The tides are turning but in what direction?

The Supreme Court may go on delivering judgments but the unfortunate fact is that General Musharraf is in no mood to let Nawaz Sharif in the country, especially now that his deal with Benazir has moved out of the deadlock it was reported to be in a couple of weeks ago. Just today, Benazir has claimed that 80% of the modalities have already been settled. If all goes in musharraf’s favor, everything that happened in these last few months seems to have been in vain.

A military dictator is about to be given a new breath of life. What else does this augur except good tidings for future ambitious Pakistani generals? Someone who deserves to be tried for treason is being bailed out by a supposedly “democratic” party. And the sad fact is that no one’s coming out clear about the deal. Ex-senator Farhatullah Babar who appeared in a TV show as a PPPP spokesperson, conveniently appeared ignorant about the specifics of the Constitutional amendments package that the ruling party and PPPP are going to jointly present in the Parliament. All he kept on stressing on was the abolishment of 58-2b; no mention whatsoever of the cancellation of the two terms limit on the prime minister or (another surprise revealed by Khakwani-a PML-Q dissenter) the relaxation in the two years period condition for government servants to qualify for presidential or general elections. They probably think that the masses are politically naïve enough to not realize that deals are two way. And the list of favors on both sides goes on. No one talks about the indemnity being offered to the governments that were in place from 1988-1999 or about the proposals considering cancellation of the law that bars individuals convicted in absentia to take part in general elections. These conditions automatically imply acceptance from the PPPP side that there was some truth to all those corruption cases. After all, why would then they require such a guarantee especially with the kind of turn that the judiciary has taken this year.

On Musharraf’s side, he gets to be the president for another term if all goes well according to the deal and more importantly he lives peacefully, as is the norm, after having committed high level treason. Musharraf’s tone today when he said that the Sharif brothers are not coming back, gives an insight into his confidence level at this time. After having struck a deal with BB, he needs not be worried about the small fish. It has been running like this for eight years. It will do for some more.

It seems improbable that there could ever be some sort of “workable” working relation between Benazir and Musharraf but with the high level guarantors involved, as in the United States and some European countries as has been reported in the press, it may just work out. But at what cost?

Cost democracy, cost constitutionalism, cost civil rights, cost even Pakistan. As for Nawaz Sharif, it is clear that there WAS a deal and with the guarantors, it becomes obvious that he wanted to be out of this country too. Its being in paper or otherwise does not make any difference. If he was the peoples’ leader, he should have been truthful about it. How can one trust his sincerity to a democratic process once he returns to power? If he can buckle under pressure once, he can always run to the establishment or the military whenever he sees his political stature to be under threat. This happened in the 90s decade and if breaking away from that past is desired, then Sharif is certainly not a safe bet. Fazlur Rehman is easily the B team of the government. Barring all of these, just Imran Khan and Qazi Sahib are left. Where will they bring their candidates from?

Last bet; Supreme Court. In my view, it still has to go a long way to establish itself as a credible institution. The recent judgments being commendable are probably just that icing on the cake below which awaits a brewing storm. The tides are turning but they need to be given orientation. Who decides what direction they will take?

1 thought on “The tides are turning but in what direction?”

  1. every one is just playing to score more on there own score board, no body is thinking about Pakistan and us, its the war of the parties and the president, and the supreme court. its a survival battle its turning into a cheap action movie where at the middle of the show the audience will want there money back for the movie!!! they are all just wasting our time and playing with our futures just to look better and gain more power on our account.


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