The Never Ending Circus!

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By Syed M. Aslam

Our ruling elites are trend setters. They have already made corruption, nepotism, cronyism, favoritism, flattery, dishonesty, lie, and many other things vice to new heights where they are now acceptable as a norm. They have now started a new trend- making court appearances a matter of personal choice which simply means that they have freed themselves of the constitutions and the law to decide when and when not to appear before a court of law when summoned. How I wish that if those passing themselves off of our leaders- read misleaders- have a little less respect, regard, and love for the constitution, law, justice, and the courts of law we would not have been in the mess that we are in today with every single institution destroyed. That, however, has now become a thing of the past-recent past- because today our ruling elites have reached a point of bravado where they do not even try to conceal their contempt for constitution, law, justice, and the courts of law. If the Panamagate saga offers any lesson for us to learn it is what the Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright Brendan Francis Behan (1923-1964) said: “I was court-martialled in my absence, and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in my absence.” Try to savor Behan’s quote keeping in mind that almost those found guilty by the apex Supreme Court in the said case were allowed to flee the country with utmost ease. The refrain here is, “they could shoot me in my absence.” Politics have become a freak show here and democracy has given us the rulers that we want to get rid of but couldn’t while elections here have become a charade of giving a choice to the people to vote for a candidate they dislike least. By the way the same is also true for the talk shows and talk show hosts. The rebellious sound bites coming from the law and court loving tried, tested, and now convicted escapees from safe havens overseas further expose their real selves. They are ready and willing to talk about anything but refuse to answer a simple question: How they every single member of the family managed to accumulate so much wealth so quickly without any visible source of taxable income. Meanwhile, the circus we have been conditioned to believe is democracy goes on as usual in spite of the members of extended Gucci family making hay as the sun shines meekly in London. The members of other Gucci family which despite its best efforts miserably fails to convince the masses that it is any different just fly in and out of the country which they consider good only to grab power and rule- read misrule. And then there are acrobats, jokers, trapeze artists, jugglers, entertainers, human cannons, unicyclists, fire eaters, knife throwers, lion tamers, ring masters, magicians, and all sorts of other performers whose entire efforts revolves around keeping the people absolutely confused about any and all issues no matter how serious or otherwise it may be so that they could fulfil their agenda whatever it may be. And yes, all this come packed with costumes, dresses, makeup, and wigs to appease the masses for whom the rulers here have nothing but contempt and disgust. Meanwhile, it’s party time in London with ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his wife who sailed to win the seat in the National Assembly in her absence, two sons, daughter, his brother Shahbaz Sharif who is the Chief Minister of Pakistan’s most populated province Punjab, and last but not least the accidental Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi planning the strategy about how to reinstall Sharif if not as prime minister than at least as the head of the party. And yes, a miracle has already happened in the opposition-dominated Senate where the government managed to beat a bill even if by a single vote that lifts the legal bar on a person to serve as an office-bearer of a political party even if he is either not qualified or being disqualified as a member of parliament under Article 63 of the Constitution. This could be the best example of a tailor-made law for the benefit of an individual. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abbasi is on his way to Pakistan from London, where he stayed after attending the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, with federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is the father-in-law of Nawaz Sharif’s daughter. This, of course, is an interesting development because just three days a team of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had raided his residence in federal capital Islamabad but failed to arrest because he was in where else but London. In addition, just today there were reports that non-bailable warrants are likely to be issued for the finance minister. It was also immensely interesting to read that Prime Minister Abbasi, who has left London for Pakistan, announced that Dar is accompanying him back to the country. Mr. Dar is extremely lucky to enjoy such an air tight the insurer, guarantor, and supporter all wrapped up in one in times when even the shadow leaves a man. Meanwhile, the ousted prime minister who has refused to appear before the NAB despite repeated summons has returned back to country from London yesterday morning. So what is the morale of the confusing story narrated above. Well as someone said, “the morale of this story is that not all stories have a morale.” I, however, would like to close this write-up on four words one liner that American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor and author John Carlin said, “The status quo sucks.”

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