The inglorious fight | Pakistan Today

The inglorious fight

All players looking to the army

 

 

The inglorious fight with the PML-N’s government on one side and the PTI and PAT on the other is going to end soon with no contender getting the laurels. The tactics used to attack the government as well as those employed by the administration to defend itself have been equally unscrupulous and bring no credit to the contenders. The way the struggle has been conducted on both sides has in fact brought out the worst in the belligerents. The tussle has already caused a loss of at least 15 lives that could have been avoided. It has, in the process, provided an opportunity to the army to remain in the driving seat visàvis decision making in crucial affairs of the state. The hope of the civilian government calling the shots in policy making has been dashed to the ground.

The PML-N’s tendency of dealing with political opponents through heavy handed methods like resort to state’s oppressive machinery and by letting loose violent party workers has been glaringly revealed. The use of blue eyed boys in police for political purposes was the hall mark of the PML-N governance in the 90’s. Those claiming that the party had outgrown its undemocratic past have been proved wrong once again. The firing by police on PAT workers outside Minhajul Quran complex in Model Town, which resulted in killings, was a testimony to the authoritarian mindset of the PML-N leadership.

The use of party workers to indulge in violence against political opponents began during the 1977 movement against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The Muslim League’s students wing, which joined hands with the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba to turn educational campuses into battlefields, is duly represented in the PML-N rank and file. They were trained by Ziaul Haq’s minions not to argue or debate but to use physical force to silence those seeking democracy and social justice. While those in the upper echelons of the PML-N have learnt to use democratic vocabulary, their body language still reveals that their commitment to democratic values is no more than skin deep.

The use of party workers to indulge in violence against political opponents began during the 1977 movement against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The Muslim League’s students wing, which joined hands with the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba to turn educational campuses into battlefields, is duly represented in the PML-N rank and file.

Gullu Butts are still galore in the lower ranks of the PML-N. Way back in late ‘80s, Nawaz Sharif said his blood boiled whenever he heard Benazir Bhutto’s name. He might have undergone a change but there are still violent workers in the PML-N who cannot control themselves while dealing with their opponents. Instead of discouraging the tendency the PML-N considers this type of workers as assets. This explains the vandalisation of the cars of the PAT activists in Model Town, the brick batting on Imran Khan’s marchers in Gujranwala and the attack on Shah Mahmud Qureshi’s residence in Multan.

The PTI and PAT share many things with the PML-N. The slogans raised and methods used during the fight have exposed PTI’s credentials as a democratic party.

Imran Khan demanded verification of voters’ thumbprints in four constituencies during his May 11 rally in Islamabad. There was not a word about change of government throughout his address. An eternally unfocused Nawaz Sharif failed to respond in time. As the audience started increasing in subsequent PTI public gatherings, it suited Imran Khan to question the legitimacy of the entire elections. This was an opportunistic shift in the stance. Then in July Khan expressed confidence in the new Chief Justice and agreed to call off his march if a three-member judicial commission under Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk agreed to investigate the alleged electoral fraud. When Nawaz Sharif agreed to the demand weeks later, Khan went back on his word, maintaining there could be no independent inquiry as long as Sharif was in power. In other words, to prove that someone deserves hanging, he should be hanged first.

Was there none among the PTI leaders to warn their leader of the disastrous consequences of his call for refusing to pay taxes and utility bills? Nobody to tell him that while ‘No taxation without representation’ might be an apt slogan in a colony where an alien parliament made laws, it was simply unthinkable in a working democracy? The Boston Tea Party can take place when the people are struggling against a colonial power but not in an independent country. The announcement has caused a haemorrhage to the national economy.

The core committee of the PTI, claiming to comprise individuals devoted to rule of law and committed to democracy, simply follows whatever stand Khan takes in his extempore exhortations without applying their minds as if they were a herd of sheep. Hitler’s Nazi party was also a middle class party. It contested elections only to enforce the vision of a man gone haywire. The way PTI leaders stand by Khan while he rants and the unthinking audience waves and dances makes one fear the arrival of the a Third Reich.

The PTI and PAT share many things with the PML-N. The slogans raised and methods used during the fight have exposed PTI’s credentials as a democratic party.

The PTI was the third largest party in national assembly. Its presence in the House guaranteed a strong opposition bloc acting as a check on government’s excesses. The PTI had a fair chance of reaching the corridors of power in the next elections. In case the party’s agitation leads to the wrapping up of democracy, history will hold it responsible for the tragedy.

The self styled Sheikh-ul-Islam Tahirul Qadri is a murky figure in Pakistan’s politics whose attempt to sabotage the 2013 elections was foiled by the PPP through a better strategy. He is once again trying to complete the task assigned to him. Qadri looks like a cog in the wheelwork set in motion to overthrow the government. Early this month he predicted that the PML-N government will not remain in power beyond August, creating the perception of a well prepared plan.

While Qadri maintains the posture of a man of peace he is essentially a violent cleric. He told his followers to take revenge from Sharif family if he was assassinated by the government. He can give a call in Urdu and its opposite in English in the same speech, keeping in view the composition of his audience. As Qadri is not to contest the elections, whatever happens to the system does not affect him.

It is ironic that each one of the three contenders is looking towards the army for help hoping that the institution would intercede in his favour. This indicates that all three have lost hope in the strength of their parties or the support of the masses.



2 Comments

  1. jamshed kharian-pak said:

    Islamic Republic Of Pakistan's New Revolutionary Govt in the Making But Once Nawaz are Ousted, Project is on the Straight way with Success inshaAllah Long Live New Islamic Republic Of Pakistan Free of Zionists

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