Doomsday scenarios for PPP taking back seat | Pakistan Today

Doomsday scenarios for PPP taking back seat

Despite heavy odds stacked against the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government, it is all set to complete its term and even announce the future election schedule, showing a strong penchant to wriggle out of even the gravest crises of the kind it faced more recently from a hostile judiciary and powerful military.
Already the month of March does not look that difficult for the PPP anymore. The recent confrontation between the government and judiciary on the one hand and government and military leadership hitting the country like a real thunderstorm created a huge psychological impact that would have sobering effects on all stakeholders and would allow the government elbow room to come out of it unharmed.
But more importantly, the political mindset is changing and focus of political leadership has shifted from disruptive politics aimed at dislodging the present government to Senate polls and early general elections, which are positive signs for the country and even the PPP government so discredited, if we lend ears to the TV channels.
It seems the country is heading for election season sooner rather than later with all the doomsday scenarios for the incumbents taking a back seat.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the main opposition party right now, seems to be out of sorts after the fast changing and dramatic political developments, lacking both vision and support at national level from other political forces to force any political change or match the sophisticated moves made by the PPP on the political chessboard.
It has already backtracked from its extreme positions it adopted more recently. At one time not very long ago, it was averse to holding Senate elections and was thinking in terms of resigning from assemblies to rob the PPP of getting any advantage in the Senate polls. But now, giving in to the political compulsions, it did not talk against the Senate election as it used to. Other political parties too have no grudge against Senate polls.
Nawaz Sharif would like now to see Senate elections taking place on schedule as it would deprive its archrival the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) of any representation in the Upper House and so going ahead with the Senate polls is good for him. As such the emerging scenario is not that bad for the PPP.
The PPP government would be more than happy to announce early elections as part of any political deal with other entities or otherwise. But early elections do not mean they are being held tomorrow. They would be held, at the earliest, by the last quarter of this year. This allows the PPP to present the fifth consecutive budget in the country and another chance to make amends for the lapses it committed before in order to improve the image of its government and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to earn the distinction of the first civilian prime minister to present the fifth consecutive budget in Pakistan. Good for him.
As such it is a win-win situation for the PPP and its allies. The PPP government would be ready to hold elections as being demanded by the opposition; free and fair through an independent election commission.
Meanwhile, threats once faced by the PPP and played up by the media including long marches, agitation movements by the opposition or resignation from assemblies have receded with the changing political moves. Nor is the political leadership willing to accept any adventurism involving the military. The military top brass, including the army chief and most of his generals, are in favour of not destablising the present setup. Efforts are afoot involving some intermediaries to patch up between the government and military leadership to protect the PPP’s long-term interests in politics.
The PPP in the latest turnaround will not like to take its fight with the judiciary too far.

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