Mind games... By Gulsher
25 February, 2013
The PPP government has taken back the dual local governed system. Everyone is happy and the PPP has once again become victorious because it has met the demands of the Sindhis. It was ridiculous to see the PPP defend the local system as being 'people friendly'. When this system was taken back previously, they congratulated the masses and extracted credit from the people of Sindh for taking back the “black law”. Then again this law was passed to appease the MQM. Once again, the same PPP spokesperson came to the defence of the new system, and now they are thumping their chests at taking back the dual system in the wide interest of Sindh and the people of Sindh.
The MQM has also won the show by introducing and rejecting the local government system. Whenever this law was passed, the MQM took credit from its vote bank and, whenever it was rejected, the party presented itself as the sole advocate of the rights of the Urdu speaking urban section of the population and opposed the move tooth and nail without leaving the cosy corridors of power. The nationalist parties had a field day when the law was passed and became victorious when it was rejected, claiming that their struggle had compelled the government to surrender. The corporate electronic media mill received enough lubrication to continue debate on the introduction or taking back of the law.
The masses suffered in both cases; in the case of protracted and routine strikes, and road blocks, small businesses, daily wage earners, patients etc. remained hostages of the drama. Hundreds of hours of air time and thousands of pages of print media gave coverage for and against the system. The assembly, which incurs backbreaking costs to the taxpayer's dwindling income remained hostage to the local government issue for almost two years. It has become clear that every powerful stakeholder was playing its political game to grab the anti-local government vote to win hearts and minds. In addition, this big issue will provide a strong pretext to the unreliable MQM to play a counterfeit role of opposition. This is a win-win situation for both parties as they a game of pretending to be enemies and, after befooling their concerned voters, they again become friends.