Today, the Punjab Government is a forced marriage of fierce political adversaries i.e. PML-N and PPP with the junior partner (PPP) playing the role of the enemy within the coalition so that PML-N in Punjab does not become a success story. Mian Nawaz Sharif must be credited for his magnanimity in accommodating the PPP despite its negative role in the Punjab coalition. Why is the PML-N letting this happen is something only its leaders can explain. Sindh is a sad story with Karachi being torn apart by violence. Pakhtunkawa is a bargain government, like a hereditary estate, that the ANP and the PPP have distributed between themselves in return for ANP support to the PPP at the federal level.
Such is the state of governance in Pakistan. Most Pakistanis, by now, know that they are not even nominal stakeholders in the existing political dispensation based on absurd political compromises made by all the current political leaders. On the other hand, Pakistanis can get killed in earthquakes, drown in floods, get blown up in bomb blasts, get killed by target killers or just die of hunger and disease while the political gimmicks go on. Does anyone care?
After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto the only politician of an acknowledged stature that was left on the Pakistani political horizon was Mian Nawaz Sharif, a two time former prime minister. The fact that Mian Nawaz Sharif has digested so many degrading affronts from the PPP and has still cooperated with the PPP to keep this ineffective political dispensation moving in the hope that democracy may take roots is something that must be appreciated. This aspect also clearly indicates that when the PML-N ascends to political power, which is almost a foregone conclusion, Mian Nawaz Sharif will also conduct himself in harmony with the country’s permanent establishment. Those in the establishment who think, keeping the Mian Nawaz-Musharraf past in mind, that it might be difficult to work with Mian Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N must rethink in the best interests of the country as they will surely, not too far from now, be working together.
However, before that happens Mian Nawaz Sharif will have to rise to the occasion for the sake of Pakistan or risk being washed away into the sands of time. So far the Pakistani nation has looked towards the politicians pleadingly for succor. Those pleading looks are quickly changing and the eyes of the nation are turning red with anger. Thus, the stage is all set for Mian Nawaz Sharif and it is a once in a life time opportunity that a politician gets to go down in history forever.
Pakistan is at the brink of an absolute catastrophe from which the only way back, if Mian Nawaz Sharif does not play an effective opposition role, will be a bloody revolution which will then wipe away everything, including PML-N. The PPP has had an opportunity of putting the country on an even keel since 2008 but they have made a horrible mess of everything through pathetically incompetent and utterly discredited sidekicks in the garb of ministers.
If there is one credible advisor in Mian Nawaz Sharif’s camp he should walk up to him and tell him that if the PML-N did not, at this point of time, stand up and get counted for the people of Pakistan it too would be washed away from the political map of Pakistan forever. That advisor should also tell Mian Nawaz Sharif that the time for being conned again and again is long gone and that it is time to say an outright ‘enough is enough.’ The 180 million Pakistanis today look towards MianNawaz Sharif to rise and bring sanity to the political proceedings in Pakistan because the system that he keeps talking of to protect needs an effective and vibrant opposition also.
The PML-N is certainly not the feeble and timid party that it is posing to be presently. Mian Nawaz Sharif owes a huge debt to the people of Pakistan who elected him prime minister twice. That they will elect him the third time too if he steps out now and stands up for the country is something not many will disagree with. Therefore, the choice before Mian Nawaz Sharif now is crystal clear. The choice is between swimming with the developing tidal wave of change and, in fact, lead it or drown with the collapsing feudal system. The time for Mian Nawaz Sharif to make a move is now as time is always on the move and it does not wait for anyone, including him, to make history.
Bluntly, can Mian Nawaz Sharif explain which political system are the Pakistani politicians trying to protect when there is no Constitution in practice even today despite the 18th Amendment? And if this statement is incorrect then someone should raise his hands and say, “I am the prime minister and chief executive of Pakistan and that I actually run the affairs of Pakistan.” Today, Pakistan, which is world’s seventh nuclear military power, is trying to find its own PM. What a pity indeed.
The Constitution of Pakistan itself is, in effect, presently abrogated for all intents and purposes and is under constant violation. Does it then matter if the Constitution that has been abrogated by the politicians themselves is violated by others? Pakistan and Pakistanis cannot now wait and suffer indefinitely.
Since the government has abdicated from the responsibility of bettering the conditions of the Pakistani nation Mian Nawaz Sharif has to decide immediately whether he wants to sink with the feudal system or stand with the Pakistani nation and guide it into the future that can aptly be termed as ‘The Pakistani Dream.’
Note:- This appeared in the National category of The News dated 08 Sep 2010.
The link to that is http://www.thenews.com.pk/08-09-2010/National/3737.htm
I might point out that the newspapers website erroneously missed out on my name with the title.
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