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PAKISTAN’S DEMOCRACY AFTER 1 YEAR FROM RECONCILIATION TO REIMPOSITION

We in Pakistan hailed 18 February, 2008 as the day when the nation crossed from dictatorship, and started on the road of democracy. More than 8 years under dictatorship, it was assumed that a new history will be written where our nation will follow the path, for which it was established at the first place. Ofcourse this idea didn’t emerge from the revelation of Nostradamus, but from the true spirit of democracy where the power holders obey the wishes of the masses, or is it the opposite? Regardless of going into the grass root situation, lets remain on a general overview. Power came to PPP naturally as it emerged as the top party, but above all it was its leader, Mr Zardari who started by saying that let the past remain where it is, while we will reconcile for a better future. From that time till he assumes power, all was going pretty much in the right direction. Against all odds, Zardari and Sharif embraced each other, and they were so consume in the new found trust that it became difficult to name, who was the big brother between them. Let us forget the past event of the SIndh, because we very well remember how the political forces on May 12, 2007 turned the city into a battlefield, resulting in over 50 deaths. We are not here to name which party was responsible for this as the inquiry never got under way, but it was APC in its meeting that decided to sideline MQM over this issue. Ofcourse we remember the visit of Mr Zardari to 90 and the martyr graveyard, and later how PPP and MQM joined together for a new beginning. Now that we have passed 1 year, atleast we are in a position to comment about how this process has gone further. Lets start with Punjab, where PPP and PML-N joined together. Even if we take the judicial issue out, and limit it to the centre’s politics, Punjab has a lot to offer. The power sharing is rather a power struggle. PPP leader Raja Riaz sometimes seems the spokesman for the Governor Salman Taseer. One cannot find another example where an appointed person i.e Governor is all out to over shadow the elected person i.e CM. Is it the reconciliation Mr President where you retain a person, who whenever speaks makes sure that a storm will erupt soon after. We do not have any doubt regarding the capabilities of Mr Shahbaz, but this conflict has brought the whole machinery to a stop. It seems that for Sindh, it starts from Karachi and so does it end. In the last year we were unable to understand who is the real in charge of the affair, Mr Mustafa Kamal or Qaim Ali Shah. A battle is under way between MQM led city government and PPP led provincial setup. Well what to say about Balouchistan, a symbol of reconciliation where nearly every member is a minister also. But I do mention that they also have an opposition in the shape of Mr Rind, who recently revealed that he has never been to any session, and stays in Dubai as he fears for his life. What a reconciliation? Where NWFP was burning, the govt thought its not the policy, but the name which is causing the trouble, so name it Pukhtunkhawa. Sounds much like what we did in old days, where notorious or dumb children were renamed again. At the same time JUI-F names ANP for treason, while ANP accuses JUI-F of being land mafia. A marvelous performance indeed. This is the tale of democracy in Pakistan, where we are still searching for two things, justice and economical growth.

HAMID MAJID ABBASI

13/01/09

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