Getting out of the mess.

THE big question Pakistanis must ask is how to get out of this disarray. By now, no one can deny that the country is in a huge mess, which is getting worse by the day. And it is getting worse because of the quality of its rulers. They are interested in nothing beyond their own interests; their only concern, while the country drowns and burns, is who will get to appoint the most important man who, they will then complain, does not allow them to do what needs to be done.

This is a massive muddle that has no simple resolution because the quality of the leaders has been declining from day one. The tweets of leaders and their potential replacements are testimony to their intellectual calibre. Their vision does not extend beyond cutting ribbons at bus stations or ordering people to show up on time or delighting on being on the same page quite oblivious to what's written on it. The most important men, whoever they are or have been, are no different except that they have elevated themselves above any accountability and are unwilling to concede that their grand experiments have severely exacerbated successive crises.

Read: Pakistan is one of the worst-governed countries in the world. It's time we wake up to this reality

There is little point hoping and praying that a saviour will descend from heaven to straighten things out. Many have come and gone, some on horses, others on containers. The quality of leadership continues to plummet because of the kind of school education it has imposed to suppress any questioning of its doings. In destroying what they aim to save, they have spawned a monster which will end up strangling everyone except for those who will flee abroad.

At this stage of terminal decline, there is no possibility of a normal recovery because of the state of the rot and the capability deficit to address it. Only radical solutions offer hope. Ideally, one would hope that the quarrelling rulers would realise the gravity of the catastrophe that threatens everyone and arrive at a consensual response, but that is extremely unlikely. In its absence, only popular demand can force their hand and save the country.

At this stage of terminal decline, only radical solutions offer hope.

I am proposing three radical solutions, in increasing order of radicalness; not with the expectation of their immediate adoption but with the hope that they would energise a discourse that can promise possible escape from what otherwise portends to be a sure death. In...

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