Counter Strike
My take on the things and events in the world.

Saheb, BB Aur Nawaz

Before I start with my analysis of the current situation in Pakistan's political landscape, let me applaud the role of General Musharaf, international community specially USA, all constitutional institutions, media and the people of Pakistan in conducting free and fair elections.

No single party has got clear majority in any of the assemblies (national or state), but PPP and PML(N) are being seen as the winners. PPP as the single largest party is expected for form the govt at the center with support of Nawaz Sharif. Musharraf's future seems bleak at this point as PML(Q), the 'King's Party' or 'Qatil League' has been routed badly in the elections everywhere except in some the rural areas where jagirdaris are quite strong and party symbols matter less.

Nawaz Sharif is playing the role of a king maker here. Unlike Zardari, he is a seasoned politician and is looking at his long term prospects. This assembly, as most people are rightly predicting isn't going to last long. Its risky to predict but two years should be long enough. Nawaz Sharif has already his eyes set on two-third majority in the next election which doesn't seems an unlikely scenario given the fact that PPP would have no Benazir Bhutto next time and nor the sympathy wave, coupled with the anti-incumbecy factor that would go against them. He would need it to make constitutional amendment to enable him to become PM for a third time.

The current direction of born-again jamhuriat looks so similar to what it was in its previous incarnations. The current state of affairs in terms of democracy can be analysed by the fact most people have voted on anti Musharraf plank or due the sympathy factor generated due Mohtarma's assassination. The ruling coalition to-be doesn't seem to have any real political agenda except for a few largely useless and symbolic issues like restoration of judges and removing Mush. Then what? Do they have any plan or capability to tackle with religious extremism? Would they be able to really deliver on the issues concerning common man rather than just playing divisive politics. Would the be able to provide a clean and effective administration instead of increasing their Swiss bank balances? Answers to all these questions seems no. Also, we have a very good understanding of the administrative capabilities and habits of Zardari (Mr 10%) and Nawaz Sharif (Mian Zakhmi Sher-e-Punjab). Mr Zardari's true colors have also begin to be seen now. After earlier proposing Makdoom Fahim's name, he now seems desperate to become PM himself. Nawaz Sharif too is hell bent on taking political revenge and is simply heading towards a path where a confrontation with Musharaf and possibally with Army seems inevitable.

Even at a time when Pakistan is on the crossroads and suicide bombings have become a daily feature, they are after power and political revenge. The real fight in Pakistan should not be between Musharaf and Nawaz Sharif, nor between Army and civilian control, it has to be between moderates and extremists. People have already given their verdict and religious parties have lost badly. Now for the sake of Pakistan's existence at least, they should get together, work with each other to rebuild democratic institutions and to defeat backward looking forces for the good of Pakistan and the world.

So much has changed in Pakistan in the last few years yet everything looks the same. In the words of Ghalib:

फिर उसी बेवफ़ा पे मरते हैं
फिर वही ज़िंदगी हमारी है


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