By: |Syed Tazmeen Javed|
It is said that there is no principal line in politics. It’s believed that a political faction should not take an extreme position while making claims. Reasons for the mentioned beliefs and assertions in my understanding is the system where these political players are the part of. A system that is beyond their tiny intellect. As they are occupied with grudges and living just for political vendetta.
A rotten system begets the rotten players. Since the creation of Pakistan and then its aftermath the allegations of corruption and using it as a pretext to oust the then incumbent political player were always used. Not taking anything away from the self-proclaimed democratic persons narrating civil supremacy was thrown out because they were corrupt and rightly so. But, what next? Had the prosecution been brutal against the political elite bringing forthright and decisive pieces of evidence against the accused— the history would have been written differently. But history saw an alternative discourse. Those who were once the “security risk, crooks” were facilitated by the system.
I will not take you to 5 decades ago. Just stick to a decade ago, when a military dictator General (R) Pervez Musharraf who used to claim that the doors for Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif— the former prime ministers of Pakistan are closed was found to secure his grip on the power and playing his last card to survive as the president signed a notorious National Reconciliation Order (NRO) with Benazir. In that bid, he was asked by the International players to wave off the “political cases” against Pakistan People’s Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)– making possible the return of Benazir into Pakistan. Benazir did not survive as she was assassinated by a mysterious killer revolving around different theories. Her widower, Asif Ali Zardari became the beneficial affectee of the signed NRO and was unexpectedly elected as the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It is quite hilarious that not a single anti-graft case against Zardari had been proven by the prosecution. The reason is quite simple, the system never wanted it to happen.
The case for Nawaz is not different at all. Once a blued eye of the establishment, anti- Bhutto trying to become the Amir-ul Momineen was removed in an unprecedented way over the allegations of hijacking. Then after a year finding no way to escape Nawaz signed a deal that not to return Pakistan for ten years and found the refuge in Saudia Arabia— a result of mediation by the Royal Kings. But as the luck favored Zardari, it favored Nawaz. However, it is pertinent to mention these leaders enjoyed heavy political support from the masses. The system has always failed to convince the masses that these leaders were “corrupt.”
Having no other alternative to counter the entrenched political parties, the system had one alternative to play as the last card. That was Imran Khan. A charming cricketer turned politician– considerably clean from financial corruption was pushed along with significant support from the masses as a harbinger against the Status Quo. Struggling from 1996 until 2010, Imran was nowhere to be regarded as a key political player to challenge Zardari and Nawaz. But thanks to the dismal performance by the PPP led by Zardari- Yousaf Raza Gillani and turn-coats from Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Pakstan Muslim League (Q) defecting into PTI, Imran became the vital third option. That third option induced by the system could not substantiate into votes that could give him the reigns of power following the 2013 election.
Quite frankly, impressive Nawaz’s performance as the third time prime minister bringing Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product to average 5 percent of growth diminished the chances for Imran leading the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, to once again dream to become the prime minister. Panama leaks breathed hope to Imran to pull their muscles and lead a campaign against Sharifs for stashing billions of money abroad. But someone is a fool to think that it was Panama which gave Imran and his PTI the impetus that they were looking for. It was the ‘Dawn Leaks’ —-a civil-military clash on putting the house in order. That leaks triggered the Supreme Court which earlier dismissed a frivolous petition constituted a bench which then decided the fate of Nawaz, ousting him for the third time followed by the filing of references and conviction in anti-graft cases.
All this became the walk on the cake for the incumbent PM Imran to get elected as the premier. 15 months have passed since then. Finding himself in the quandary of economic management to the hike in prices, fewer investment opportunities and cut in growth (unemployment), Imran is facing the hell of opposition from PPP–PML(N) as their top-tier leadership facing cases. Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s recent stage-in (Dharna) was also used to heap up the pressure. Chaudhry Pervez Elahi– the Punjab Assembly’s speaker and the coalition partner of the federal government in an interview stated that the participants in Maulana Fazlur Rehman Azadi march included hostile traders and unemployed workers. From taking the extreme position that ” I will not give NRO and then later on “humanitarian ground” giving permission for Nawaz to go abroad for medical treatment with depositing seven billion rupees of indemnity bonds were just desperate measures.
The last thing this system could do in all this was to provide a safe exit to Nawaz for four weeks without any condition of security bond. As the federal minister, Sheikh Rasheed is quoted to have said” good riddance Nawaz is leaving, ” says it all. Nawaz’s exit to London is the anti-climax of the last 3 years’ drama of accountability. The system wants him to fly to London because Pakistan has to move on. But the question remains what next for the nation remaining spectators for seven decades?
The writer tweets at: https://twitter.com/IamTazmeenJaved