Politics — a sterile wasteland


Imran Khan, Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician, Chairman of political party Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) waves to his supporters. PHOTO: REUTERS

Imran Khan, Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician, Chairman of political party Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) waves to his supporters. PHOTO: REUTERS

With two of the largest political parties staging mass rallies on the same day and in close proximity to one another, the national political landscape is looking barren. Parliament is increasingly an irrelevance as we move once again to a time of containers, loudspeakers, and the same ponderous rhetoric and bluster that took the nation nowhere the last time it was deployed in 2014. The PTI and the PML-N have geared up for another tedious bout of Kabuki theatre with each accusing the other of corruption on a grand scale, a plundering of the national assets in pursuit of personal fortune, scandals in the banking sector, and, of course, a raft of issues of titanic proportions around the Panama Papers.

Regarding the latter, the government did itself no favours by demonstrating an unyielding inflexibility in the matter of the terms of reference relating to the parliamentary commission of inquiry. This fed the ire of the PTI which promptly returned to its default position of generating heat rather than light and the two parties now bawl at each other from their respective entrenchments. They are joined by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), which has launched its own Movement for Revenge and Accountability — which is going to achieve neither. Politics has become a collage of shameless egotism, persistent delusion, pointless and circular ‘debate’, and an absence of anything approaching statesmanship on the part of the principal players. There is an across-the-board mediocrity, a lack of intellectual rigour and vision that is the product of a country that has invested in second best for decades and then compounded the problem by voting for them because there was no other option. The PML-N has a plan — sort of — but the PTI seems bereft short of the unseating of the incumbency, whilst the PAT sits happily on the barking mad fringes babbling to itself. Parliament has become an empty cracked pot, neutered by shoddy populism. Whither politics? Onwards and downwards.


Original news : http://tribune.com.pk/story/1158261/politics-sterile-wasteland/