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    Time to serve not to rule

    Jinnah ‘the man of iron will and lion courage’ had a firm faith in the democratic system of government and throughout his life he continued to adhere scrupulously to the democratic norms.

    Jinnah spoke of an inclusive and pluralist democracy promising equal rights for all citizens regardless of religion, caste or creed. He famously advised the highest body in the land:m If we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor.

    Now that democracy has returned to Pakistan it is appropriate that we pledge afresh to follow the Quaid’s views to strengthen the roots of democracy in Pakistan. The nation has brought about a peaceful and silent revolution by voting moderate elements, who claim to bring the country out of the present economic and political turmoil. It’s time for all politicians and establishment to draw lessons from this revolt. This time round, the change has come from the people. It is their expectations and aspirations that have to be addressed. It’s perhaps the last best chance that Pakistan has got. The new government will have a unique opportunity to chart the course of the country in the years to come. This is the time to serve not to rule. This is also depicted in the thought provoking decision of Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani to exclude ‘Makhdoom’ (to be served) from his name because he aims to serve rather than being served.

    Knowledge and wisdom are the cornerstones of any civilization. We deem and esteem both of them in a stupendous manner, but seemingly it is high time to take them out of our archives and put them in practice. While the enormity of our intellect can determine the route to success for burgeoning prolific dawn of tomorrow, the meticulous thinking charter can lead us to shake hands with peace and prosperity. Rightly said, optimism unlocks the potential to do good. The power of truth and positive thinking is unparalleled in its extraordinary capacity for restoring the faltering faith of millions. Undoubtedly, these are the real forces of action and self-empowerment. But a million dollar question flickers; how do we get this intangible wizard machine that will overcome overwhelming despondency. The more starry-eyed than wonder, if the parties wish to project itself beyond reproach.

    The new government should serve an immediate need and create a sense that the grand coalition government truly wishes to change lives. One would hope that they rise to the challenge. The challenge to implement genuine political dynamics and the constitutionally defined political process. One would hope that the outcome of 2008 national election would ensure the ‘supremacy of the constitution’. Pakistan’s policy must be to hold rule of law at home, protect the lives, property and dignity of our citizens at all cost and oppose through strict enforcement of law any attempt to forcibly impose any system on the citizens of Pakistan.

    Now is the time to tackle colossal issues faced by the nation by adopting carrot-and-stick approach and ensue to reject myopic mindset from the grass-roots level. The grand coalition must know to deliver each day and examine itself on three counts; firstly whether or not it is loyal to those on whose behalf it acts; secondly is it trustworthy in the dealings; thirdly, whether or not it ensures to impart the right practice. The loyal patriotic voters have shown that they are awake and aware, completely capable of understanding and voting on important issues and most importantly they are moderate nation and seeking peace, progress and stability. We strongly hope that the new establishment will not show Chameleon like behaviour and will not hoodwink the dedicated voters with deceptive manifestoes.

    The new government should implement Quaid-i-Azam prolific vibrant vision, which is the inner symphony of the heart and soul that lands into a purity of spirit, which is a spectacular state of being. He envisioned Pakistan to grow and glow in terms of national unity and social cohesion; democracy and political stability; social justice and equality; national morale and pride. He sighted the country’s development not exclusively in the economic sense, but rather in a more holistic manner to include social, cultural and political dimensions. A vision of introspection, progression, equality, justice, proactive-ness, unity, discipline, faith, conviction and a vision of true harmonious society. That’s what we expect from the new democratic set up. Mindful of the fact, here is some practical advice which I hope will be positively grasped by the grand coalition government: Firstly, advice for a bright present and brighter tomorrow by realigning our priorities with our needs. Lesser/controlled/monitored spending on defence budget and more on education, health and social development.

    Secondly, let’s sit together with cool and progressive heads and decide once and forever that we will shape our own destiny as per the aspirations of the people of Pakistan not by outsiders. Thirdly, develop a ‘CAN DO’ attitude; You can do everything, but not all at once; You can do everything, if it’s important enough for you to do; You can do everything, but you may not be the best of everything; You can do everything, but there will be logical limitations; You can do everything, but you will need help. Fourthly, no aggression and ruthlessness in political behaviour & non-intervention of irrelevant forces. Fifthly, admit mistakes bravely and move forward and bury blame game politics by closing personal enmity. Sixthly, forward looking approach by converting all Madrassas into Model English medium institutions all over Pakistan and employing quality teaching staff in them. Sublime blend of Islamic and modern education. Seventhly, positive and progressive attitude with consistencies in government policies. Wisdom and intellect to be sought from all segments of the society. No draconian measures for curbing freedom of media and civil society. They are breeze of fresh air. Don’t crush them. Media needs to be more responsible and should take care of genuine national interest. This is a time to move forward for a gentle handshake with the progressive’s forces. Lastly, stop killing our own people. Remove hatred mindset.

    This is an unfortunate situation, given that at present what the country needs most of all is a sense of direction, a clear vision for the future — and politicians with loyalty and commitment who are wiling to work it, rather than focusing almost solely on a personal quest for power. Let’s join hands and proclaim Pakistan truly ‘payindabaad!’

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