The Divine Law

September 28, 2009

Atif F Qureshi | PKKH & PakDestiny.net

It is a matter of enormous regret that unethical practices are endemic in Pakistani society – so endemic in fact, that they are generally accepted as the standard way of doing things. However, our people are not to blame – mostly they are innocent participants in a system that is inherently broken. We all endure an atmosphere where bribery has become part and parcel of daily life. From corporatist graft at the highest levels of State to the palm greasing of petty officials, the issue is now so mundane that people are now desensitised to it and will seldom raise an eyebrow. The level of demoralisation is now so severe that some do not even acknowledge it as an evil. In a system where sleaze is par for the course, can there be any deliverance?

Although we may try to appeal to the moral conscience of the people, the vast majority of our citizens are not deliberately immoral. In fact, they are the biggest victims of a farcical state of affairs where the administrative, beaurocratic and legal system is so wrecked that people must endure bribery simply to get by. These words are not meant to justify bad actions, yes, many are wilful and must correct themselves, but the truth is that most are compelled to indulge in this evil due to grievous circumstances. Certainly, we must continue to encourage people to refuse to yield to the temptations that corruption invites them to, but the root of the problem lies not with our interactions with minor clerks who take measly bribes in exchange for favours in our towns and cities, but in the vaunted halls of power in Islamabad. It is the government itself at the highest levels that has set the precedent and entrenched itself in immorality. Having polluted the national moral fibre, it has fuelled the widespread belief that these lower moral standards are now acceptable.

If we analyse the occurrence and incidence of corruption across the world, we find patterns. Countries that are mired in corruption tend to be those that are less economically and politically free. They are burdened with rapacious governments and beaurocratic apparatuses that no individual or business can escape. The rule of law in such nations is applied haphazardly, with one rule for the well-connected and another for the helpless. The people must endure and suffer almost absurd levels of State-led interventions into their lives, with nowhere to turn; no court, no authority, no agency able or willing to defend their rights. This is only too true of Pakistan: a country which, tragically, is ranked all too highly in the ‘most corrupt nation’ lists that are frequently compiled by independent bodies. But this comes as no surprise to us. Through the enormous powers that their power-grabbing policies allow them to accumulate, the political and beaurocratic elites in Pakistan are the ultimate kleptocrats. Not only do they soak up bribes in an unabashed manner, for many, it is their sole motivation for chasing power.

We are facing a crisis that most commentators cannot even correctly diagnose, let alone remedy. The media calls for action and change – but in the wrong direction. Calls are made for ‘reforms’ to deal with the mess and it is often said that if we only enacted more rules and regulations, established more checks and balances, and enforced the existing law more strictly, the masses could be assured that the malady was being cured. Perhaps then, it is assumed, ethical behaviour would return to government. Apparently, new leaders would emerge with spotless records and virtuous habits. A nice thought, but very wrong. It is this kind of liberalism, this kind of woolly and wishful thinking which has ruined the moral fabric of our nation for so long. Where there is no rule of law, only fools pass more legislation.

Our existing legal system has failed us. It has become the laughing stock of the world, barely able to protect the rights of our Supreme Court justices, never mind the common man. What’s more, our morally corrupt ‘legal code’ has perpetrated more injustices on our hapless people than any tyrant could possibly dream of. True reform is impossible unless we realise that our colonial era English Common Law functions in a moral vacuum and in total defiance of natural and divine edict. Writing yet more Western rules and passing yet more Western laws will do nothing but prolong the tyranny. Almost every injustice inflicted on us, whether it be physical, social, economic or spiritual, is sanctioned, even ‘legalised’ by a system of law that is so beyond the pale that it can only be described as a codified system of deliberate oppression.

In spite of being physically liberated from the colonial oppressor’s decades ago, the legacy of British imperialism has remained to this day, in the form of what I call ‘brown-sahib imperialism’. These modern day imperialists are the rotten detritus left behind when the British sailed away. As the remnants of the lowest dregs of our society, the collaborators of the time, they unquestioningly and slavishly manifest Western ideals through and through. This in spite of their Muslim names and Muslim appearances. They are nothing more than puppets – puppets whose strings extend to London and Washington. They will not acknowledge the ideological nature of our country. Instead, despite the mounting evidence of the failure of all foreign ideologies in Pakistan, they persist in chasing Western rainbows – advocating Western inspired solutions to our Western inspired problems.

This has never worked, and it never will. No amendment to our English law, no statute, and no regulation will emancipate our nation from the evil of corruption. In fact, it will only further stimulate corrupt activities. The more the pointless laws, rules, legislation and regulations, the greater the potential for bent beaurocrats and ministers to ply for bribes when extorting innocent people. Each meaningless new form, licence and signature requirement only further demoralises us. Initiatives to combat corruption are often heralded by State spin doctors, but even these cosmetic attempts to shrink corruption are enacted by the very same people who have the most to gain from its continued occurrence. Our politicians may pay lip service to the idea out of public pressure and concern, but ‘anti-corruption’ drives only force corruption deeper underground and push the money further under the table. Corporations will always look to buy influence, beaurocrats will always seek to entrench power, and vampiric politicians will always want to fill their pockets. There is far too much at stake for them to simply walk away.

Wherever the freedom of the people is undermined and the State is free to abuse its unchecked power, we find the scandals of the age. This corruption is a natural consequence of the system. It cannot be cured by passing more regulations and more ‘anti-corruption’ ordinances. We all know these things are a whitewash. How often are corrupt politicians or bureaucrats brought to brook for high-ranking crimes? Hardly ever. But no surprise here. Even the likes of Judas Iscariot would escape prosecution for treason under our laws. Yet the traitors amongst our political ranks are ten a penny. There can be no redemption for our so-called legal code now. It is a system that hemorrhages credibility by the day.

Perhaps it is only when we are plunged into a severe economic crisis and when the parasites have almost bled the people’s wealth dry, that we will finally wake up. We can only hope that we all come to our senses sooner. As inflation destroys the wealth of the ordinary family, and regulations cripple business and employment opportunities, the economic pie is starting to shrink. All the more reason for politicians in the nest of vipers we call the National Assembly to snatch a piece while they still can.

This is the system that over the years has indebted our people and our future generations to the tune of jaw-dropping amounts of money through criminally irresponsible and wasteful borrowing and spending. It has been encouraged by successive administrations, abused by the avaricious banking-industrial complex and underwritten by the powerful corporatist elites who have gorged themselves as the primary recipients of the largesse. Through contacts, lobbying and nepotism, they have risen and accumulated enormous wealth at the expense of those who endure a daily struggle to survive.

This is not a free market. This is not free enterprise at work. There is no level playing field here. The parasitic corporations who connive for money and favours in Islamabad are of the opinion that producing and selling products and services that people want is a fool’s pursuit. Instead, buying influence to make a fast buck is far more lucrative than working, investing and producing for an honest living. We have seen the money involved in their sleaze grow larger and larger. The problem is aggravated by an ignorant media that eggs on the government to spend and interfere more and more. As far as the media is concerned, politicians simply cannot do enough to tax and spend the nation to prosperity.

This path can only lead to what economist Friedrich von Hayek described as “the road to serfdom.” We are well and truly on that road. The dangers inherent in this flawed thinking are still being reaped today. Public expenditure is out of control as shown by the budget being in constant deficit year after year. The nation is living far beyond its means, with our politicians unashamedly signing Faustian pacts with foreign powers to sell their souls for a few shekels. They think nothing of being the puppets of foreign enemies who would consider their greatest triumph to be the destruction of our country. How much longer can we afford to mortgage our future for the benefit of these profiteering traitors, the Judas Iscariot’s of our time?

To counter the prolific corruption around us, tinkering around the edges of our English Common Law is not a solution,not even close. The socialist, secularist propagandists have done their work well, but they must be countered. If we wish to cleanse our house, we must cleanse our hearts first. The only solution is to reject the status quo and instead create the conditions for the spread of speedy and certain justice at all levels via the application of Shariah. This is the only framework of social and economic life that creates a just and optimal distribution. It is a mechanism of divine law which no man-made legal code can possibly replace. It is the only road to the salvation of our nation. To rephrase von Hayek, it is “the road to freedom.”

Atif F Qureshi is part of the PKKH Team and also writes for PakDestiny.net | The above is an excerpt from the book ‘Pakistan – Manifest Destiny’, available free at www.pakdestiny.net


One comment

  1. very nice article atif!! Keep it up!

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