First Republic Has Failed, Pakistan Needs Second

Flaws of a system cannot be exposed until there is a stress test. I proposed to the opposition parties last August that a no-confidence motion should be moved against the Senate chairman. It wasn’t easy to convince a diverse group to pursue it. After the yearlong efforts, they finally did it. The rest is a history now but one thing is clear that the current republic is hollow and has failed miserably.

I was hoping that all the stakeholders of the current republic will prove me wrong and show that it can still work but they acted on their natural instincts and demonstrated that it is futile to expect it to work. Sadiq Sanjrani was and is a representative of third umpire that now completely controls all levels of government. We were and are a colonised country. In the short-term, some can claim to be victorious but, in the long run, all of them are losers.

The opposition exposed itself as a lost bunch of politicians that have no ideological foundation and are dual-faced. Sixty-four senators stood up to support voting on no-confidence resolution but only 50 voted in secret ballot, which was three short of the required majority.

It doesn’t matter who those 14 senators were as the doubts are cast on the whole institution. Five votes were rejected which is a stigma on the whole House. Imagine that they can't even cast a vote. The result was that the current chairman, Sadiq Sanjrani, does not enjoy the majority. History is the best laundry room and it will eventually come out who bought and sold the votes. Hasil Bizenjo has already blamed the traditional political engineers. The reputation of the Upper House of the Parliament will erode further to reach new lows.

Political parties have once again been exposed as hollow organisations with no ideological base rather these are a collection of bargaining agents. These organisations have no structure, ideology, adherence to the constitution and internal democracy to respect their members’ supremacy to affect its political decisions. They have failed to live up to the people’s expectations and the most issues faced by the nation are their creation one way or the other. They have to seriously consider restructuring their organisations.

The no-confidence was a test for the third umpire as well. They eagerly demonstrated that they are not only kingmakers but also king savers as long as the person is loyal to them. Maintaining this image was important to them because only then they can retain control of those politicians that help them in political engineering projects. But in the process, they exposed themselves to the people and will face a backlash. The social media was stormed with memes to highlight this point. The gulf between the people and these exploiters has been widening and this will now grow exponentially.

It was proven yet again that we have a controlled democracy where the third umpire will go to any lengths to protect their horse in the race. This should ring alarm bells for the current favourite because the whole farce of his government is built on the shoulders of turncoats (lotas) who were sent his way and can flip their support whenever they are told. These lotas also control the legislative agenda and any bill damaging to the third umpire and their vested interests never get passed by the Parliament. In other words, the current republic works for third umpire and their cronies. The arrogance of their power is its greatest weakness and has become its Achilles heels. The no-confidence episode showed that they are insecure and scared of even losing a symbolic contest.

This latest experience is a proof that the current republic and its stakeholders have failed. This has to be replaced by a second republic that is of the people, by the people, for by the people. I have many good friends in PPP, PML-N, JI, PTI, and other parties. These are the people with a firm belief in democracy which is what our society requires. I request them to rethink their expectations that the current republic can deliver and accept that it has flaws which cannot be fixed. All of us have to come together on one platform to build a second republic.