First Chohan then Vawda | Pakistan Today

First Chohan then Vawda

  • Unforced errors

The rapid spread of foot-in-mouth disease, so to speak, in the senior echelons of PTI gives rise to a couple of important questions. One, whatever possessed these gentlemen, Fayyaz Chohan and Faisal Vawda, to behave in the manner that they did? Surely there’s a reason the prime minister placed such confidence in them. Despite their tendency to go overboard, to put it mildly, it seemed they understood that it was not alright to go over the edge. Yet their unforced errors have brought much shame not only to themselves but also the ruling party. Chohan, as we all know, was made to leave, while Vawda’s senseless praise of the prime minister caused all that fuss in the House the other day, invoking that dreaded word, blasphemy, as well.

And two, can we never overcome the compulsion of dragging religion into politics? That is not to let either gentleman off the hook, of course, but how long will the religious-right continue to play the religion card because it brings that extra bit of pressure to bear on the other, and nobody can do anything about it without inviting further backlash? As things stand it seems both sides are doing their best to keep the national assembly paralysed.

That is unfortunate in more ways than one. Not only does it block legislation, which people counted on when they went to vote, but it also divides the House at a time when the country faces grave dangers. Security is number-one, of course, but there are even more ominous concerns. How long can we fight, after all, if we run out of money? And wasn’t the deficit already threatening to push us into default unless friendly countries and then the Fund bailed us out? At the cost of yet more debt? There is an urgent need for all parties in parliament to work together and guide the country through this mess. And while government ministers must never embarrass themselves and the opposition or minorities, etc, religion should be a binding, uniting factor instead of a dividing one. Unless we all understand this fine point, nobody can make any progress.