The ongoing battle of the heavyweights in Pakistan’s ( rather Punjab’s ) politics is shocking for a neutral observer like me. The military is fighting militancy across the country and the politicians have started bickering over the spoils of a relatively infant democracy already; imagining that they live in a separate world from the rest of the nations and a bubble has been created where they can drive the country into civil disobedience (or say much worse civil war) without any fear of external or internal enemies of the state. Military is engaged in cross-battles in Waziristan, Balochistan and LoC against armed threats to our already weak country and here it has to further worry that the domestic struggle for the throne of Islamabad might just turn violent. Pakistanis, particularly Northern Punjabis and Pukhtuns have had a history of taking power into their hands whenever the opportunity arises. This stems from their insecurities down to the household level. Therefore, it is no surprise that Imran Khan of Mianwali, Nawaz Sharif of Raiwind, Chaudarys’ of Gujrat,and Tahir Ul Qadri of God knows where are all in it to get to the top office in the country or in Sharifs case hold onto it.
TahirUlQadri is a mortal enemy of the Sharifs and although he has been doing a lot of welfare work for the people of Pakistan over the years, his current scope over the last few months has boiled to a single point agenda: Grab power of governance in Pakistan. TUQ was the imam of Sharifs’ local mosque in Model Town before he fell apart with them and made his own venture into politics. Quickening up to present day, he came back to Pakistan from a self imposed asylum in Canada with unaccountable money which according to his party were from donations. However, according to the current govt. the cash he has accumulated is from from money laundering and other illegal activites. According to one source, TUQ tried to contact various former leaders, landlords and influentials after his drama filled return this June to gear up for one final ‘revolution’. However, his own interpretation of religion and bringing it into politics wasn’t very appealing to the majority of the Pakistanis.
Some circles within the military were playing their own game. According to a handful of leading analysts TUQ is the establishments’ main guy nowadays. Whenever they want to pressurize the political govt. they turn to TUQ. Ahmed Raza Kasuri, part of Musharrafs’ APML and one of the most renowned lawyers in the country puts it that by hindering Musharraf an escape route PML(N) led govt. stabbed their own back. Part of the military establishment along with TUQ made a plan to ‘pressurize’ the govt. They first locked horns with and easily defeated the Geo news network. Although Mir Shakeel ur Rehman had his pro-govt biases, that hardly meant that he deserved to be brought to his knees. A recent example can be found in AQ Khan network being similarly publicly humiliated in the same way under Musharraf regime. According to Kasuri ,now the plan turns to bring down PML (N) also presumably for its soft approach with India. Dunya news of establishments’ Lahore based, former PML (Q) stalwart Mian Amir Mahmood alongside Geo’s arch rivals ARY and Express network have jumped the bandwagon of AzadiInquilab March rather than staying off of it and look to share the spoils
Imran Khan, although a respectable leader with honest credentials and a good track record has himself become blinded with the love for power this time around. His single point agenda like TUQ is to grab the prime office in the country as soon as possible. Politics really is a dirty game. It brings people who have led completely different life Styles for sixty years on the same agenda due to hunger of power and money. His sons though have been shielded from the atrocities that his party workers have to go through as they have fled to London to live in the comforts with their mum right before his ‘Azadi’ march started. The majority of his supporters are also there mostly for entertainment which he is good in creating( with music and speeches sprinkled with subtle humor ) in a Pakistani society which desperately needs more of it unlike Qadris more serious fedayeen who are the actual ones out there so badly wanting a Naya Pakistan and get out of their economic shackles of poverty. Therefore the official and unofficial estimates about the participants of the Azadi march continue to vary compared to the more solid estimate of the comparatively serious supporters of Inquilab march.
Its the common man of Pakistan that has suffered the most and will continue to suffer during this ‘Azadi’ week. While our neighbor has started to concentrate on societal ills such as nepotism, rape and corruption as their primary concerns, we are yet to come out of our internal fighting. Nawaz Sharif should have learnt something from Mr.10% on how to run a democratic govt. and the right policy was of reconciliation at the right time rather than opening up multiple fronts to fight as soon as you reach the epitome of power. It is true that election in a developing country like ours can never be totally free and fair. However, efforts to appease the leader of the 2nd largest (in terms of votes accumulated) political party rather than bringing him to this frustrating juncture would have had been the right move. With a lack of reconcilatory approach shown by PML(N) and confronting a main opposition party openly, political non-entities like TUQ, the chaudarys’ of Gujarat and Sheikh Rasheed are sure to come to the forefront in hope of gaining(or regaining) power. PML(N) supporters might cry out loud that PTI is a party of amateur and opportunist politicians backed by the ‘mummy daddy’ segment of public. However, this is also a segment of our public and it has truly shown in the last few years that it is a force to reckon with rather than being ignored as it had been for the previous 64 years of our existence before the 23rd March 2011 historic jalsa of PTI at Minar-e-Pakistan which brought this segment of society to the political fore.
Peoples Party is playing this one smartly though or lets just say it has no other option given its negligible remaining political clout in Punjab. It has a total number of two seats in the whole province. However, JI Caliph Siraj ul Haq hailing from the troubled district of Dir is the one truly playing out a reconcilatory and wise role. He has approached parties all across the spectrum and is clearly looking to find some common ground. May Allah be by his side (no pun intended)
To sum it up, international broadcasters such as CNN,ABC,FOX,BBC aren’t even giving this so called revolutionary-freedom march much coverage like the last time around TUQ got his fair share when he took to the streets against PPP-led govt. This latest drama by Pakistani political leaders just goes on to show why there is a strong need for a third power say it be the local army or some foreign govt. to prevent the power hungry civilian leaders from driving this country into anarchy and total chaos. As a famous saying goes “When the love of power overcomes the power of love, this world shall know peace.” This applies to present day Pakistan more than ever in this troublesome scenario.