Political Parties Complain about not Receiving Level-Playing Field in the Elections
As the elections 2018 are drawing closer, the woes and cries of political parties are also gaining momentum simultaneously. The gaining popularity of Imran Khan and his party has stuck like a bone in the throats of the competitors, after he successfully achieved his aim to bring down the corrupt leadership of PML-N and was able to get Nawaz Sharif and daughter, Maryam, behind the bars.
Now two types of stories are prevalent among the public; according to one narrative Nawaz Sharif and his family have looted the nation and created their own assets with people’s hard earned money and therefore deserved to be booted out of the office and contained in a cell. People have become fans of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Chief Justice and the NAB for ultimately initiating the process of accountability as democracy without responsibility is plain lame. It has also been observed that the motivation and vigor the workers of PMLN had a few months ago has also extinguished to quite an extent realizing that they had been serving dynasticism under the covers of politics.
The other story is somewhat different. In fact, it is an exact opposite version of the former. People who still have hoped with PML-N and its leaders believe that Nawaz Sharif fell prey to a pre-planned propaganda of the non-democratic stakeholders, who wanted to overthrow Nawaz Sharif in order to reverse the 8th amendment that restricts the Military to its lawful, constitutional role only. It makes military intervention in the governance as well as in the parliament, impossible. Therefore, the establishment, when it saw the gaining popularity and influence of the Nawaz league in the country post CPEC agreement, it decided to dissolve his premiership and completely sideline his party.
It is debated if Nawaz Sharif has been heard and tried in the courts, why the former bureaucrats or the ex-president General Pervez Musharraf is summoned by the SC? Why doesn’t NAB open up the cases of corruption against General Musharraf? Asif Zardari and others have been put on the ECL and they will be soon marching to the courts for their trials in cases of corruption and bad governance, but the judiciary and the accountability courts turn a blind eye to the fraudulent military incumbents.
This has given quite a heat to the overall political environment of the country. The factors, either true or just rumors, are definitely pointing towards the involvement of establishment in the elections that are expected to take place on July 25th.
It appears that the agencies are working relentlessly to clear the grounds for the PTI to win the elections this year and form a puppet government that is obedient enough to comply to the orders of the non-democratic stakeholders of the state. Even Musharraf, in an interview with Javed Chaudhry has expressed his interest in joining hands with Khan if deemed necessary to completely and permanently wipeout the corrupt leadership of Nawaz and Zardari from the politics of Pakistan.
Since Zardari has been listed in the ECL, PPP is also moaning about missing Level Playing Field and involvement of establishment in destabilizing democracy in the country by engineering politics and favoring Imran Khan and his party.
Does this mean that establishment is actively working to form a coalition between Imran Khan and Musharraf to exercise dictatorship under the covers of democracy?
On the other hand, it might be true that people have lost faith in the N league since Nawaz Sharif was convicted of money laundering, offshore companies and unexplained ownership of assets that exceed his total income. The massacre of the workers at the Model Town Lahore, the sinking of metro bus in a road in Multan, the inundated roads and streets of Lahore during the Monsoon this year definitely indicate that the government was only making short-term fixes to win people’s hearts. But everything was exposed naturally as soon as the PMLN tenure came to an end. The politics in Pakistan, especially the governance works like termites. People think that their taxes are being utilized in development projects but the reality of the performance uncovers only after they witness the end results. Just like the wooden door looks amazing and no one can tell if its infected with termites, unless and until the door comes down one day.
People did enjoy getting laptops from the CM Shahbaz Sharif, students couldn’t thank enough to the hero of Punjab for sending them to China on scholarships. But the lack of awareness is very deadly thing if you realize. People forget that the leaders they are thanking for the benefits aren’t spending out of their own pockets. It is your own money that you have paid in the form of heavy taxes. You are not obliged to be grateful to these rulers because in true democracy the government is a servant to its people and it is its responsibility to take care of the public at all levels. But unfortunately in a country where political parties engage in patronage and buy electables instead of spending money on education, blind following is easy to purchase; votes are easy to buy.
Another reason why PMLN whines about the involvement of establishment in the victory of Imran Khan is because believe it or not, the public has left Nawaz and his party. They have said their farewell to the biggest political party of Pakistan. the lack of public support is evident from the rally PMLN carried out on 13th July in order to welcome their triumphant leader on the Lahore airport. The party had to request the MNAs and the electables and the patrons to arrange people for the rally. There was hardly any crowd that took to the streets to show its loyalty to Nawaz Sharif. Even Shahbaz Sharif and his convoy couldn’t make it to the airport to welcome his brother before NAB shifted him and Maryam to Adiala Jail.
Uzma Bukhari, a known leader of the PMLN, complained in an interview that their rally wasn’t broadcasted. Media was prevented from giving their rally a fair coverage and the Punjab police used tear gas shelling to avert the convoys from proceeding their march. But the poor lady completely forgot, how the same Punjab Police, on the orders of Shahbaz Sharif didn’t use gas shelling but fired directly with bullets at the PAT workers, killing 9 and injuring more than 100 civilians.
Uzma Bukhari also stated that the welcome rally in honor of Nawaz return was flood of people and formed a long trail, starting from one end of the city and ending at the other. But because of the hurdles the workers couldn’t make it to the airport on time. She even compared the rally to that of the PPP that was witnessed by the world when Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan after her long exile. Unfortunately, we have some real ignorant people in our political parties that boldly claim themselves as leaders. They lack information and don’t understand that oranges cannot be compared with apples. Uzma Bukhari must think twice before comparing Nawaz with Zulfiqar Bhutto and their so called rally with that of PPP.
First, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a victim of brutal dictatorship and was imprisoned for voicing his opinions and saving democracy. Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Captain Safdar are behind the bars because of corruption, money laundering and forgery.
Secondly, when Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan there were approximately 30 to 40 lakh people on the streets marching towards the airport to welcome their highly respected leader. At that time, the total population wasn’t more than 50 lakhs so it would be safe to say that almost entire Lahore took to the streets to welcome Benazir and showed utmost love and affection. On the other hand, the rally that came out on July 13th comprised of more than 10,000 people according to the PMLN sources and they still call it a success. Today, the population of Lahore is 1 crore 11 thousand people and out of that only 10,000 managed to join the rally for their most revered leader? It is insane to compare your campaigns with that of Benazir’s and comparing Nawaz with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
The PMLN might be under pressure and it would be hard for them to digest that they have lost the grounds for competing in the elections 2018 because of their own bad governance and immoral conduct. They shouldn’t complain about missing Level Playing field and accept the fact that dynamics have changed significantly, and people have become more politically aware and they now take more interest in their country’s affairs.