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May 11 in Pakistan, Hey, You Never Know…!


By Asif Jamal


A policeman stands guard at an election commission office in Quetta May 8, 2013. Pakistan’s general elections will be held on May 11. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed

AJ-Pic_1MUCH yakked about general elections are just days away.  The nation has been experiencing the desired democracy for the last five years and despite abundance of hiccups, the last government somehow finally completed the term making itself the first in the history of Pakistan under a man who once was considered the most dislike individual who in recent course of time turned out to be the utmost genius of all time and enjoying an ultimate honor of being the president.

There have been several rumors if the elections were actually going to be held and it may be postponed or even cancelled; this caretaker government will be stretched to multiple years; if Najam Sethi has taken a post in this caretaker setup then this government is for sure, extending the term beyond three months, otherwise, why would he even bother to accept a revolving door type opportunity? Recently, some quarters also guessed if military is going to take over the control or will pass the rein to president Parvez Musharraf and he will be made an undisputed leader of the country for another at least five years because on the grounds that he is tested and he knows how to control the government but all these speculations cast-out to be completely spurious and seems like May 11 is going to be the show day.

Well, thanks to General Kiani that military played a positive role, overall, and now that the nation is ready for the upcoming polls, expecting a better tomorrow versus yesterday and today under ‘whoever’ comes to power.  So to say, indeed, people of Pakistan are a great nation; they tend to forget quickly, believes in hope and move on to next and gives opportunity to another person with a hope until he proves to be an opportunist but the quest of finding a better team leader of this nation sincerely continues.

For these elections, referencing the political leaders, there are two names that emerged as a power for having large support on the ground, and they are, Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri.  They both have proved that they are working for people of Pakistan and want a better system in practice.  Though Tahirul Qadri made every sense in his statements but still his commands doesn’t supersedes Imran Khan political strength.  Imran’s political planning is seemingly working great and he has support across the board nationally and internationally or maybe it will not be an exaggeration that if anyone who is popular among the overseas Pakistanis, then it is indeed only him but this doesn’t mean, if he is going to have a landslide victory in the mainland.  Though, because of immense support from the overseas Pakistanis, he was able to obtain enough funds to launch a strong election campaign but regardless, he is going to have a tough contest against deeply rooted parties like PML-N and of course, PPP.  All others are not his really competition rather a possible alliance.  

Nonetheless he is strongly connected to the masses, and has done huge jalsas and stuff, but it is also observed that Imran Khan has not been speaking about those tough issues like land reforms as he used to pinpoint and was gravely against the feudal system.  Earlier, he was found talking about levying taxes on agriculture and those larger than life, rich industrialists and so called lords who barely pay any taxes causing severe losses to the national exchequer; also avoiding to discussing on Kashmir issue and he has even stopped criticizing military.  Perhaps, adapting to this change in his approach is a good sign that has somewhat escalated his chance to get in the race.  Nonetheless, he also understands that he cannot win a mandate but if he can pull to a degree that draws an attention, he may be able to form a coalition government under him and if not, than for sure, he can take opposition leadership position and prepare himself during the term for future.

However, amalgamated government has its own issues as during the course of time, it can fire back as well in the sense if the alliance gets into any disagreement over any issue and if gets to a point where they part ways, then this can cause fall of the government too but the success is how well the formation is being done and how generously the ministries have been given to the alliance!

So this upcoming elections has brought interesting developments as well such as rise of Imran Khan, introduction of Tahirul Qadri, end of Parvez Musharraf’s political career, escalated corruption stories of PPP government’s, Nawaz Sharif’ pardons Parvez Musharraf for taking down his government.  While, speaking of President Musharraf, God knows was really are his advisers that suggested him to come back and kept on making him believe that he is popular among the masses, form a political party and become the head of the government again.  How in the real world it was possible?  President Musharraf is a very realistic person but still he came round to his advisers who perhaps were more of an opportunist than being his sincere.  Now that his political career is over, his party is not taking part in the elections rather they are not prepared so he wisely realized and pulled out of elections whereas, election commission has disqualified him to participate in the elections for life.  Did he really believe that his arrival will bring a Khumani style revolution and everything will start to circulate around him as perhaps he thought if the nation was completely fed-up of the failed system and he was the solution but in between he over estimated his power and prevailing hovering judicial complications over him and all of that for elections and power that he enjoyed more than anyone else!

Certainly, there is something in that big house in Islamabad that compels the occupants to stay there forever, and if driven out, struggle until the possession is seized again, so Nawaz Sharif himself is in the race again for the third term, President Parvez Musharraf returned home and now under arrest pursuant to his wish of going back to that big house.  Alas, why won’t our leaders adopt a democratic culture and pave the way for others with open arms, but since this is not the practice there, so they try again and again and believe,  hey, you never know!

– To participate in this column or for comments and suggestions, you may reach the scribe via email at theamericannotebook@gmail.com & follow him on Twitter @AsifJamalNY


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