A new social contract... By Fozia
02 September, 2013
Since its inception in 1947, Pakistan is a more fragmented society than our forefathers could have ever imagined. The schism is so intense that if immediate corrective steps are not taken, God forbid, this country may see even more turbulent times. The extremity of Pakistani society in every sphere of life, be it political, economic, educational, industrial, agricultural, religious, law and order or any other segment worth naming, is abysmal. Hardly any day passes without reports of suicides committed by the poor due to economic hardships. Children are not dying in dozens but in scores due to the measles outbreak and, strangely enough, no soul has moved and not even a single person has been held accountable. Maybe we have one last chance to stem the rot, to unite the people, give them a prescription to rise again and build the nation from the ashes.
The current framework under which the country is being run will not take Pakistan forward. All small and big nations in our region and the world have overtaken us, in the basic fields of health, education, justice, law and order and food security. All stakeholders must wake up, as the nation is moving towards destruction and business as usual can do no good for Pakistan; our survival is directly linked with the existence of our nationhood. Nationhood means the state or quality of having a status as a separate and independent nation. Pakistan needs a turnaround for which the basic need is our adaptation and readiness for change, not in the cosmetic but real sense. We need a complete change from one era to another like the one witnessed by China under Mao Zedong. Hence, for all Pakistanis, failure is not an option but success is also not automatically guaranteed. In this regard, I would like to suggest that we formulate a new social contract for the common people of Pakistan, who always pay 100 percent of their bills and taxes, and never default on their bank loans. Let us make a new Pakistan, which is redesigned to practically cater to the needs of the exploited masses.
Changes must be made in the constitution to block corrupt landowners and power hungry charlatans from contesting the elections. The election system should also be changed so that the whole country directly votes for a president or a prime minister. However, before voting, the candidates of all political parties must notify a list of their MPAs, MNAs and senators who will automatically be considered elected, according to the percentage of votes cast, in favour of the main candidate for the top post of the country. The decision for Pakistan's charter of development for building dams and mega projects for the next 50 years should also be finalised on which, later on, no politics should be allowed. In other words, the representatives of the nation should decide now where they would like to see Pakistan in each and every field of life after 50 years. This plan should be further divided into 10 five-years-plans.
In order to decentralise and empower the maximum number of people, to enjoy the fruits of self-rule, we should convert every division of Pakistan into a province. This will also work as a panacea for the eradication of linguistic and any other type of frictions and doubts about the hegemony of the people from certain large areas over the people of other smaller areas. In fact, it will work wonders in the speedy development and unity of Pakistan and kill instantly any secessionist or separatist activities, currently prevailing in some parts of the country.
FOZIA SHAHNAZ NIAZI