy independently without internal and external pressure, it can really make a difference provided that it avoids corruption. Further, it must be able to overpower the army constitutionally, but not in the way Nawaz Sharif wanted to do it, then corruption is easy to control. Only continuous democratic process can stop corruption. Once people learn how to sideline corrupt politicians in elections then ultimately corruption will be out of the democratic process. Since Ayub era we listen about twenty two families but how many corrupt people are behind the bars. Creating holograms of corruption is useless and it confuses the nation. Systematic solution of corruption is still not in the pipeline of our intelligentsia.

Farman Nawaz is a freelance Pakistani columnist. He can be reached at farmannawaz@gmail.com

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