Pakistan's politics is manipulated by the "patronage networks", as somebody termed it, thriving on appeasement of opponents and winning hearts and minds of constituents with temporary, superficial and "popular" measures. 64% people living in rural areas end up being decision-makers of the fate of the rest of the country. In other words, urban and aware population is taken hostage by the rural voters. Rural politics is about family and tribal ties. It is about who will ultimately come to your rescue when you are bogged down by court cases over land owndership or division disputes. The ideas of good governance, independent foreign policy, education and health reforms may fall flat on these ear. As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet:
"For the play, I remember, pleas'd not the million,
It was caviar to the general."
Feudal politics has had its debilitating effect on the political consciousness (if ever there was any) of the urban people as well. We have seen it evolving from agricultural to industrial feudalism. But it shows no signs of letting up. Then how do you bring a sweeping change? Urban, educated people who got excited by the slogan of change seem disconnected from that obsession now. And this slogan of change will be muted if it ceases to be an obsession. Then the country will remain a ticking bomb with a hijacked foreign policy, collapsed economy, crumbling infrastructure, poor education and a frustrated youth living literally in the dark.