In the fifties, the land of the pure was pure. It seemed that everyone had stakes in the new country that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had carved out of the Indian Subcontinent. I remember the ‘Chaat Vendor’ outside my school telling me that he only used ‘Tamarind’ for his ‘Khata’ (Tangy sauce) as ‘Ambi’ (Raw Mangoes) were not good for childrens’ throats. Lt. Col (Retd) Imtiaz Najam, who was a son of Lahore, narrated his own experience at the time of partition. He was a student at Central Model School on Lower Mall. On his way home, he stopped at a cycle shop to inflate the tires of his bicycle at a shop. As he was pumping air, the owner rushed to help him with these words “students are the future of this country we must facilitate them so that they can focus on their studies.”. Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister (PM) did not own a house in the new land. He declared he would not have a personal dwelling till every Pakistan had one. In contrast, Ayub Khan the first usurper allotted himself 40 Kanals of prime land in Islamabad to build his mansion, which was later sold to Sadruddin Hashwani by his heirs.As the Pakistan Army is currently fighting a war against terror imposed on us by the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Zia-ul-Haq, their current contribution is praiseworthy. Leaving the Khakis aside, perhaps no one in authority and power in my knowledge has any stakes in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s so-called constitutional democracy. Politicians, bureaucrats, judges, businessmen, all have their stakes elsewhere. A few years back I was returning from a business trip to Sarajevo. During a layover in Dubai, I met an old family friend who happened to be a retired Air Marshal. He told me and my Bosnian client that he had moved to the United States as his children were settled there. The Bosnian was surprised to hear what the Air Marshal was saying. He asked me how come how come such a senior person has no stakes in his own country. I had no answer.Politicians, bureaucrats, judges, businessmen, all have their stakes elsewherePerhaps the Royal Colonial Bureaucracy is the worst of the entire lot. While they enjoy perks and power they do not facilitate the public. After the Lawyers Movement of the last decade, the judiciary has awakened from its slumber and some relief is being provided. Most politicians are not only incompetent but also corrupt. There is no relevance in the conduct of the elected and those who elect them. What has gone wrong in the first Islamic Democracy and the only Nuclear Power of the Ummah? The situation is extremely pathetic. In the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the rich and the powerful are only buried in Pakistan, for everything else they go abroad. That is why the previous government in Punjab built a city for the dead (Shehar-e-Khamoshan) while ignoring the living. There is a Government Middle School on my cycling path which seems to be in reasonable shape. Last evening, I had a chance of meeting one of the students of this educational institution from whom I enquired about the monthly fee. He said Rs. 20. It reminded me of the ‘Corporation Schools’ of the fifties where the fee was Rs. 0.50 only. The spread between Rs 20 and Rs 20,000 being charged by private schools is too large to be ignoredIn a country where education, health, drinking water becomes big business, it signals a beginning of the end. It is a complete breakdown of the state apparatus. In its present form the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is not viable. The colonial institutions left behind by the colonists are now in shambles being run by the ‘Kala Sahib’ who took over from the ‘Gora’.At the time of partition, people at the helm were committed, able and honest. Some of them burnt their boats to serve the new land. The Government of Pakistan worked very well in the barracks of Karachi while it has failed to function behind the barricades in Islamabad. From the first homeless PM Liaquat Ali to the first usurper Ayub Khan’s Mansion in Islamabad, Pakistan has lost direction and has been derailed.The parliamentarians who are the custodians of the constitution do not follow it. The usurpers defy it and get away. Zia used to call it a bundle of papers that he could trash. Musharraf maintained that defense of the state was more important than the Constitution. Now he has fled the country because he is being tried under Article-6 for sedation.The impoverished people of Pakistan have all their stakes in the land of the pure, which has been repeatedly contaminated by successive rulers. Only functional, national institutions can deliver stability. Individuals who have stakes elsewhere belong nowhere. Pakistan is no longer a colony to be exploited by a few whose main aim is to settle abroad. The living have needs that cannot be met in the graveyards. It is time to corner the tormentors and push them out by dismantling colonial structures. On March 23, 2019, all Governor Houses should be shut down and converted into Centers for Public Policy where future change managers could be trained to lead from the front. People’s Republic of China (PRC) has hundreds of such institutions where politicians and bureaucrats are trained to serve the people. For over 220 million suffering souls, the stakes are too high to be ignored by the stakeholders, it is time to speak out and act to bring back the purity that we started with, in this land. Pakistan must come first in letter and spirit. A living nation cannot survive on graveyards alone.The writer is Ex-Chairman Pakistan Science FoundationPublished in Daily Times, February 16th 2019.