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National

May 8, 2018

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Mission statement of NGO

Chaudhry Manzoor, Information Secretary PPP, while describing the eleven points agenda of the PTI chairman announced in recently held rally in Lahore as a mere ‘mission statement of any NGO’ mired in oversimplifications and generalisations filled with platitudes rather than substance. The missing of foreign, security and internal affairs in the eleven points seems deliberate omission to appease the quarters. This mollycoddling methodology may not accrue the desired dividends, to come to power by hook or crook. There was nothing inspiring for the masses in the eleven points as it was opined by number of commentators as the replica of the party manifesto of 2013. Putting in the periphery the important domains as prohibitive for the future government may not cut across among the people in good stride. He is likely to fiercely claim the same once in the saddle. He will not settle less than that as he has strong alacrity for power wielding.

“The mother of all jilsa” was no comparison of the rally held by the party in Lahore few years back when the people in the rally were not only swayed by the slogan of “Tsunami and corruption free Pakistan” but also right across the country as it was the talk in every household. The enthusiasm was seeing in believing. But, not anymore because the crowd in the rally mostly consisted of the people brought in from the KPK was not responding to the call of the party leadership in equal measure being captive audiences speaking in comparative terms.

The PTI’s popularity has hit the snags during the last couple of years in particular mainly because of its poor performance in the KPK, and the ordinary people do not feel better off in terms of services delivery undertaken by the government. The tall claim of resurrecting the KPK as model province has already hit the wall and disappointment among the people towards the government had been scaling up with the passing of the time.

The PTI leadership should have capitalised on its initial political successes by delivering good governance in the province to become a centre of gravity for the people of the rest of the country. It could have served the spring board to land in Islamabad. Ironically, they were not in the mood of waiting due to their impetuous inclination and instead launched the sit-in politics with clear goal to pull down the elected government as soon as possible through unconstitutional means giving scant consideration to the legitimacy of the means and ends. The miscalculation cost dearly to the party as the sit-in politics was rejected by the people and the Parliament and the party had to withdraw in embarrassment while standing politically isolated. The allegation of covert support to the apologists of sit-in politics was the collateral damage that may still be haunting proving as liability than an asset in the final analysis. The by-elections held during this period suggest that Party has not recovered and continues to remain on the slippery slope of popularity.

The latest abandoning of the coalition by its coalition partners in the provincial government may be another bad news in the series for the party that is likely to accelerate the erosion of the popular base in the KPK in particular. The people of the KPK province are though large-hearted, generous and honest who are also know of taking electoral revenge if they feel they have been duped by their elected representatives as maintained by veteran journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai. Last time, they took the similar revenge from the then provincial government to favour the PTI hoping to embrace qualitative change in their lives. But, the public opinion there, according to news and views, does not subscribe to the claims of the provincial government of improving the quality of their lives in the meaningful ways. The social sector, health, education and provision of clean drinking water continue to be in state of disarray.

The myth of much boasted good governance of KPK government shattered and almost attained finality when chief justice during his visit to Peshawar observed, ‘only words no action on ground, This was the headlines of almost the all newspapers of the country while the electronic media projected it on the respective TV networks extensively followed by spade of discussions filled with tirade after tirade totally disarming the KPK government. The high key treatment of the news media to the top judge observations was understandable in the background of the comparatively better image of the KPK government in the country. Indeed, the chief justice had also criticised the other provincial governments and the federal government for their failure to provide relief to the people. The news media treatment was relatively mild as such news about them was already in circulation from time to time.

The allegation of the party leadership in collusion with the anti-democratic forces has been flying thick and fast that needs to be addressed sooner the better. Its political opponents will rub this allegation ferociously to their advantage during election campaign considering it as the soft belly of the party. The recent disclosure on Geo TV of the chairman PTI regarding PML-N victory in 2013 elections attributed to then serving brigadier was another ill-conceived move that may not be appreciated by the people, and the army alike for dragging it in the domestic electoral politics. The chain of command in the armed forces is so strong that a brigadier rank officer cannot imagine of taking such bold decision independently without the institutional approval. Is the chairman maligning the institution by default? May be so, or may not be. The chairman allegation may be judged as uncalled for when the Supreme Court judicial Commission rejected the allegations of planned rigging in the 2013 elections as argued by the brigadier. Such statement by the leader of national stature may have indeed disappointed the large section of the society. It may also fall short of method in madness. Hopefully, he is not trying to play on both sides of the street considering ends justify means.

The political parties may entirely focus on to launch election campaign on the basis of their manifestoes and desist from dragging their feet in distractions those may not be vote winning after all this time around. The silent majority of the country holds the balance of power without an iota of second thought because voters are tens of millions who cannot be intimidated, purchased or engineered in the face of the scale of the challenge. Therefore, the political parties may depend on cultivating the voters directly through seasoned mass contact campaign by presenting their programmes as the best option for the voters instead of running after the s-called facilitators.

The robust media and the presence of the international monitor teams in the country may make the spoiler task impossible. The powerful and independent Election Commission of Pakistan seemingly has left no chink in its armory unplugged to ensure the holding of fair, free and impartial elections. The chief justice’s categorical assurance in the recent past to the culmination of the constitutional process is very reassuring and source of great relief to the nation that wants democracy and constitutional across the board for which consensus exists.

Unfortunately, the spoilers are not in short supply to spoil the enabling environment for the realisation of seamless democratic process. Recently, the government ministers vitiated the already tense political atmosphere by uttering anti-women comments while expressing their views destined to undermine the recently held rally of the PTI in Lahore. It is common wisdom, sane enemy is better than insane friend. The ministers have added to the political woes of the PML-N which is already in hot waters facing corruption charges in the courts and desertions within. The top leadership tried to distance itself from the ministers’ condemnable statements against women as a damage control exercise. But, damage has been inflicted as the people from all walks of life have condemned the misogynist utterances of the ministers those deserving full throttled condemnation with contempt.

PPP always considered women and minorities in its highest considerations so far as their empowerment was concerned. PPP ideology deems women participation as critical for the nation building process. It may be recalled that PPP during its government periods took milestone decisions to empower women, and their representation in all walks of national life was ensured in pursuance of PPP ideology that rejects discrimination of all hues. The PPP previous government led by Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani passed important legislations meant to protect them from intimidation and harassment at the work places and also from the domestic violence. Harassment at work places and domestic violence against women were made cognizable offences entailing jail terms, fine or both.

‘No nation can be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with men. No struggle ever can succeed without women taking part side by side with men’ said the Founder of the nation. The PML-N may educate its ministers on the importance of women in the nation building process as concisely elaborated by the Quaid.

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