Nearly a hundred years ago in 1920, the US amended their Constitution, prohibiting the production, import, transportation and sale of Alcohol nationwide. It was a radical change that was in the making since the 19th century led by fundamentalist Protestants seeking to rid the society of its moral ills. It was called the “Volstead Act,” named after its proponent legislator. Americans are a free-spirited nation that refuses to have lives dictated. Soon after the ban, the underground industry sprang up producing alcohol. Its distribution and sales were taken over by criminal gangs raking in unforeseen profits, which is happening in Pakistan since Bhutto’s prohibition. The biggest loser, in either case, is Governmental revenues. Chicago was the headquarters of this criminal activity called “bootlegging.” In the early 1920s, a ruthless gangster, Al Capone, nicknamed “Scarface” took control of Chicago Outfit. As the crime boss, he expanded his business; forming mutually profitable relationships with Mayor William Thompson, bribe-ridden Judges and Chicago PD. During his seven-year rule, he brutally murdered opponents, brooking no opposition and raked in millions. We see the same thing happening in Pakistan these days. The Sicilian Mafia is in total control. The elite capture is complete. There is a vicious onslaught by forces of repression kidnapping, torturing and harassment through false cases; blatantly violating the rule of law and the Constitution. The gloves are off, and a ruthless battle is on to subdue all opponents of this elite mafia. Young PTI social media activist Mashwani’s disappearance is a prime example. Rather than dragging the country through thorns leading to unnecessary violence, the leadership should realise the consequences of a failed state. From the ways events are unfolding, one is tempted to consider Gen Bajwa as a nice guy and not devil incarnate, as compared to the present leadership. The only bastion left standing is the Chief Justice of Pakistan, who can bring some sanity to the prevailing chaos. He is under severe attack by PML(N), led by their attack dogs. Supreme Court is being eroded from within. Internal rifts are being engineered to render SC ineffective. The script of Gen Zia is being repeated. He came to power, promising elections in 90 days and ended up ruling the country for over a decade. Election Commission has turned into a poodle cooing to his masters in PDM. While under the scrutiny of the SC bench, ECP defiantly issued a back-dated memo for KP elections for October 8, 2023. EC’s lawyer is unwilling to commit that this date is final. ECP, after announcing Punjab Elections’ schedule, was forced to eat crow and announce a revised date using excuses that have been around for 40 years, yet multiple elections have been held during this period. PDM and their handlers have engineered a hurried malafide legislation to curtail the constitutionally guaranteed judicial freedom of the Supreme Court. They have gotten under the skin of some honourable justices, willingly or through coercion, to further the cause of sabotaging the elections. The fault line is absolutely clear. On one hand, Imran Khan, with the support of the entire nation, seeks to unlock the chokehold on power by corrupt politicians subservient to the Establishment. Unfortunately, the taste of power under Ayub Khan since 1958 is an infectious virus that continues to spread amongst the present junta. On the other side are the looters hell-bent on saving their ill-gotten wealth. They have gotten into an unholy alliance with the top brass of all other pillars of the State to maintain the status quo. What is their agreed target? To eliminate IK from the political scene or this earth, or have him capitulate to this mafia’s demands. It is tragic to hear Bilawal score points about the dictator’s sons joining PTI. What about the dictators’ bespoken off-springs? Nawaz Sharif was born and bred in Zia ul Haq’s backyard nursery. Maryam is fiercely attacking Judiciary. She has two silver bullets to fire at IK. Tosha Khana and foreign funding. It is like the kettle calling the pot black. It is IK’s ring and a watch versus wholesale theft by Sharifs and Zardari. The list of Tosha Khana gifts from 1990 onwards has been released. PTI media has failed to give it widespread exposure distracted by the massive crackdown. While harping on PTI donations, ECP has failed to look into PML(N) and PPP accounts. They have been brushed under the carpet. It is becoming evident that Pakistan is under undeclared Martial law. While mockery is made of the Constitution, the country is on a downward economic spiral due to a trust deficit with IMF. Reboot is only possible through free and fair elections being resisted by the elitist mafia. The way Chief Justice Bandial is being hounded, it is only a matter of time before he is forced out of office. It will unleash a massive lawyers’ movement joined by the masses that this power structure will collapse. Personal vendetta or hunger for power can undo our nation. IK will not give up, and the masses back him. This is the 21st century. The days of military adventurism are gone. Rather than dragging the country through thorns leading to unnecessary violence, the leadership should realise the consequences of a failed state. They can only enjoy their perks if Pakistan survives. A bankrupt nation will end up becoming a surrogate of Indo- US domination. Their first step will be to cut down the army and demolish our nuclear deterrence. Does anybody care? The writer is the director of CERF, a non-profit, charitable organisation in Canada.