Apathetic leaders, an Ails of Pakistan’s political system.
The nature and behavior of a man is fond of complexity from being the kindhearted to the most venomous one. The building of the human societies based on the nature of ideas and feelings towards the people which formulates the political and social institutions. One instinct in such regard is the empathy which is the lens to see the world while being in someone else’s shoes. This is also to contemplate human rights as the empathy lies with the feelings of the people, not on the particular issue but create feelings on the whole.
One such thing has been missing in the political system of Pakistan as the gap between the leader and the public generates questions of apathy towards the common man.
General ethos of a society defines the behavior of a society which includes the inclusiveness and care for the feelings of others. This realm puts the empathy as a priority where societies get to be built upon. In the political context of Pakistan, there is a far anonyms lack of empathy towards the general public by the political leaders. This generates the lesser impact on the human values. While conceptualizing the fights of in between political parties contributing towards the apathetic system, heavily costing the insecurities for the people. It also contributed to the apathy of youth towards politics.
How the apathetic approach of the leaders damages the political system of Pakistan? Onate with the principles and ethos of what it is to be lead as a nation. The political apathy can easily lead to the loss of voter turnout because of the fact that politicians and leaders lack such behavior to inflict the trust upon general public. In the 2013 elections of Pakistan, the registered voters were 55% which dropped by 3% in 2018 elections. Such alienation which was responded by a mindset questioning the political system that this system does not work for them. Apathetic leaders
This psychological behavior of people tends to link with the apathetic behavior of the political leaders. The lack of development in the political system and showing the empathetic nature causing the loss in democracy especially for a country like Pakistan.
A developing country where democracy has not reached to its core, the apathetic leaders contribute more to the loss of democracy. The essence of democracy is to serve the people. Elected by the common population, a leader is said to be the problem solver for the society. But rather becomes a political elite seeking to gain more power. Thus, the ‘tin gods’ seeks to look whatever possible for themselves instead for looking after the rights of human beings. This leads to loosen the trust of people on the system. Apathetic leaders
The exclusive participation of the public in politics especially where the young population is more than 60%, creates an image of apathy. Tending to lose faith and interest in the democratic projects, charging with the loss of human rights and civic ethos. This gap generally increases with the possible lack of civil society rights. Apathetic leaders
The empathic leaders contribute to the social welfare, considering the priority of granting the human rights. For Pakistan, the scenario built up on different grounds. The recent remarks when Prime Minister Imran Khan said in an international interview that the rape has more to do with women’s attire rather than the power show of rapist. This was not only ignorant by stating that men are incapable of any form of self-restraint but also apathetic towards women, children, and men who have been rape victims over the years.
Leading to dismantle the feelings of many across the country. This in context of pedophilia cases mounting up the data of Pakistan, this even becomes more problematic and coming from the head of government creates a hegemony of powerful diaspora. This leads to not only victim blaming but also lend an enabling hand towards all the rapists by justifying that inhumane act. Apathetic leaders
The anti-sentimental remarks revolve around the political actors even, when Firdous Ashiq Awan said about the Ghotki train accident that by the grace of God, that is the first accident of this year. It reminds of the statement by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, “It takes strength to be an empathic leader.” What basic ethical norms can play a major role for the society is that it gives a strength to the people as well with inclusive participation in the democracy. Apathetic leaders
The ethical and empathetic norms in Pakistani politicians remained missing. While empathy being a most important quality for a leader, it lacks in the system of this country. Troubling for the democracy as well as the general public, distancing them from believing in the political system. It is common sentiment among politicians that empathy would make them a weaker leader however compassion and empathy create a harmony. It might be lesser walked trek but in the global community being an underdeveloped country, a leader has to empathetic towards its citizenry first rather than building walls so tall that a leader becomes untouchable. Apathetic leaders
Muhammad Jamal Akbar is an IR graduate from Quaid e Azam University. He is a Research Associate at IICR with expertise in Public policy, regional security, and defense.