President Mamnoon Hussain on 26 May set July 25 as the date for general elections in the country. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had sent a summary to the president on May 21, proposing holding of 2018 general elections on any date between July 25 and 27. Sources in the Presidency told Dawn newspaper that the president had signed the summary approving July 25 as the polling date.
Although the ruling factions are enthusiastic over the elections, taking care of this matter with unusual efficiency, the public is far less so. The public response is dampened and most are looking for the “best of the worst” or the “lesser of two evils.” The choice is a poor choice.
On the one hand, the PML-N is arguing that corruption is a fact of Pakistani life and so its supreme, disqualified leader is pleading, “What did I do?”. On the other hand, PTI is calling others out over corruption but has included many corrupt politicians on the basis that they are electibles, such as Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who served under the cunning Zardari, and Jehangir Tareen who served under the crooked Musharraf.
In fact, there will be no change in Pakistan when the standard for PTI is the PML-N and vice versa. The fact is that PTI and PML-N are two faces of the same coin, the man-made Democracy. Truly, we are only doomed to such a pathetic situation and such pitiful choices, as long as we live under the current system of ruling, Democracy.
There is no shortage of sincere and loyal Muslims in Pakistan, but Democracy is a prized tool for the corrupt, who gather over it like swarming bees over honey. The corrupt all rush to support the continuity of Democracy because it firmly places lawmaking, deciding what is right and wrong, what is Halal and Haraam, in the hands of those elected.
Democracy ensures that the corrupt are able to legalize their corruption, through making laws such as the Protection of Economics Reforms Act, the Seventeenth Amendment and the National Reconciliation Ordinance.
This is why we see the corrupt visiting us actively before elections, spending huge amounts of money for our votes. Then we watch their backs as they stroll into Democracy, to secure a huge financial return on the money they spent.
Democracy has ensured corruption in Pakistan for seven decades and will continue to do so for another seven decades if it remains. The Panama Papers revealed that Democracy ensures corruption all over the world, from Russia to South America, not just in Pakistan. For many decades, Democracy ensured that corrupt rulers could hide their ill-gotten gains in offshore companies, without detection and investigation, trial and tribunal. It is because of Democracy that all over the world, resource-rich countries have oppressed, poor citizens but immensely rich, corrupt rulers. Clearly, seeking an end to corruption through Democracy is as futile as seeking a cure through the disease itself!
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by Yahya Nisbet
Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain