May 092008

Wajahat Latif
The sceptics I met in the last few years in London have all been surprised by the election results in Pakistan. Many of them used to meet Mian Nawaz Sharif and his brother Mian Shahbaz Sharif who led a life of exile in London.
They were also in touch with Ms Benazir Bhutto as she too divided her time between Dubai and London, barring her visits to Washington. Most of them thought Q League, the king’s party, would win as it had the support of the establishment. Little did they realize that the lawyers’ movement inspired by Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s defiance of Musharraf had fired the imagination of the people.
I know that some members of the civil society used their meager resources to run advocacy campaigns abroad to raise the awareness of the European Parliament that led to hard hitting resolutions, calling for restoration of democracy in Pakistan. The hard work and sheer sincerity of the campaigning individuals had the desired effect. With it, or because of it, the world pressure for free and fair elections built up.
Musharraf and Q League failed to deliver good governance in spite of eight years’ incumbency. The murder of Benazir Bhutto, food shortages, power outages and soaring prices aggravated the situation. Living in a cocoon, power drunk, they lost touch with reality. In the event, the people spoke and in spite of the rigging by the government gave a massive verdict against the Q League.
Last summer my European friends did not see the obvious and expected Musharraf to pull it off. I suspect that they were wishfully thinking. Most of them believed he stood between them and terrorism. Hook, line and sinker, they took his bait. The dismal defeat of Musharraf supporters, thus, had to come as a shock.
The post election scene in Pakistan has some risks. Although the winning alliance has publicly vowed to stay together, there are issues between them, principally the restoration of the judges Musharraf removed illegally on the 3rd of November last year. The agreement the PPP and Muslim League signed in Murree after winning the election committed both sides to the restoration of the judges without ifs and buts.
On account of the western pressure to save Musharraf, the PPP has second thoughts on that commitment. They know that Musharraf is on a weak legal wicket as the President if Justice Chowdhry is reinstated. Musharraf removed him in the first place because he feared being declared unqualified by the Supreme Court.
Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, the co-Chairman of the PPP, has a personal grievance against the judges also. He had no help from them when he was being hounded. Whether it is the deal with Musharraf or a genuine desire for an overall legal reform, Zardari wants the CJ’s wings clipped before he is reinstated. The idea is to appear to be saving Musharraf.
Mian Nawaz Sharif has a clear view of the situation. He wants the restoration of the judges for two reasons. One, he believes that the massive vote he got in the Punjab, the largest province, was because he stood for the restoration of the illegally removed judges and two, all MPs of his party are under party oath to ensure it.
Mr. Zardari is not entirely happy with the lawyers’ movement which is led by Aitzaz Ahsan, an eminent Barrister, fiery speaker, the elected President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, a PPP stalwart who has become a national hero first as Chief Justice Iftikhar Chowdhry’s advocate and then as the leader of the lawyers’ movement. Party insiders believe Mr. Asif Zardari has reservations on Aitzaz’s popularity.
Negotiations between the leadership of the two parties over the judges’ issue have been concluded in Dubai, the 1st May. Mian Nawaz Sharif joined Mian Shahbaz Sharif in the negotiations the day before. As an upshot of the discussions, Mian Nawaz Sharif is reported to have announced today, Friday, in Lahore that they have agreed to restore 60 judges removed illegally by Musharraf in November 2007 through a parliamentary resolution. 
Farooq Naik, the Law Minister (PPP), heads the six-member committee they have appointed to draft the resolution. Aitzaz Ahsan is on the committee: the ruling alliance did not collapse.
My friends in London now ask me if the ruling coalition will hold, to which I answer yes. Yes for the simple reason that neither party has the caliber or the support to pull it off on its own. PPP, in particular, is under serious intra-party strains.
From March 2007 the lawyers and a revived civil society have become a balancing force in politics, which will not allow any party to back track on election promises. Also the coalition cannot but be aware of the persisting threat of anti democratic forces. And that is why I think they shall stick together and decide the issue of the judiciary, with a degree of compromise may be, but soon.

 Posted by at 5:43 am

  One Response to “Pakistan Politics: Will the alliance hold?”

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

    They failed to deliver solution of the burning issues? Do we realise that the
    Change of Socio-political system is inevitable for the prosperity of the people
    and Pakistan.
    Pakistan is passing through a crucial time and is in imminent need for system, instead of change of faces, let the people of Pakistan be the real stake holder and empower them to decide the fate of their generation.
    Since the creation of Pakistan the Pakistani people are left at distant from the corridor of power so that the ruling elite can do what they wanted to do in favour of their interest, leaving the Pakistani people at the mercy of circumstances. As this policy is denial of right of Pakistani people to rule their country according to their aspiration and desire to built this country, which can provide equal opportunity to all without any discrimination for the establishment of welfare society. Only the society base on tolerance, equality and justice can be the real guarantee for the prosperous and strong Pakistan there for your intent is invited to the crucial movement which could be the point of distraction or disaster.
    No one has dare to trust the Pakistani people and involved them in to the day to day decision making process with intention to develop a sense of participation in to the decision making process affecting the future of their country and their generation at large and share the real benefit of democracy, but, due to the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits, deprivation and opinions of the masses being an important element within so-called democratic society, they manipulate this elements of society to constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
    Sometimes the effect on the public is created by a professional propagandist, sometimes by an amateur deputed for the situation. The important thing is that it is universal and continuous; and in its sum total is regimenting the public mind every bit by bit, as possible to keep the masses away from the corridor of power. The systematic study of mass psychology, revealed to the ruling click the potentialities of (indiscernible groups within the society) manipulation of the society by actuate man, It is essential moments for all patriotic and intellectual to sincerely think and understand the mechanism and motives of the ruling elite, the way they practice, propagate has provided a clue that it is possible, at least up to a certain extent and within certain limits that, we can introduce the alternate socio-political system to replace the present undemocratic system.

    Because ,It will be difficult to expect any thing positive at this stage because, return of political leadership of PPP and PML(N) to Pakistan was subject to condition, political coalition cannot take creative action or dare to change policy in the national interest till general Musharaf is as president, current government need to take patriotic political decision in the interest of Pakistan without fear of American anger or their commitment and support during mediation process with USA, but the national interest has again been ignored for the sake of power and external interest.
    The time is rapidly changing; the voice of the people especially wise and snooty idea could not be stopped any more. The honest struggle of the people, regarding the Change of socio-political system will affect the heart and mind of the people, and once Pakistani made up their mind for the change of system,we will succeed in creating public opinion.
    We have already lost the major part of Pakistan in 1971 simply to save the centralized sole power to exploit this country by the ruling elite they let the country break in part then allowing the masses to rule this country democratically. In the present circumstances we are again dragging our sovereignty at stake for the external interest in the name of national interest, instead of our interest i.e. the interest of Pakistani people at large.
    The question of the time is,do we really deserve further destruction of our country ? or do we need the stable Pakistan, of our dream ?. Now the ball is in the courts of all patriotic people, intellectual ,women,youth ,laborer, farmers, media and those believed in the might, peace and prosperity of Pakistan.
    The only way out of these crucial circumstances is to empower the common Pakistani at grass route level i.e. the change of system. This change is inevitable for the prosperous Pakistan .As a citizen of this country I have suggested an alternate socio-political system to empower the masses at grass route level for rapid industrial and agriculture development with transparency and accountability in the system. Along with basic guarantees for the creation of welfare state, where in public representative and institution shall be answerable and accountable to the masses. As a person I cannot turn the table but together we can.
    Kindly acknowledge with your comments.

    Kindly see web site…
    Ilyas khan Baloch
    Organizer Islamic Democratic Party

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