There will be no radical, revolutionary change in Pakistan. Never. This is my sincere belief. And my reasoning is very simple. Everyone, every Pakistani has a personal interest in maintaining the status quo. Every Single Pakistani. You, me, him, her, they, them, we, us, Tahir ul Qadri; Imran Khan. ALL. (TUQ and IK are perhaps the worst. They have absolutely no desire to change but yet they delude the masses by professing to be champions of change. Their aim is personal aggrandizement; they want to take control of the cookie jar for themselves; indeed, both have actually stated this more than once. They want to become the leaders of this unfortunate nation for their own, personal glory; they are the last ones who will bring reform.)
But back to you and me. Everyone cheats and steals. Everyone fudges on taxes. Everyone breaks the law. EVERYONE, YOU INCLUDED. Of course you will object vocally. NOT ME; you will say. Its a lie, a self-serving lie. Have you ever eaten out? Did you pay cash? Did you obtain a receipt? Did you pay the due government sales and excise tax on that meal? This is petty stuff you say. This is peanuts. OK. Let me give you that. We will forego the truth that these small drops will make an ocean of budgetary input.
What about the housemaid, the sweeper, the cleaner, the cook, the help? Do you pay them the minimum wage? Do you observe a 40 hour working week for them? Still peanuts? OK. Let us take it up a notch further.
How about where you live? Do you own your house? Did you purchase it? If yes, did you declare the actual amount you paid for it or did you go with the much lower minimum price for registration? Did you lie on the purchase documents? Did you evade tax? You bet your sweet ass, you did.
You protest. “I don’t own a house; I live in a rental property. I am a poor person”. Hmmm….. Do you report your rental payment to the tax authorities accurately? Does your landlord do the same? Chances are that you are both in cahoots to defraud the government of the actual taxes due on rental income.
When did you last jump a traffic light? When did you ever stand in a queue? When did you not call up someone you know to get out of paying what was owed to the government? When did you not pay speed money to get things done? When did you not use your influence to have it your way?
Are you a defender of the nation? Do you not know how important it is for the military to maintain the status quo? Or the bureaucrats, the professionals; doctors, lawyers, engineers, educationists. The police, the industrialists, the media, the mullahs, the peasants, the farmers, the shopkeepers, the beggars. No one wants change. Everyone has a scam going. Everyone has an interest in letting the present corrupt system prevail.
You are a God fearing, five time praying, month long fasting Muslim. You are as pure as the driven snow. Others have scams. Not you. They cheat. Not you. But you do. Trust me you do. The only thing is that you call them ‘perks’ and ‘privileges’. You have ‘entitlements’. Others have scams. Everyone else is a crook.
Pakistan will never change unless each Pakistani does. The change has to be internal; within each one of us; you have to change. It really is that simple.
Tailpiece. The authorities recently discovered that the elephants at Karachi zoo were suffering from some strange disease. Their tusks were becoming shorter. Upon investigation it was found that the zookeeper had been chipping away at the unfortunate pachyderms tusks, a couple of inches at a time. Why? To sell the ivory on the black market. You have to take pride in this fine example of deviant Pakistani ingenuity.