Elections 2008

With the kind of political scenario shaping up and if Musharraf is to have his way yet again, Nawaz sharif will be the worst loser in this game of politics. He finally gave in to political expediency which by the way was probably getting too much for his cronies, the typical pakistani politicians who are born and die with the ballot box in their sight. His apparently principled stand was getting too righteous even for himself and so the politician finally won, putting aside all the very recent reservations about the polling process under Musharraf and military rule and emergency and all sorts of stuff which he finally realized was good only for the urban elite; the common masses still struggling for that one pack of flour, which they’ll accept graciously from anyone. He happens to be the worst loser because his assumption that his quotations from Qauid-e Azam’s speeches to the armed forces about their actual duties will win him any more votes than what he already has is just a farce. Those who understand what he’s saying won’t vote and those who are williing to vote in these elections aren’t the least bit concerned about constitutional matters. They have a problem with Musharraf just like they had with him and benazir and all those who are power. Anyone who can get them through that one day of existence would do and eight years ending at right where they started from are more than just a waste of expectations; its a beckoning for a new face.

As for Musharraf, he’d rather have Benazir than Sharif on stage if America is the big brother. Otherwise, he could even do with a hung parliament and leave them with their political wranglings. What little sympathy that Sharif managed to elicit from the educated, urban elite because of his principled stand despite being a seasoned politician in the very Pakistani sense, he has lost with the moving over to the no-boycott camp. Had he sticked to his guns, his party would have proved to be a potent force in creating awareness amongst the masses on constitutional issues. And with the fixed vote bank types, which happen to be too many in this country this phase of mass contact may have been successful to reign in the rikshawallas and the sweepers and the chowkidars and the shopkeepers and the taxi drivers into this movement to dilute those class differences that have appeared starker as the street protests by university students and lawyers and professionals gain in vigor. This movement has to involve the masses to cause a stir. and that’s where Sharif caused a severe blow to the civil society.

Coming to Imran Khan, many would say he lost hands down. Many call him ” ahead of his times”, a political idiot in the same breath as they lambast BB and Sharif for being corrupt and unworthy leaders. Do we want expediency and opportunism to define our politics like always. Imran khan may lose eventually in his time but he has shown many the way to clean politics and those out on the streets today will remember him for long.

But today is still not over.


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