|Track leading to Wali Kandhari shrine in Hassan Abdal|
|The Packages Mall, Lahore|
|Track leading to Wali Kandhari shrine in Hassan Abdal|
|The Packages Mall, Lahore|
Following post may serve as analysis of Mr Trump's speech, Thanks, but no thanks, Mr Trump:
Following forward for Pakistan is suggested:
* Regardless of threatening posturing by Mr Trump, we need to focus & guard our own interests in the region, because his was just rhetoric. US strategy in Afghanistan may be evaluated from issue to issue basis as when they happen. This will allow us to see the difference between caliberated, intimidating and formal speech & follow up actions.
*Preferably, make peace with less threatening neighbors like Iran & Afghanistan. Reach out.
* Secondly, if possible negotiate with India or at least show intent for it. This may reduce threat from the Western borders. Political govts on both sides play mutual hate card in line with their short term political gains.
*Better relations with Afghanistan & involvement in its affairs to form a consensual govt are crucial. Afghan Taliban card needs to be played adroitly to remain relevant in evolving regional power matrix.
*China factor is our plus but it also figures out as source of our current problems. Balance has to be drawn from being once US backed frontline state in GWOT to being declared a terror harboring country after giving 70k plus life toll to being a Chinese colony. We matter thats why every big player in the world has interest in our geography and military strength. We should play on our strengths.
*Favorable Russian stance after Trump speech also needs to be evaluated against interests of Pakistan. We should tailor this support to our advantage instead of becoming a tool of Russia. We should learn from our mistakes of previous breakups with US. Big boys need you as long as they need you. No friendships only interests.
* Gain in on already a respectable status among Muslim countries. Political leadership for once has to take reins to safegaurd Pakistan's interests.
*Bring own house in order and renew social contract with people of FATA and Balochistan through education & equal economic opportunities.
*Strengthen institutions. Army is strong institutionally, simply bcoz its independent in its decision making. There might be grey areas but leadership keeps rotating & institution keeps getting stronger. Do Pakistan a favor, instead enslaving institutions, set'em free, make'em independent. For example, if our Foreign Office was a 'free' instituion, it must have had number of options prepared before Trump's speech & they should have immediately responded & would have guided govt on way forward. Freeing institution will only strengthen the govt.
*Involve public through electronic media debates. Make parliamentary committees for negotiations and dialogue, giving them briefing through foreign office.
*Govt should step forward and take full responsibility of ongoing operations along with Army. Instead of ISPR, information ministry to take charge & defend Pakistan's interests instead of its party leadership.
|Flow of Blood Dollars from US to Pakistan over the years|
|Terrorism related casualties in Pakistan over the years|
We cannot afford to bask in the glory of a court judgement for too long. Its not destiny. We may want to abort the victory lap and get on with the business end. There is some serious catching up to be done. Many political miles to go before we could cherish anything.
True that politics is not a highly regarded profession in a country like ours. The word 'politics' does not have a positive air about it. It generally refers to dubious situations like office politics, family politics, political point-scoring, political mileage etc. However, politics is an abstract thing in itself. It becomes what we make of it. Our attitude towards politics shapes its contours & sets the tone. What is the need for it? There is a big need. Politics & decisions taken by politicians determine how we live our lives. It affects every single one of us. It affects our generations. Being divorced to politics would mean being divorced to our own & the future of our generations.
Our current situation clearly shows that both people and politicians have misconstrued real spirit of politics. Both are deeply embroiled in pursuit of their short term goals. People are pre-occupied with bread-winning & politicians are in a great hurry to make hay while the sun shines. Hence, there is mistrust. Politics has become a shabby business. Politicians when elected become law-makers. This is when politics becomes the best way to serve humanity. It even betters philanthropy. Philanthropists fill welfare voids in a society, whereas, politicians, if they work honestly would not let those voids to take root in the first place. To be more precise, good politics would not leave any room for philanthropy in a society.
This write-up may appear as an academic exercise but as long as we don't grasp real spirit of politics, we may never see its fruits. PTI sympathizers would be expecting a pat in the back for toppling Nawaz Sharif but replacing him with Shahbaz Sharif hardly changes anything. Backstage, Nawaz Sharif will continue to run the puppet show.
Nontheless, appointment of Shahbaz Sharif is a smart move. Though, Nawaz Sharif would have done it with heavy heart as he wanted Mariam Nawaz to succeed him yet Shahbaz Sharif was the best choice for damage control in given situation due to his pressure group with likes of relatively credible Ch Nisar & highly 'incredible' Rana Sana Ullah. It would not only prevent party from fragmentation but would also help restore some political mileage unless PTI wins NA-120 by-elections.
How will PTI win? PTI has no party structure in place to carryout constituency politics. PTI has social media showing consisting of virtual tigers. They exist in cyber space only. There are no real workers on ground. PTI workers from 2013 elections have either left or are angry with its way of working. Select few opportunists with past affiliations of other political parties know how to work i.e. look busy do nothing. A very small minority of sincere change mongers are dishearted and considering other options.Nobody paid heed to their voice. If a senior party worker like Naz Baloch leaves, instead of addressing her concerns, IK declares her 'useless'. Since last election, party tickets have not been alloted on merit. Anyone who had access to PTI hijackers including Jehangir Tareen, Shah Mahmood Qureshi or Raja Sarwar were given tickets, hence, PTI lost political mileage. The political space created out of MQM's demise in Karachi was occupied by PPPP. Next elections, PPPP may return to legislative assemblies with stronger mandate because PTI has zero party structure in Sindh. Balochistan is also devoid of PTI presence. KPK is a politically volatile province. No work is done in south, resultantly, Maulana has made good progress there. Holding on to its existing mandate in KPK will be a real challenge. Punjab will still remain a tough cookie for PTI. Those who voted for Nawaz Sharif last time already knew what he was made up of. Again PTI has no real showing in south of Punjab. Few PPPP dissident electables will not change fortunes of PTI in rest of Punjab. Remaining months in power, Noon league will come up with her own political narrative. They are likely to work their guts off under Chhotay Mian. At best Punjab would be 50/50 split between PTI and Noon.
Under the circumstance, despite Nawaz Sharif's exodus from PM House, in next general elections, political landscape of the country is not going to change much. A hung parliament is in the offing where PPPP & Noon nexus seems most probable for making government in center.
The 'change' promised by IK seems a distant reality. May be his personal grudge against Nawaz Sharif has been satisfied but any significant 'change' remains a fallacy. People were longing for changing so bad that they didn't hesitate riding false wave of change IK promised them. PTI has no workers because it has no political ideology. It thrives on charisma of IK. Like other political parties, PTI revolves around its founding leader. There is no leadership in the pipeline. If he is disqualified (which is likely) or removed from center-stage, PTI will crumble faster than a house of cards. Who will lead, Qureshi sb? Then who all will follow him? PTI's political longevity depends upon IK's political relevance. We need better alternative to growingly stereotype politics of IK even if it involves cumbersome process of raising a political party. Because, once kindled, the hope for change should not die. Its time for greater silent majority of this nation to break the ice. This circus they all call politics must stop. It may take a different course. Pathway to change is not through Bani Gala photo-shoots. It will come through good quality politics. We need to raise the bar. We need to change our attitude towards politics. For us to restore our identity, politics needs to be played in its true spirit where it overtakes every virtue & every form of worship. No change is as wholesome as change affected through politics.
Leave your comments, please.
Only Allah knows the whole Truth.
Conscious choice of succession is always a critical point in the game of thrones.
This term, besides NS' desire to marginalise 'every' institution, he had another issue at hand, selection of his successor in politics. Although, he would have liked to continue active politics for as long as he could, yet eventually or in any eventuality, someone had to take reins of the party. Along came Panama Case which took birth out of thin air and significantly reduced his propects of continuing active politics. His political survival hinges totally on Supreme Court's decision on Panama Case. Proceedings at JIT took them by surprise and shook the lazy arrogance of the Royal Family. Not a pleasant surprise though.
Regardless of the outcome of the case, the 'succession' had to be planned. It had to be planned well before time. Since, party is 'owned' by Sharif Family, none of the ministers or kitchen cabinet members could be trusted with this privilege. In order to create a lasting family legacy, heir to 'Jati Umra's throne was to be selected. But the choices were limited. Both Hassan & Hussain were aptly managing the affairs of Empire outside. Inland interests were being well served through 'growing' business and their financial mastermind & uncle, the Finance Minister. Son-in-law had already become a liability. Looking outside his immediate family, NS would have had found his brother and nephew. A brother who stood by him in hope to finally become PM of the country. Advertantly, baton could not be passed to Shahbaz Sharif as it may make NS & his off-spring irrelevant to power matrix. Among given choices, with NS' acumen and self serving style of politics, his obvious choice was Maryam Nawaz.
Once earmarked for the job, the training & exposure began at the start of current term. She identified active media use (or abuse) as her main weapon. She flooded social media with her own photo-shoots. Though, her youth was far behind her but her apperance grew in much greater proportions for a relatively young grand-mother. If posing for camera could get any political mileage then beauty peagents would have produced all the successful political role models. In which case, political institutions could have taken a leave of absence. Instead of following Mian Sahb's time tested method of buying out journalists through 'lafafa' or giving advisory roles to journalists or offering them positions in PCB hierarchy, she opted to form her own 'media cell'. She continued to make her presence felt through some antagonizing tweets. Maryam Nawaz also chose to play her version of Mera Sultan. Her ambition to make an impression resulted in mis-adventure of Dawn Leaks. Albeit, she was 'bailed out' but she developed a habit of over-stepping her role thus making more enemies than friends. Her adventurism at electronic and social media turned in to misadventures. She gave an impulsive, unprepared interview to Sana Buchha which followed her brothers' 'Alhamdolliah' interviews on off-shore companies followed by NS' caliberated yet technically flawed address to Parliament on Panama Issue, has brought them in to face the law. Their unease with JIT was reflected in frustrating press talks outside Judicial Academy. Post JIT talk of Maryam Nawaz was being dubbed as a dabbang entry in to politics. Her crammed up talk abruptly finished without taking questioned. Even an old maid at their estate could have read a piece of paper like that. Optical politics is out of fashion now.
Not that 'suuccession' decision was wrong, it just came at the wrong time. At the same time, Maryam Nawaz except her bloodline had nothing to show for. Instead of becoming a force multiplier to her 'father's vision', she had already become a drag on Noon League's politics. A decision which was a necessity but may never see fruition because her direction was all messed up. Another dilemma with such egoistic brats is that no advisor is good enough for them nor would they pay any heed to council.
Lately, lady luck is not singing to the tunes of Nawaz Sharif. Since party is called PML Nawaz League, its survival is conditional to political relevance of Nawaz Sharif himself. Noon League, like a house of cards, may also collapse soon after an unfavourable verdict. It is highly unlikely that Noon League may resort to some introspection. Instead, they seem firm on propagating 'conspiracy' as a counter political narrative which may help retain diehard noon voter. But, on legal grounds, writing is in on the wall, it is just a matter of time.
Only Allah knows the whole Truth.