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Public speaks

20 February, 2008

By Amjad Malik


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This is not gallop survey or western frenzy human right organisation’s guess work, people of Pakistan in reality have given verdict and have shown serious dissent to the policies of general Musharraf and his way of governance, in particular to his treatment to top judiciary of Pakistan and his own handpicked Q league stalwarts have lost their own home seats which is a clear sign of charged mood of the nation.

Sharifs and Bhuttoo’s party have landslide in Punjab and Sindh respectively and moderates in NWFP showing red card to the bearded Prime Ministerial aspirant Maulna Fazal u Rehman. These parties if can carefully muster a coalition government, it will be a big victory for the people of Pakistan which will bring continuity, stability and strength in governance. However, the task ahead is not small as they will have to be wise enough to acknowledge lawyers,  media and civil society’s movement for justice and they must invite open heartedly Imran Khan, Qazi and APDM components to join them too in their coalition. Lawyers will be content if pre 3 Nov judicial position is restored and Chief Justice is brought back to his position along with his colleagues with honour and order of 7 member SC bench is given due respect and preference. Media men who were banned from reporting must be asked to resume at once especially Hamid Mir. And Dr Shahid Masood, however a code of conduct must be discussed along with setting up an independent complaints body for consumers and public separate from PEMRA and law of compensation for sleazy, and slanderous reporting must be introduced which will pave way for the due role of media which is acknowledged by all in the run up of election(s). I think printing and electronic media representatives may jointly draft a code which is reflective of the need of the state as well as encompassing the international norms.

Having said that, opposition voice must be protected too, now that the winning party is in government, they must treat the opposition the way they wished the treatment for themselves which they never received. Opposition plays an important part in democracy, and winning graciously is the key and ‘forgiveness’ and ‘live and let live’ principle must not be ignored. Any component of opposition may not be barred from going from one province to another, their families must not be disturbed and no false and trump up charges should be brought against them. Even if charges are made, they must be offered due process of law and fair trial ideally in the court before Justice Choudhry. I believe that political defeat by vote is the biggest revenge one may take from their opponent.

I for one am not in favour of selective accountability. Sharifs idea of holding people accountable through Saif ur Rehman and General Musharraf’s pardon through NRO are not ideal solutions and give rise to suspicion of selective accountability which people dissent. I feel accountability trials may be conducted through normal courts, higher as well as superior courts if public representatives have violated the law, they must be brought to justice and no sacred cows must be left unattended in law. However what these two parties can do is to create a political will to strengthen the judicial process, as well as the existing court system and the way judges are appointed. If judiciary is strengthened, then that truly can stop military intervention as it can play a role of a buffer zone where a military man does not need to jump in on the name of wiping out corruption. I think winners must bring true meaning to the slogan of servants to people in its true form too as people do not like big cars, grand offices and luxurious foreign trips when there is a shortage of flour, oil, gas, and sugar in the country and people are dying of suicidal attacks so simplicity could be the key to avoid any suspicion of mal administration and government should be reflective of the people it serves, a poor state in debt over head and heels.

Finally, the main man himself, I think General Musharrf must consider where he went wrong, his advisors made him a deaf and dumb and showed him a true picture of his governance and he lost the pulse of the people. He did not learn even from the build up of dissent on 5th of April in Lahore when obedient subservient Chief Justice was admired as a bold courageous man for saying ‘No’ to the dictator, however he rather than understanding the will of people tried to show muscle on 12th May  like a genuine public leader resulting in many deaths. Hired spectators can never make one a leader similarly a serving General devoid of legitimacy can never be a legitimate elected leader as he never has roots in the masses. He lost his constituency when he shed off his uniform and rest is history. We can divide his rule between pre and post 9th of March 2007 and he is a victim of his own deeds and may be considered an ignition of waking  this slept jinni a nation of 160 million who only wake up when they are to loose everything and they woke up when they saw the country loosing its ground and institutions started crumbling.  In all honesty, he could have been a leader if he had not gone for his own elections first  and had held these elections post 20th July accepting Supreme Court verdict but end of the day he was a man not a saint. Its for him to decide how to manipulate his exit as military has honourably distanced themselves from him and civilian politics. However, whatever happens the game is on and people once again have vetoed against the turn coats.

Reader Comments:

Winners or Lossers

I’m shocked to see how people interpret things to their personal suitability and in the process mislead the naive people. Media which should be used to inform people and journalism which has suppose to show us the hidden aspect is limited to spread news which we already know.
Don’t you agree that low turn out in present elections is underreported? Why analyst never bothered to ponder the reasons? Had it ever occurred to you what kind of people prefer President Musharraf over Zardari, Sharif, Mullahs and Separatists? Looking at events of short history, why coalition of Zardari – Sharif didn’t appear strange to critics? Is it not funny when convicted like; Javed Hashmi and Sharif talk of Judiciary and rule of law?
Why you never appreciate Musharraf for the renaissance of Pakistan when it was ready for auction by virtue of its bankruptcy, later subsequent turnaround of economy, industrial development and various mega projects?
Believe it or not, I was in living in Pakistan till July 1999 and I have seen Pakistani banks refusing to accept Pakistani currency, I have seen industrialists shutting down there machines which require foreign spare parts because the only way to open LC was to buy USD from blackmarket @ 80PKR/USD. I have seen investors going almost going bankrupt due to their investments in Pakistan one example is the Bestway group from UK who installed a cement plant in Pakistan but due to no sales was not in full operation and same was the case with other plants but today there are 4 new cement plants in line and investors are waiting in line to invest in Baluchistan’s newly discovered mineral resources.
I also remember from my last years in Pakistan, when my German boss used to bribe Zardari in hope to get business, and we used to add those kick backs in our proposals. I also remember a Swiss engineering company intended to invest in Pakistan and make it a regional office for its operations but Mr. Zardari as habitual asked for his commission; I know that company eventually did all their investment in Dubai and India. I’m sure there would be more similar incidents unknown to the populace of Pakistan and I can bet no one in Pakistan can count the loss this nation suffered due to that one incident.
This is exactly the job of journalists and analysts to investigate such cases and it is really not that difficult.
Just visit all multinationals and ask the contact of their former CEOs, reach them and get your un-ending stories of corruption of triumphing politicians. Go check the production logs of Pakistani industries and inform the people about the statistics from last 20 years. Ask those who went abroad for jobs and studies till 1999 and after 1999.
Unfortunately, people of Pakistan do not know the hidden truths due to poor journalism and they were never informed beyond ‘Atta’ and ‘dictator’.
In my opinion parliament should impose minimum PhD qualification condition for the candidates who wish to run for the PM post. It’s about time that Pakistan should advertise for the PM job and select the most qualified candidate.
In my opinion present elections does not prove that the winners are the most popular, infect they are looser and all low turnout is a referendum against all present day politicians.
I’ll wait to see when newly elected members formulate and announce any plan for the development of country.

Ahmed, Georgia - 21 February, 2008

Public speaks

Writer has tried to highlight that importance of votes in Pakistan but one thing perhaps he is not saying that people of Pakistan voted corrupt politicians of the past and their parties. Why? Do you know the reason? Of course you do but will not write it down. 70% of the population lives in villages where education is not that much and voting is done on family basis. If head of the family say vote PPPP they will do that and perhaps they are bribed as well. Votes are sold in Pakistan and that is well known fact by Media will not touch that owing to some of their own benefits. Civilians politicians robbed the country and ran out with huge sums of money. After 8 years when economy is better with a record $15B in the treasury and KSE Index over 14900 they are back with the money and bought the votes from poor junta. That is sad. President Musharraf and his government did so well and must not be discredited for their good work. Coalition government will be formed but how long that will go, may be around three months. Baluchistan government will be PML Q because they won majority votes there. PML Q will sit in the parliament on opp desks and will not thump desks but will help to improve the country provided corruption is checked and no money is taken out of Pakistan by corrupt leaders.

Mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 22 February, 2008

Please Musharraf Saheb, the country needs YOU.

I fully agree what Mohammad writing from th U.K. and Ahmed writing from Germany have to say. What they have omitted to mention or at least point out the fact that the Western countries and the media are going head over heels to paint Musharraf black and even suggesting to the corrupt politicians to give him a way to ease himself out. Why Musharraf; are these countries and media friends of Pakistan. One question alone will put this matter to rest. Who controls the media and the finances of the World. And those who so control, have been able to do so because of thousand of years of strategies worked out by their think tanks known as the Elders. And they full well that left to the corrupt politicians, Pakistan will become a fialed state in no time. They also appreciate that Musharraf alone in the entire Muslim world is capable of turning the tables on them. So I appeal to you once again President Saheb, the Country needs YOU.

Mohammed Ibrahim, Canada - 26 February, 2008

Kudos to People of Pakistan !

From outside of Pakista based on media reports, we can safely conclude the elections have been generally free and fair. The people of Pakistan have voted as per their choice . Its people who have decided thie future in a peaceful and civlised manner. Kudos both to people and politicians ( both ruling and opposition). Its upto to winners now to ensure that flame of democracy and fiath reposed by people of Pakistan is not wasted. We , in India, would like to see democracy , tolerance and plurality is encouraged at every level of society. The winners should take the victory as responsibility and not as personal triumph. Peaceful democratic Pakistan is what India would like to see . Kudos people of Pakistan.

Sanjay, Hungary - 27 February, 2008

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