Zardari Out for Fishing!!!!!!

So finally PPP under President Zardari has taken the strategic
decision feared by so many within their ranks. The recent meeting
between Law Minister Babar Awan and PML-Q Chief Pervez Elahi and the
followed session in front of media made it crystal clear that PPP under
Zardari has rolled out its plan for the completion of his 5 years in
office. A merger with traditional rivals can go either way and for
this reason the political stage in Pakistan has been set on fire.

In past they have also communicated during the Musharraf regime but
with a slight difference. With Musharraf on the top seat, he failed to
turn the Chaudhry’s led PML-Q into a party of the masses or its
leadership trustworthy. During the NRO signing as we know it, PML-Q
under Musharraf was bargaining with late Ms Bhutto for either a joint
stake or at least a graceful departure from the scene. Its clear how Ms
Bhutto reacted later to the power house from Gujrat until her
unfortunate assassination before the 2008 elections. If she was of the
view that her assassins may include Q-leaguers like Pervez Elahi,
Zardari went a step further after her assassination when he coined the
term “ Qatil League” instead of Quaid league. With this outward
attitude, it was hard to believe that in coming future these two stake
holders will sit with each other but like many other expectation this
has also come crashing to the ground.

The scenario of October 2010 is entirely different than it was back
then. PPP under Zardari has come into a direct collision course with
PML-N in Punjab while in Sindh MQM & ANP has made their life a living
hell. Their reconciliation or rather I should say “appeasement” has
turned Karachi into a battle filed while their leaders have nothing to
do but to watch as spectator.

In Punjab it has been one unfortunate
tale. Zardari was pretty sure that the only threat to his castle in
the coming future will come from the government in Punjab and for this
he has done plenty of homework in this regard. From the
disqualification of Shahbaz Sharif to the imposition of Governor rule,
he has done his best to remove the tag of PML-N from Punjab. Whether
its Salman Taseer comments on the governance or Babar Awan’s
criticism of PML-N leadership itself (God knows why a Law Minister has
assumed the role of Provincial Hit Boy), things have moved from bad to
worse for both the parties. Political pundits have clearly stated
after 2008 elections that Zardari and his party can sail smoothly only
if they keep Nawaz’s PML-N on their side. Having said this, both
political power houses from Larkana and Raiwind have collided on
numerous issues, and this recent move is nothing less than a clear
signal from the center that they have finally decided to move out of
this shadow chase.

Mistakes have been made from both sides and there is no denial to
this. PML-N under Nawaz has goofed up many things and with their
leader outside the parliament, a vacuum has remained in the actions
and policies. From his stand of not joining hand with PPP in the
centre and some unseen dictations coming from friendly Arab states,
PML-N have failed to deliver on national issues. In Punjab CM Shahbaz
has outshone others in every field, yet non cooperation by PPP has
really hampered his way forward.

The passing October has delivered many changes in the political
sphere. Out of no where Gen Musharraf followed Altaf Bhai’s footsteps
by launching his party on to the scene. Usually this starts with a new
manifesto and ideas but he with his “commando of politics” attitude
lashed the leadership of both PML-N and PML-Q alike, but interestingly
spared President Zardari and PM Gillani from his “line of fire”. Later
we saw judiciary coming out aggressively against mixed signals
transmitted from the Presidency and now we have this new orientation
in political “ balance of power” in progress.

Anyhow, the way things are moving certain conclusions can be drawn
out of these developments. To start with, President Zardari with his
“never say die” attitude has finally opened a war on three frontiers
namely judiciary, media and political stake holders aswell. A sitting
party in power labeling the biggest media group as “traitor and paid
agent” is simply naïve, irresponsible and a mockery of justice.

Holders of public offices have devised an effective plan to outrun
justice in this manner. It was clear that media and judiciary are
going along pretty well especially when it comes to the follies of
government as we saw in the appointment of OGDC top boss. On the other
hand government policy of “ delaying it to a better day” has greatly
upset the superior judiciary which considers these efforts equivalent
of blocking justice. Lastly with PML-N pushed to the wall, they have
drawn the lines for a future confrontation especially in Punjab as we
saw a year earlier. But their can be another theme to this whole
episode. Arabs lead by Saudi Arabia were the main driving force behind
the reconciliation drive between PML-N and PPP. To move a step
further, they were more active in joining all the PML factions under
one umbrella. This means that this recent shift has its blessing from
trans-atlantic and for PPP the plus point is that Army under Gen
Kiyani has so far sided with them. Whether its the Arab or West,
outside dictation to settle internal matter is highly disgracing. But
it is pretty clear that Americans have nothing more for Pakistan
except a stable setup for their early departure from Afghanistan, and
with this orientation it seems that they have achieved half of their
goal. The remaining portion will be decided after things settle down
in the centre as well as Punjab between PML-Q and PPP.

Like numerous times before, our visionary politicians have made 200
million Pakistanis hostage into the hands of foreign handlers and like
before, its clear that the outcome will be disastrous for us.

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