The rule of law is more of an ideal that we quote often and practice scarcely. One thing which has never changed about this ideal is how we romanticize this and how we continue to wait for the day when the poor will be equal to the rich and law will treat everyone equally. A time when there will be no VIP protocol for any elite and no nepotism. When merit will be the only path for progress and accountability will be for all. We have grown old hearing these elusive notions about revolution but these slogans have never gotten old. That’s how we landed in new Pakistan.Irony is that these promises are made by the ruling elite and the real beneficiaries are missing out. These slogans and promises sell good every time and never lose value in the eye of common men. If we look at historic events through which civilised nations of the world have achieved the ideal of rule of law and how they implements its principles, we will realize that it has been a continuous struggle from the 12th century to date. Magna Carta the great Charter in 1215, and bill of rights in 1689, were a result of the collective struggle of the society. Even hundred years after the glorious revolution England faced another revolutions in its American colonies.The sahiwal incident is another eye opener for policy makers. Until and unless, we recognise that the rule of law is a collective failure, things will remain the same. Through collective conscience we need to bring a revolution. We need to make everyone equal before the rule of law and make a governance model where every person, institution, and the state itself is held accountable. We need to follow the principles of justice and the greater charter of libertiesPakistan is a young nation, rules to rule and govern were well defined from the start, we didn’t have to reinvent the principles of the rule of law. From an ideological perspective, there was no obvious reason to fail at establishing the rule of law but we have failed and we are failing everyday. In the last two decades, we entered into the new phase of war on terror, which meant fighting enemies within our own boundaries. This phenomenon invoked extraordinary circumstances and as it is said that extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures. The statistics shared by the relevant quarters are insufficient to show any extraordinary measures as far as policy is concerned. A ‘national Action plan’ was prepared with consensus. But alas that rare and much celebrated ‘one page’ event could not change anything on ground.Only visible change is the emergence of a violent society at large. With a lax criminal justice system, we have witnessed the worst sort of mob attacks. From stoning two boys in Sialkot to murdering a governor of a province ( i.e. Salman Taseer), killing of Mashal Khan and setting alleged thieves on fire in public, the discourse regarding the rule of law has been deteriorating day by day. And recently the sahiwal incident is another eye opener for policy makers. Until and unless, we recognise that the rule of law is a collective failure, things will remain the same. Every revolution in human history has been led by the middle class members of the society. Through collective conscience we need to bring a revolution. We need to make everyone equal before the rule of law and make a governance model where every person, institution, and the state itself is held accountable. We need to follow the principles of justice and the greater charter of liberties. It’s high time to have a roadmap to proceed towards a policy that is based on principles instead of reacting to one incident differently and to another incident differently. A clear approach from those who are given the mandate to formulate the policy is the need of the hour. Even in these dark shadows of despair, I still want to see the ray of hope shine bright.The writer is a freelance writerPublished in Daily Times, January 23rd 2019.