Futility of late epiphany!

October 21, 2019

Head of PPP Media CellBeing cognizant of the possible dangers to the democracy the PPP has articulated to find out the “middle ground” because democracy and the continuity of the...

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Head of PPP Media Cell

Being cognizant of the possible dangers to the democracy the PPP has articulated to find out the “middle ground” because democracy and the continuity of the constitutional rule are too worthwhile priorities for the party ideology that cannot be sacrificed at the altar of whatever the politics. Pitiably, the PTI leadership could not decipher the stance of the PPP because of it overwhelming domination of the tunnel vision. Now it seems all is set for showdown of “Azadi March” against the PTI government later this month after PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif’s unequivocally declared his party’s full participation in the protest march being led by Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, JUI-F chief. Its singular thrust is to oust the incumbent government led by ‘selected Prime Minister Imran Khan’. The PPP has already extended its moral support to the protest march, but yet to decide its full participation in the sense. Its decision not to join the protest is presumably hindered by the compelling apprehensions that it may not get out of control detrimental to the continuity of democracy and the constitutional rule.

The domestic volatile politics and regional geo-political obtaining situation also warrant of finding convergence in order to find out the solution through dialogues because the streets politics may significantly undermine Pakistan’s ability to overcome the challenges both within and without. The recent warning of FATF to Pakistan to mend ways in totality in terror financing and money laundering necessitates political unity in the country more than ever to meet the given targets during the next four months or else as blacklisted state.

If this cannot move the government to rectify the situation sooner than later then all bids are off. In case of revisiting in the largest interest the government leadership has to have the cooperation of the Opposition to undertake the requisite legislations in the Parliament for providing legal basis for meeting the targets. Understandably, that can only be possible with the support of the Opposition that has formidable parliamentary strength in the Parliament.

Unfortunately, the situation has come to this pass that the incompetence and inefficiency of the government may not be given allowance because of the resultant certainty and the severity of the prohibitive cost to the national interests. The PTI leadership may come out of the cocoon of ego-centric approach and take major political initiatives to forge national unity so critical to create an enabling environment.

They may not lose any more time because tide is turning against them embroiled in fury signifying everything that can be imagined. Major responsibility undoubtedly lies on the shoulders of PTI leadership and its well-known supporters whose actions and inactions may be deemed as hands in gloves in pushing the country to the brink of abyss. It is time for U-turn for good. Timing makes difference between life and unforgiving end game which is exponentially true in politics and diplomacy. The good advice may be taken seriously regardless of the quarters it comes from when stakes are high. Only fool may stick to the beaten tracks in the face of changed ground realities so poignantly.

Not even an activist hailing from the other side of the equation may hold back his endorsement of the ‘selected Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘visit to Tehran and Riyadh in quick succession in his effort to bring the two major Muslim countries on the negotiating table to iron out their differences.

For, the end game in the vortex of the collusion course is surely dangerous for the regional peace in general and for the two countries in particular and indeed beyond. People of Pakistan and of the region and indeed right across the globe wish the earliest containing of the volatile situation from going bad to worse in the Middle East. The predictable devastating consequences due to the snowball impact are fait accompli. A fire in the neighbourhood is bound to pose measurable dangers of engulfing the surrounding settlements. The self-preservation and survival strategy demand that the neighbours should spare no stone unturned to control the conflagration in the first place leading to its total extinguishion, optimistically.

One fails to understand as why the prime minister does not see the application of the same wisdom in the domestic politics because his crossing the swords with the Opposition in perpetuity may surely result in the unforgiving consequences for the government and indeed for the country that has been teetering on the brink of crisis since this government took the rein of the country. Yet the government leadership seems determined to continue to become the victim of its righteousness that is driven by its inflated ego. It is really hard to find fair-minded political analysts who will be supportive of the domestic political strategy that is destined to navigate upstream to brace troubled waters for no good reason. It looks inherently senseless adventure when easy and viable alternative is available leading to win win situation for the democracy and by implications for the people and the country.

The political strategy of the PTI leadership being utterly against the dynamics of parliamentary politics is bound to crash even well before it prepares for take–off position. No democratic narrative of politics may endorse the PTI politics for being grossly opposite to the dynamics of parliamentary politics, both horizontally and vertically. The track record of one year governance of the incumbent government should ordinarily make them to see sense in paradigm shift. But to no avail so far unfortunately. It seems their vision is dominated by the Einstein theory of repetitive methodology that embodies keep on treading on the beaten tracks hoping positive outcome each time but embracing the familiar outcome yet again. But the repetition bug continues to bite till the land ends, pitiably.

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s handing out the olive branch to Fazal-ur-Rehman in exchange of his dropping the sword is not only like tinkering on the edges but also manifestly reflective of the non-seriousness of the leadership amounting to playing to the gallery. The sarcastic remarks of the prime minister against Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman the other day reflected poorly on him that further polluted the political environment.

The level of the composition of the committee mandated to establish rapport with the Opposition leaders suggests that the government is taking the ‘million march’ casually as their disproportionate response suggests. The ruling party’s seriousness for negotiations might have evoked the corresponding seriousness of the Opposition if the dialogue offer had been imbedded in major confidence building measures towards the Opposition leaders who were the victim of the vendetta of the ruling party. How can the ruling party can engage the Opposition in productive dialogues when its hands and feet are tied up with jail imprisonment on specious grounds. Successful negotiations leading to heartiest outcome cannot be conducted under fear or in state of capitulation. The government’s offer therefore is non-serious initiative that may be described as wordplay.

Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman while responding to the offer of the PTI for talks had rightly paid in the same coin when he demanded the prior resignation of the imposed prime minister because he was the product of rigged elections and therefore lacked the legitimacy to represent the people of Pakistan. The recent surge of popularity of the Opposition may surely give sleepless nights to the rank and file of the PTI party as it cannot withstand the pressure at its own. The precarious representative credentials of the incumbent government are mired in well-entrenched perception of political engineering that pathologically impede its capacity to come up to the expectations of the people. The New York Times on July 31, 2018, stated, ‘by all accounts his (PTI) victory was far from fair. Human Rights groups, academics, western diplomats and political analysts have said that Pakistan’s state institution systematically targeted political opponents in the months before the elections helping PTI to win. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRPC), undisputedly impartial and very well respected organisation, findings those were reported on July 19, 2018, stated ‘elections have already been manipulated’. The HRPC report that was published subsequently also explicitly held that the elections of 2018 as manipulated before and on the day of elections

Notwithstanding the dubious general elections, the major Opposition parties were heavily inclined in favour of politics within Parliament. The PTI government instead resorted to politics of witch-hunting dejecting the Opposition parties that have decided to pull it down through the mass movement as a last resort. The Opposition parties have announced to lockdown the federal capital by the end of this month, the same methodology applied by the ruling party during the PML-N former government in its bid to come to power by hook or by crook. The PTI though failed to de-seat the government but destabilised it to the hilt that emboldened the authoritarian forces to trespass the civilian space to the exasperation of democratic forces.

The PTI top leadership’s late epiphany for talks is too little and too late when Opposition has been pushed to the wall under the pretext of accountability on the specious grounds. The perception of its being carried out on the basis of vendetta than vision is well entrenched because all the major Opposition leaders have been put in jail while the law did scarcely move against the leaders of the government who were equally on the radar of National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The whole process may be indeed eclipsed with the narrative of discriminatory nature of the accountability rather than the accountability above board. The perception of discriminatory accountability has increasingly become the voice of the people equating with the proclamation of Divine.



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