Yesterday was yet another sad day in the political history of Pakistan. Muslim League(N) MNAs voted to retain a convict of serious moral turpitude in office as their party president. Which literally means their ring master outside the parliament, a man with immense authority even over the Prime Minister but with practically no responsibility for the consequences of his remote control. This amendment opens the door to the highest appointment in any political party hierarchy in Pakistan for any convicted criminal with sufficient manipulative skill. Good news for the likes of Akram Lahori, Taji Khokhar and Mullah Fazlullah, Gullu Butt and Uzair Baloch as they can look towards a bright political future if they like; at least they will have a guaranteed place of honor in PML(N).
Having said that, it was time we prepared to mourn and bury politics of the moral, courageous and the just in our country. Yesterday was a sadder day as so many self-proclaimed and vocal practitioners of principled politics kissed the floor before the Emperor. They came crashing down visibly cringing. It was a pathetic sight to see ‘pedigreed’ but reluctant rebel Nisar and that stage actor Pirzada stand up in their seats to clap in a convict as their party president. In the same hall was a lone prisoner of conscience; aged but determined and graceful Zafarullah Jamali who voted against the fiend from within PML(N) in full view of the pitiable slaves of greed and privilege seated on treasury benches. Our compliments also to the relatively little known but a man of substance, their MNA and Parliamentary Secretary Sarzamin Khan who refused to vote on principle. The rest were silent lambs led by a vegetable of a Prime Minister who has mounted the royal elephant but cannot move it. Imran, as usual, insisted on his indefensible abstention from the Parliament and has come out the poorer. Those who stayed away from the ruling party will have their alibis ready but are not likely to earn public respect for the lack of moral strength.
Meanwhile let’s grieve the inglorious demise of public morality and get ready to welcome the rule of the thoroughly lawless, the pickled gangsters and the hardened criminals. Be prepared to be ruled by the most corrupt, incompetent and the most immoral; your Constitution says so. But wait a minute, there is another candidate for the same slot. It is the blatantly abusive and utterly bigoted mullahs blocking flyovers who are aspiring seriously to lead you. So you do have an option, one must say. Now shall we blame our apathy?
By Mehboob Qadir