A bus carrying a hundred politicians crashed near a farm. The farmer dug a mass grave and promptly buried them all. The police chief asked him, “were they all dead?”. “Some said they were not. But you know the way politicians are”. The quip is purely American. On this side of the seven seas politicians are also perceived to be liars. Some solace. There was a Persian poet by the name of Anwari. One day he heard someone reciting his poems in public. He was amused, “but the poems belong to Anwari”, he intervened. Yes, the man replied, “I am Anwari”. This is the case with subcontinental politics, where bragging knows no bounds. Was Jinnah a typical sub-continental politician? He was not like Gandhi, and he was not at all like Nehru. There was no one like him even in his own party. Gandhi and Nehru went to the people, “wore Khadi”, and became one with the common man. Jinnah did not seek people. He made them follow him. Calling him a politician is a misnomer. He was a statesman of the higher domains. It was his compelling sincerity, unquestionable integrity and above all, his consciousness that guided him to achieve his sacred mission. The mission was holy and blessed, as if it was assigned to Jinnah by no less a person than the Prophet (S.A.W) himself, when he was fully awake or He (S.A.W.) had appeared to him in his dream. “It does not matter”, either way it means the same, says Dr. Allan Keislar. Politicians in Pakistan have been a disappointment from day one, Jinnah termed them as “fake coins in my pocket”. Liaqat Ali never seemed to trust them either. That is why perhaps he intentionally delayed the constitution. The constitution draft proposing parliamentary democracy issued by former Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra, was angrily rejected by the Governor General Ghulam Muhammad. His decision was challenged in the Apex Court, but the plea was rejected. The 1956 constitution, presented by Ch. Muhammad Ali was a muddled mix of parliamentary democracy and unprecedented powers for the president. It was readily approved. In 1950’s all the big wigs appeared to firmly hold Charles de Gaulle’s view, “Politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians”. Ghulam Muhammad the Governor General, Iskandar Mirza the Defense Minister, the Army Chief, Ayub Khan, and even the Chief Justice who had turned down the case of Muhammad Ali Bogra all seemed to be convinced that the politicians needed a check on their activities. That is why the 1956 constitution was considered workable. One can remember the politicians of those days as a bunch of untrustworthy squabbling men and women, ruthless in the pursuit of power. They did not have a sense of direction, or any political purpose, other than gaining and retaining power. There were some honorable exceptions though, who were lost in the crowd of the corrupt and mediocre majority When Ayub Khan took over, he brought in the presidential reform. He abolished the political parties in October 1958, promulgated the Elected Bodies Disqualification Order (EBDO), in August 1959, and disqualified about 6000 people, half of them who were from the Eastern Wing. The disqualification included at least 75 prominent politicians from both the wings of the country. Zia and Musharraf are recent history. One can remember the politicians of those days as a bunch of untrustworthy squabbling men and women, ruthless in the pursuit of power. They did not have a sense of direction, or any political purpose, other than gaining and retaining power. There were some honorable exceptions though, who were lost in the crowd of the corrupt and mediocre majority. Muslims have produced some great personalities, albeit a few. Their deeds were larger than life. Their faults insignificant by comparison. Even historians refrain from judging them in lieu of their virtue. Pakistan has tried to mimic Islamic history by producing sanctimonious leaders. The leaders are above reproach, and can only be criticised by endangering yourself. Some of them even opposed the very idea of Pakistan. However, immediately after independence, they assumed full ownership. This atrocity is now being perceived as the most legitimate of claims, as their ‘forefathers had made untold sacrifices during the struggle for independence’. There are others who gained power, but lost half of Pakistan. They died paying for their sins. We call them martyrs. This uncontrollable greed for power took a lot of lives, leading to an increase in the number of martyrs to commemorate imagined ideals. It is ironic, how some of them are legends now, with ideologies too spurious to be publicly dissected. The 2018, elections have brought about strange changes. People fed up with abject poverty and gross injustice voted for change i.e. the PTI. Imran Khan’s austerity drive will be hard to swallow, even for his own party mates. Hundreds of cars and thousands of servants are being surrendered, along with other royal perks. An across the board justice plans to make no distinction between classes. The defeated lot is pestering Imran Khan to fulfil his promises immediately. They conveniently forget that the promises made by them and their grandfathers have yet to be fulfilled. It is time for the politicians to pull their act together. They should now leave their heavenly niches, and come down to earth to face ground realities. Old mantras including the ‘Charter of Democracy’ (read kleptocracy) have failed them. It will prove beneficial for them to act as a constructive opposition. Imran Khan and his party have a herculean task ahead of them, they have to lead the nation out of the woods. The opposition, in way of seeking God’s forgiveness must help them deliver. The writer has served the Pakistan Army as a Major General. He is the author of Pakistan, in Search of a Messiah Published in Daily Times, September 1st 2018.