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10 November 2017

Justifiable Praise of the So-called Folly

Yasir Abbas
Yasir Abbas is Youth Foreign Minister and Defense at Youth Parliament Pakistan and is studying International Relations from Bahria University, Islamabad. He can be reached at yasir.bui@gmail.com

If one has to find a collective disease amongst the youth of Pakistan, it is the practice of “erroneous pessimism” and frustration which they portray in the name of realism and pragmatism with pride. The hyper corporate media and the equally information polluted social media has been the only platform and source of knowledge for these so called and self proclaimed pundits based on which they judge the entire country, its politics and the overall political system. The gravity of the situation is further emboldened by the outrageously irresponsible behavior of the youth, particularly their attitude towards democracy and the inculcation of democratic values.

The rashness and lack of political understanding coupled with irrationality is what was being depicted in one of the articles written in response to my earlier article titled “In response to the praise of folly”. The writer who happens to be a dear friend of mine has clearly missed the point behind the praise and does not seem well acquainted with the basics of Political Science despite being the student of it, himself. He has rather dwindled himself in the tyranny of past while sloganeering the failures with absolute pessimism. One only loses hope after seeing such a naive understanding of government and politics at the time when Pakistan desperately needs advocates of democracy. It is indeed worrisome and unfortunate that even the learned and ambitious youth of Pakistan like the writer himself lacks the basic understanding of political process and above all is clueless about the evolutionary process of states institution building.

The basic point of praising former President Asif Ali Zardari solely was to pay rich tribute to his work for the system and democratic process. I am neither his fan nor a bucolic Jiyyala, but as a true patriotic Pakistani, I believe that, it is my responsibility to highlight the historical precedents which were never set before. No doubt, if we start judging the performance of previous government particularly consider the role of Ex-President Zardari on emotional grounds and view it in the context of cost benefit analysis then of course, they have miserably failed in their conduct and purpose. Nepotism, corruption and individual ambidextrousness on the part of former president was of course in full swing and to make things worse, elected representatives plundered from state exchequer, ruthlessly. But, this is not the failure of democracy nor does it justify any attempt to derail the in-placed system at any cost rather we have to start believing in the evolving level of transparency and accountability which will take its course in the foreseeable future.

This nation has punished the same party for their gross incompetency and inefficiency in the general elections 2013 and will do the same to the incumbent government if they persist to be the same as their predecessors. The voting has filtered out several looters and has marked a permanent full stop to their ever bright political future. This budding democratic process has awakened the women of tribal areas and has for the first time mobilized and activated the indifferent youth of Pakistan. Today, we have several competing political forces in Pakistan doing their best to outmaneuver each other while serving this nation. The age of deception has gone and it is not too far that the practice of malpractice, which we are witnessing today, will soon be the relic of the past.

We have to understand that the most important thing for any country’s survival is its constitution and system. The absence of either of it is chaos and an open initiation to anarchy and instability. Also to ensure strong federation, power has to be decentralized to the units of federation to the lowest level. Previous government has reshaped the distorted constitution to its actual form which is even acknowledged by almost all stakeholders of Pakistan. The historic 18th amendment is indeed a huge step forward towards re-restructuring a dilapidated system that is punctuated by anarchistic intrusions of military dictators.

The spectacles of political sciences and myself being the staunched supporter of evolutionary democratic process force me to view things differently, which is what sets us apart from the layman’s concept of change and essence of democracy. However, this is not to say that I don’t have any concern for the miseries of an ordinary man. I accept that an ordinary man’s concern is survival at a time when inflation, poverty and above all instability is at its peak. But, the solution for all these problems is democracy as it is the outcome of the voice of an ordinary man. The prerequisite for economic development in 21st century is political stability and for that matter we have to start believing in the system and in the democratic process which is in its embryonic stage.

It is unmistakably true that we need visionary leaders who will serve this nation to the best of their abilities without letting personnel objectives to overshadow national interest. We do not need to overthrow an infant system due to the sheer incompetence of an individual. We have to believe in the evolutionary process of democratization and for that matter let’s give democracy a chance and let democracy consolidate its roots. Only then visionary leaders will emerge and steer this country out of the longstanding epidemic turmoil.