Where are all these gates leading to

Jun 13th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, Media Watch, Pakistan, Social

Our nation is obsessed with ‘gates’, be it Watergate or Bill Gates; (though the latter is considered a plural by many). Thus, it has become customary to associate the word gate with every scandal, whether it is  Memo-gate, Mehran-gate, Veena-gate or the latest Bahria-gate; the word ‘gate’ is there as a symbolic representation.

Do these gates open a gateway to somewhere? What is the impact of all these scandals on a commoner’s life in the country? Take Memogate, for instance. A lot of hype was created about it but with the passage of time, the dust settled down. In the end, it was considered as a political gimmick to divert the attention from critical issues. Many talk shows were conducted and costly airtime was used for discussions on every aspect of the memo. Even if memogate was critical and a matter of life and death for the country, what was the outcome of the whole hue n cry? Similar questions can be raised about other scandals in which nothing tangible is infront of the nation which can be called a ‘result’.

Now, consider the recent hype about Bahria Gate. Malik Riaz did a press conference while holding Quran in his hand. He raised some serious questions regarding judiciary and the Chief Justice. It became a breaking news immediately and all channels started running marathon transmissions discussing the pros n cons of every uttered word and gesture of Malik Riaz’s presser. Social Media didn’t stay behind. #BahriaGate started trending on twitter. Everyone with or without an opinion participated. In fact, even I personally tweeted a lot. It was immediately the talk of the town. Malik Riaz tried to prove that he had interaction with the Chief Justice. It turned out that during lawyers movement the interaction was there and Malik Riaz tried to bargain on behalf of  the rulers and CJ never agreed on NRO and meeting Zardari and hence no deal was reached.

Apparently, this scandal is perfectly timed to divert the attention of people from the corruption of current government and issues like poverty, inflation, energy crisis, lawlessness and target killings. Media has created a hype and serious issues of daily life have gone on the back burner.

But in hindsight, when I reflect now I feel that this issue is indeed important. This single scandal shows the reality of our society and unveils the nature of our social fabric. Virtually everything and everyone was bought and confessed about. For me, ‘confessing a crime with pride’ is a bigger issue. Malik Riaz openly admitted that he bribed and offered favours. His intentions cannot be judged, but his actions surely tell that he wanted to influence the judicial system.

Bahria Gate should not be looked upon as ‘just another corruption scandal’. It shows that how a person earned fortunes and on his way up the ladder, he tried to purchase everything that came along. He had contacts with major political personalities, military junta, media tycoons and famous anchors. He had a say in crucial political affairs. He utilized all these deliberately established contacts for his purposes. In some cases, he gave a lot of charity to the poor and deprived people. Thus he used all means to establish his significance. This mentality is not rare. When I joined my first job, a senior told me to ‘oblige’ everyone by giving favours. He told me that’s how I could make my roots stronger in the organization. This culture of influencing others and then taking undue favours is ruining the very essence of our society.   So very few were able to resist the fortunes offered by Malik Riaz and in the process Bahria town developed into an empire estate which had its own rules of the game.

Another important aspect of this scandal is the role of journalists. They are fighting each other and exposing themselves on this issue. Their fight has revealed a lot about the unscrupulous internal affairs of media. It also shows how people from media are manipulated. Malik Riaz is investing a lot in mainstream media by ads which clearly influences the opinion of media.

One significant thing is the deplorable trend of holding Quran during press conferences. Altaf Hussain and Zulfiqar Mirza did the same before and now Malik Riaz repeated it once again. Seriously, it shows ill mentality of our so called ‘leaders’.  The sanctity of the Quran should be maintained and it should not be used in ‘political mimicry’.

This scandal should be taken to the logical and fair conclusion. All the holy cows should be unveiled and slaughtered once and for all. Only then it can bring long lasting peace in the lives of ordinary citizens.  It can decide our future if we punish all the culprits and prove that our nation is not for sale. However, if the history of previous ‘gates’ repeats itself then our society will loose its belief on justice. It will bring more downfall for the morality in our society which is already touching its lows. This scam is a test for our nation and I believe that if we successfully cross this bridge, we will come out as a better nation inshaALLAH.

Muhammad Saad Khan

About the author

Muhammad Saad Khan is a Biomedical Engineer with a diverse background of engineering and management.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment »

  1. Nexus of this gate with memo-gate needs to be taken into account.

  2. You are very right about this trend of holding the Quran in press conferences. Its time that our leaders instead of holding it to add weight to their argument, open it for once to decide their matters. If anything can help, this actually can.

  3. Superb article Saad…I like this sentence very much “Do these gates open a gateway to somewhere? ”
    and i wish holy cows should be unveiled and slaughtered once and for all as Saad has said…. otherwise another scandal with no result…

  4. no matter how many gates are opened or closed…..the main focus should be how to get rid of all the trash which is behind these gates! No where in the world such horrific scandals are brought to the public and accused and proven guilty are left free to carry on with more audaciously criminal acts of theirs! Akhir kab tuk???

Leave Comment