The Illusion Of Choice

The Illusion Of Choice
In Pakistan, the political landscape presents a limited range of options for citizens to choose from. On one hand, there are politicians from the old generation who hold significant power and influence but are also responsible for the current issues and problems faced by the country. On the other hand, there are the younger politicians who are the children of the said politicians. This creates an illusion of choice for the electorate, as neither option truly addresses the needs and concerns of the common man.

It is a well-known fact that politics is an art of persuasion, but in Pakistan, the art of persuasion is often overshadowed. In our country, political power is passed down within families from one generation to the next, creating a cycle of dynastic politics that threatens the principles of democracy and good governance.

Take Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Maryam Nawaz, for instance. Both have inherited their political positions from their famous parents but, in my humble and uninformed opinion, have failed to establish themselves as leaders in their own right. Instead, they rely on their family names to maintain their relevance in politics. This practice perpetuates the cycle of nepotism and stifles the growth of new and competent leaders. And the people mentioned above are just 2 examples. We have many more examples which include the daughter of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, son of Jahangir Tareen and many, many more.

While these political dynasties bask in their inherited wealth and privilege, the average Pakistani toils day in and day out, often without receiving any benefits in a struggling economy. The average person bears the brunt of the wait of a monthly salary and the difficulties of making ends meet, but these political dynasties, insulated by their wealth, are often completely unaware of the struggles of the common man. It is a harsh reality that these political dynasties will never truly understand the plight of the common man, no matter how much they espouse their concern for the people.

On the other hand, we have the people who are actually responsible for the mess we find ourselves in. It is often said that experience is the best teacher, but in the realm of Pakistani politics, the “experience” of the older generation has proven to be a major hindrance to progress. The generation now aged 50 to 80 has dominated the political scene for far too long and has been the primary cause of the current state of affairs in the country.

Despite their many years in politics & governance, the older generation has been unable to effectively address the problems that have plagued the country for decades. They have been unable to implement meaningful reforms and have failed to deliver the change that the people so desperately need.

And despite all this, the older generation speaks the most about what is wrong with this country and what needs to be done. They write articles about the reforms that need to be put in place in terms of austerity and conservation while they themselves squandered and plundered our country out of all the abundant resources we now deem scarce.

Their prevailing inability to solve the problems they have identified calls into question their competence and their right to speak at all. It is time for them to acknowledge their failures and move aside, to allow a new generation of well-educated and competent leaders to take the reins and bring about real change. And instead of promoting their own children and perpetuating the cycle of dynastic politics, the older generation must give way to the commoners of this country who are ready and able to take on the challenge of leadership. It is my fate, the fate of my fellow generation and that of our country that is at stake, and it is not the place of the older generation to decide it for us.

It is time for Pakistan to break the cycle of dynastic politics and the dominance of this old generation and promote merit-based competition and the role of the electorate. Only then can we hope to see the emergence of competent leaders who truly represent and understand the needs of the commoners. The curse of dynastic politics must be lifted, and Pakistan must embrace a future of democracy and good governance that is driven by a young, well educated and dynamic class that understands and shares the pain of the commoners.


Adnan Moiz tweets at @Nnormanbates