In Islamic Ideology, Sovereignty over the universe belongs to Allah, delegated to human beings as the chosen creatures of Allah. This power is a trust to be exercised by human beings or their chosen representatives within the bounds provided in the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Individuals and nations have risen high or fallen down depending on their adherence or deviation from this principle.
The success of our freedom movement was made possible by the quality of leadership. They inspired Muslims to rise above petty prejudices and unite to help achieve Divine purpose. Had there been sectarianism, Muslims belonging to minority sects could not have led the movement. Our failure as an independent nation can, therefore, be attributed to the absence of this unity and role model leaders.
Soon after independence, the lust for power and temptation of material gains took the better of us and power came to be monopolized by a few who refused to hold elections fearing they might lose it. The reneging from the original commitment resulted in the break up of the country in 1971. Instead of drawing lessons from this tragedy, which was the wrath of God, our leaders devised another strategy whereby elections came to be managed to achieve positive results. State institutions became politicized and the gap between the people and the Government widened to a dangerous level. Every body to himself and God for all, as Churchill would have put it.
According to Plato, the father of Political Science, people get the kind of leadership they deserve and that leaders are the mirror image of the people they represent. By electing leaders without checking their credentials prescribed by Islam and enumerated in Article 62-63 of our constitution, we tend to forfeit the right to be saved by Allah. It is Divine reckoning that Nawaz Sharif has now been made to answer questions relating to the tenure when he ruled like a dictator and which the Supreme Court has equated to Sicilian mafia.
Mercifully the establishment and the judiciary have come forward to restore public trust in the state. Hopefully the process of accountability would be completed to create deterrence for the future. In fact our survival as a state depends on our capacity and determination to restore sanity in public affairs.
By way of a case study if we look at Chitral, the above mentioned national malaise has taken its toll on Chitral as well. It has stolen our simplicity and ethos. The rudimentary state structure instead of consolidation has been replaced by mafia control in every sector of life. Vested interests have been promoted to deny free vote. Voters are blackmailed, intimidated or lured by exploiting faultiness to the detriment of national unity and harmonious social fabric.
The involvement of big money in elections has increased the power of the rich to buy votes and candidates and then using them for their own vested interests. It is, therefore, not surprising that after winning elections these candidates betray their constituency and work for the interest of their financiers or their own. Many of them change their class affiliation and join the privileged class to the extent of disempowerment of the poor who catapulted him/her to power. Today Chitral stands on the precipice. Its eco-system has become unbalanced and unfit to support life. More destruction is caused in the name of development. Ghost projects, misuse of funds, cost run-over, illusive accountability and mafia style dispensation are having telling effect on peoples psychology resulting in depression and criminality. The emergence of fringe groups, wedded to extremism and extortion are common sights. The unholy alliance between religion and power politics has deprived the people of genuine representation. It is because of this apathy that Divine system of reward and punishment has now come into play and its manifestations are galore for those who can see. Islam enjoins on believers to stop evil from being committed using their tongue and hands but never to join in. It is incumbent upon all those who claim to be representing the best in Islam to join hands to reverse the rot, failing which there would be no one left to listen to them.
Let the current elections be the test case for our returning to Allah’s glory. It is never too late to make a beginning and in the Divine scheme of things there is always room for recompense. Let the incumbents seeking votes explain their performance and the new ones their manifestos and personal worth. Let there be challenges for the tainted candidates at the scrutiny stage instead of cover up as has been our wont. If Chitral has to save Pakistan, then choose some one who can do it rather than selling our votes to the highest bidder and bring bad name to us. Shrouds do not have pockets.