Time to wake-up

 The country is heading towards political, economic and security disaster. Its very existence is at stake due to corruption,bad governance and terrorism as well as owing to the US and NATO activities in and around Pakistan. A historic responsibility , therefore, devolves on PML (N) to rise to the occasion and play its due role in keeping with the constitution and democratic norms to turn the situation around.
____________________________________________________________________
M Ashraf Mirza ( Pakistan Observer )

Sharif brothers have threatened to resort to long marches if the federal government doesn’t mend its ways of governance. Nawas Sharif has demanded of President Zardari to apologize to the nation for illegally siphoning off the national wealth and to bring back the money stashed in Swiss and other foreign banks. Shahbaz Sharif has demanded that the orders of Syed Deedar Shah’s appointment as NAB chairman be rescinded otherwise his party will be compelled to opt for another long march. All this sounds good but the question is whether the PML(N) leaders are really concerned about the inevitable in the grave conditions prevailing in the country. Are they also serious about the national obligations as the major Opposition party in the Parliament? In view the past record of the PML(N), the threats, however, do not appear to be different from its conduct of ‘friendly opposition’. It’s just rhetoric and is more a friendly fire than a serious move to confront the federal government. And it’s apparently because of its fear of retaliation in the form of destabilization of the Punjab government.
Irrespective of Nawaz Sharif’s justification of his support to PPP following February 2008 general elections in the name of democracy and his silent and persistent swallowing of the broken promises by Asif Zardari for the illogical logic to avoid democratic government’s destabilization, he certainly cannot escape responsibility for the political, administrative and economic mess that the nation finds itself in today. By silently watching the unabated political and economic deterioration that the nation is drifting into, the PML(N) has, in fact, proven itself to be equal partner with the PPP in the country’s abysmal scenario. Its leadership’s inaction in the backdrop of frequent bragging and rhetoric has, in fact, emboldened Mr Zardari to act whimsically and arbitrarily on vital national issues in utter disregard to the national interests. The truth is that Nawaz Sharif had committed the first and major blunder after the elections when he let the PPP have federal and provincial governments in three provinces along with presidency and governors despite being a minority party in Parliament. He even failed to object to Mr Zardari’s assumption of office of the President despite being PPP’s co-chairman. What the country is enduring today in the form of political chaos, economic turmoil, bad governance, corruption, government-judiciary confrontation, distorted international image etc., are the obvious consequence of this blunder coupled with its disgusting conduct of ‘friendly opposition’ in the National Assembly. It’s ironic that the PML(N) continues to cling to the Charter of Democracy as a ‘divine scripture’, while Mr Zardari has been trampling it underfoot day in and day out. The truth is that the nation is fed up with PML(N)’s passive role in the national politics. True that Pakistan’s political affairs are generally Washington guided and oriented, yet the nation expects a leader of his stature to rise to save the country from breakdown.

 The PPP government has raised the charges of utilities including electricity and gas from 50 to 80 per cent over the past two years, cost of living has soared up unprecedentedly, billions of rupees are being siphoned off by Toms, Dicks and Harrys in the government, PPP leadership is treading the path of confrontation with the Supreme Court whose important decisions especially the one pertaining to the NRO and reopening of Swiss money laundering cases against Mr Zardari are not being implemented, a state of total insecurity prevails all around and life has become miserable for the people, but the PML(N) is silently watching the ugly spectacle of national degeneration. It has failed to build desired pressure to make the government mend its ways in the supreme national interests.
There is a strong perception in the country that Nawaz Sharif has stubbornly and calculatedly blocked every effort for a patch up with PML(Q), which is the third largest party in the National Assembly to let Mr Zardari comfortably plunder the country. A patch up between the two parties would conveniently turn tables on PPP. Why does he want to keep Shahbaz Sharif confined to Punjab province perpetually? It ought to be mindful that the strategy to let the PPP complete its constitutional term in the hope that it will lose its popularity due to its failings on multifarious counts and the PML(N) will once again win two thirds majority in the National Assembly in the next elections is fraught with many a pitfall for the country. What will be left of Pakistan if it was allowed to be devoured by the parasites for two and half years more? It’s time for Mr Nawaz Sharif to ponder and ponder seriously and prudently.
The country is heading towards political, economic and security disaster. Its very existence is at stake due to corruption, bad governance and terrorism as well as owing to the US and NATO activities in and around Pakistan. A historic responsibility, therefore, devolves on PML(N) to rise to the occasion and play its due role in keeping with the constitutional and democratic norms to turn the situation around.

True that Gen Kayani is mindful of the significance of democracy for Pakistan, but the political leadership owes it to the nation to ensure that an inevitable situation is not created. Understandably, the PML(N) leadership is opposed to military dictatorship on more than one count. This makes all the more necessary for it to act with a sense of urgency and discreetness to avoid disruption of democracy before it’s too late. It’s time to wake up. Let Pakistan not the politics be the epicenter of their activity.

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