Thursday, April 17, 2008

A New Era Of Unchecked Corruption?

As Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and Mr. Nawaz Sharif together consolidate their power in Pakistan, there are renewed fears that a new era of of unchecked corruption is about to hit Pakistan. Let's hope that these fears are unfounded. Unfortunately, the history tells us otherwise.

In the past, Pakistanis have had to withstand plunder from only one of them at a time. The question now is: Can Pakistan survive a combined assault by both of these "gentlemen" and their cabinet ministers in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi? Who will expose who, now that each is scratching the other's back? Will they cover up for each other to leave no tracks? If and when the corruption reaches new heights in human history, who will expose it? A very weak and ineffective opposition that exists in Pakistani parliament now? Or the compliant judiciary likely to be restored under a deal? Or the newly energized media? Or the powerful new middle class? Who will come to the "rescue" of the people and the country? Is it going to be the military again, as in the past? Or will a new force emerge in Pakistan to offer a better choice? A choice other than the military, the familiar corrupt politicians or the failed Islamic parties who recently suffered an ignominious defeat? Only time will tell. In the meanwhile, here are few lines in Urdu by Yasir Ali. The title is "Aao milkar khatey hain" meaning "let's pillage and plunder together".

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