May 132008

Akhtar Jamal

Islamabad—Fears are growing that the country may be rapidly returning to square one following break down of the coalition Government established only 100 days ago. Now that PML-N has decided to quit the federal Cabinet, the PPP may feel free to look for options as PML-N will draw closer to the campaign calling for restoration of pre-Nov. 3 judiciary.
PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif during his press conference Monday vowed not to “become part of conspiracy” against PPP-led Federal Government and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari has pledged “not the join hands with PM L-Q” in Punjab. Political experts however fear that “such gestures” may evaporate when the two parties will face ground realities. Observers believe that the “fresh understanding” may last only till by-elections results are announced and the PPP Government’s ‘constitutional package’ on judiciary is introduced. Some insiders reveal that following collapse of talks on restoration of judiciary two parties agreed to maintain cooperation on other subjects particularly budget.
Both Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif have now filed their nomination papers for participating in by-elections. Some observers feel that PPP Government’s role in this regard is crucial to check the barometer of future cooperation. Shahbaz Sharif has expressed fears that “conspiracy was on” to reject his nomination papers while analysts also say that Nawaz Sharif may not be qualified to take part in by-election. Observers fear that if Sharif brothers’ papers are rejected and PPP Government opts to remain silent on the issue the gap between PML-N and PPP would widen further.
Political observers Monday expressed fears that as soon as lawyer activists and politicians who boycotted the elections launch their campaign the PML-N will have no option but to join that movement resulting in a direct confrontation with the PPP-led Government.
PML-N leaders Chaudhary Nisar Ali and Ahsan Iqbal made no secret of their views that as soon as lawyers launch their movement PML-N would join it. If such situation is developed the future cooperation between the two parties would ultimately collapse and the remaining “understanding: would also come to an end.
According to a senior analyst, Javed Chaudhary “PML-N will ultimately join the APDM and lawyer activists in their campaign and protest, leading to further chaos and instability in the country.” He also feared that “Pakistan would be heading towards protests and marches like it witnessed last year.
According to another senior journalist and political expert Hamid Mir, the country was heading towards new crisis and coming weeks and months may witness a new wave of political tussle and struggle.
Another senior analyst Dr. Shahid Masood feared that the country may be heading towards new catastrophe if a solution to the dispute is not found within weeks and confrontation is not avoided.
On the other hand Pakistan’s hawks and doves are divided in their opinion as to who was responsible for this unfolding series of crisis in the country. Former ISI Chief Lt. Gen. (Retd) Hamid Gul claims that the United States is interfering in the internal affairs of the country while Jamat-i-Islami Chief Qazi Hussian Ahmed sees a larger conspiracy against this nation to derail its progress and development.

Courtesy: Pakistan Observer, 13/5/2008


 Posted by at 6:29 pm

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