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Pakistan Politics: Corrupt Civil Dictatorship nourished by Dictator opens door for another Take over

Army must announce support for SC verdicts: 
By Shaheen Sehbai
The gloves are off on all sides. After the SC verdicts on FIA and NAB chiefs and the reserved judgement in president’s dual office case, President Zardari has decided to go after the courts, not to tolerate any more interference and to fight these legal battles politically, mainly using his strength in Sindh. 

PPP leaders have given a strike call in Sindh, the president’s righthand man Zulfiqar Mirza has publicly attacked the SC judges in a highly threatening tone, most of the rural Sindh will take out rallies against the judges and since urban Sindh, especially Karachi and Hyderabad, may not join the strike, the urban-rural divide will be further accentuated.

The [foolish, thick-headed] Sharif brothers of Raiwind have decided to go after Zardari, who they think made a monkey out of them in the last three years. In a public reversal of their stated policy of not involving the Army in political matters, the Punjab chief minister has invited the Pakistan Army and Supreme Court to a stakeholders’ conference [Nawaz Sharif  sacked in 1998, a docile Army Chief Jahangr Karamat, who proposed same]. That this invitation is but a tacit admission of Raiwind’s failure to match Zardari’s political antics and tactics is another matter.

The Supreme Court is showing renewed grit and determination to give striking judgments, which mainly hit the PPP top brass directly, be it the sacking of the FIA or NAB chiefs, both positions being key to the implementation of the previous SC decisions on the NRO or reopening of the Swiss cases of President Zardari.

This new show of spine by the SC is being interpreted in many circles as an ominous sign of other major decisions, specially in the NRO review case, the Swiss accounts issue, the president’s dual office case and appointment of judges review, if filed.

The so-called Establishment, led by the Pakistan Army, has been quietly watching the situation, seriously disturbed and concerned deep inside. It has, nevertheless, achieved what it wanted and thought was right, like the three-year re-hiring of COAS General Kayani or the latest two-year extension to ISI chief General Ahmad Shuja Pasha. It is perturbed by the failure of the politicians to govern, manage the economy, create hope for the masses buried deep under poverty, inflation and helplessness.

All agree that the country’s freefall in the political, economic, social and security domains has to be stopped first and then reversed.

But there is a reluctance and hesitation in coming out openly and addressing the root cause of the present state of disarray and disorientation — the e dismal failure of the PPP leadership because of the sheer greed, incompetence and selfishness of its top leaders.

I have been frequently accused of writing only against President Zardari, but I have been persistent in my claim, despite these objections and criticism, that he was THE problem. His track record has now proved that I was right and even Mian Nawaz Sharif has admitted he was trapped by his 32-inch smiles and very comforting sweet talk. 

The three years Mr Zardari ruled as a virtual dictator could have shaped the destiny of the nation but instead the nation remained hostage in the hands of a few nincompoops who played havoc with every institution.

In the name of democracy they threatened at every crucial juncture that they would break up the country if anyone tried to stop their free ride of loot, plunder, cronyism and adventurism.

They committed blunders in clusters, took wrong decisions and U-turns by the dozen calling it the great beauty of democracy, they ran the country as if it was their training academy where every time they commit a deliberate mistake no penalty would have to be paid. They ran the country as if it was a reality show on TV not the real world where even small mistakes take huge tolls.

Now Mr Zardari has come out in the open to threaten the country by his Sindh Card. It would be a great service to the nation if the hot air in this balloon is taken out in the next few days of protests and rallies and loud-mouths like Zulfiqar Mirza are cut to their size and put in their right places.

President Zardari will never come clean with the people of Pakistan, by accepting that he was wrong when he, for whatever reason, financial or political, accumulated wealth beyond his means, by declaring that since the Pakistani nation had elected him as its head of state he would bring all that money back and live and lead like an honest person and by admitting that he needed real help, collective wisdom, to run the country.

The events in the last few days have brought the country to a stage where the decisions will again have to be taken by the Army establishment and not by politicians. The Punjab government and the main opposition party PML-N has already asked the Army to join heads with politicians to sort out the situation.

This admission basically tantamounts to stating that as the main opposition to the PPP government, the PML-N has failed to politically stop President Asif Ali Zardari and his group of loyalists from all that they have been doing, including cheating the PML-N leadership, persistently carrying on a love-hate relationship with the MQM, buying or bullying the other smaller parties and running the show as a one-man circus with the prime minister having no say and the PPP turned into a mafia run by the Don.

The Raiwind formula has come a bit late and only the Sharif brothers have to be blamed because they were never sure of their political muscle and feared an Army comeback, never attempting to fill the vacuum created by the departure of General Musharraf and withdrawal of the Army from the political domain by General Kayani.

Yet the Raiwind formula recognises one big reality that politicians alone are incapable of running this show and taking the country to any dignified or sustainable level.

I am repeatedly reminded in this entire scenario of a famous village folk tale in which the only source of water of the village got polluted. The villagers tried everything to clean up the well but never addressed the source of the pollution. [ A pig fell in to well, they took out 40 buckets of water but did not remove the pig]

In our scenario, we have a similar problem. I have written many times that we must have a Minus-1 formula otherwise no workable structure will be possible. 

Three years of waiting have left us with the present mess which will get worse if nothing is done now. The onus has now come back on the Pakistan Army [responsible for all this messto support the judicial and democratic system to clean the polluted waters of this land. No direct intervention is needed but in the light of the Raiwind proposal, the Army should itself declare, and unequivocally, that it would support all major judgments of the judiciary, whether politically sour or sweet.

Let then the judges deal with the corrupt and the shameless. And if the disgruntled PPP in Sindh tries to create strife and unrest on Sindhi-Punjabi basis, it should be crushed with an iron hand. If this is not done now, it may be too late, very soon, to do anything about it. Mafias must be handled like they are handled all over the world. There are no political solutions for people who hold people, or a nation, hostage.
Note: Italics in bracket are not by author, butt are add ons.
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  3. 4. Cerics on march -Ayaz AmirWhat Pakistan is today, the depths it has plumbed, the failures courted, the follies assiduously pursued, have been the handiwork of its English-speaking elite classes – who wouldn’t be caught dead calling themselves secular but who, for all practical purposes, represent a secularist point of view. The mullahs have not been responsible for our various alliances with the United States; our entry into Cento and Seato; our militarist adventures vis-à-vis India; and the honing of ‘jihad’ as an instrument of strategic fallacies. This last piece of brilliance came from the army as commanded by Gen Ziaul Haq. Religious elements became willing accessories in this game but were not its inventors.
    4. Is Mr.Asif Zardari really the Most Corrupt President of Pakistan?

    Posts by Kunwar Idris in Dawn:
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    2. Political antics & governance : PAKISTAN`S parliamentarians and ideologists are both out to garner public laurels: the former for amending... Read more »
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    6. From one to nine provinces :PERVEZ Musharraf`s reported suggestion to divide Pakistan into nine provinces is as thoughtless as was...Read more »
    7. Corruption and bigotry :IF one were to identify just two out of the many factors that have denied Pakistan a respectable place...Read more »
    8. The culprit is corruption :HOW much our political leaders own or possess is left to conjecture and how they came to acquire their... Read more »
    9. The mantra of reconciliation :PRESIDENT Asif Zardari was heard pleading with the media the other day to look, once in a while, at a...Read more »
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