A dictionary definition of the word ‘hypocrisy’ tells us that it means ‘the practice of professing beliefs, feelings or virtues that one does not hold or possess.’ We were treated to a mass display of this trait which is endemic to our political classes as the Senate agreed to forward the Revised General Sales Tax (RGST) to the National Assembly for ratification and signing into law. There were loud protestations to the contrary. Senators stood on their seats in order to shout the better and eventually the disorderly session was prorogued by the Chairman Farooq Naek amid claims that he had ‘bulldozed’ the process through contrary to senatorial wishes. Had they really wanted to do do, the honourable senators could have blocked the movement of the bill to the lower chamber, but they didn’t really want to and made sure that the government – and the IMF – got their way.
As is the way of doing things in politics generally and our politics particularly, it was all done behind the arras. There had been frantic meetings between the PPP and its various willing or unwilling partners over previous days. It knew that the RGST Bill had to go through because if it did not it would have endangered relations with the IMF Hence it was no coincidence that PML-Q senators walked out of the chamber moments before the chairman put the motion to the house. Ostensibly their ‘walkout’ was in protest at not being able to move a recommendation, but it gave the government the free pass it needed and nobody was in any doubt that somewhere a deal had been done with the PML-Q that saved both face and the government position. Face had to be saved because there are voters out there who need to see their partymen talking the talk that nobody believes but wants to hear nonetheless. Promises that will never be kept have to be made, and protests that are as phony as a plastic rupee have to be shouted at the top of every senatorial voice. There will be a repeat performance of hypocrisy in action when the bill goes before the lower house. We predict that the outcome will be the same and the RGST bill will be signed into law. Manipulating the hypocrisies of a few senators and MNAs was not so difficult a bit after all – Thenews