Politics of alliances

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Despite the fact that the Pakistan Muslim League (PML)-led government is in place for quite some time and it appears as if it is doing well on some accounts, yet the political landscape of the country still remains under a thick pall of uncertainty and confusion. Our politics, over the years, has taken many a turn. A number of alliances were forged during this span of time, most of which could only survive for a limited duration. The Model Town incident in which 14 Pakistan Awami Tehreek supporters were killed by the Punjab police has suddenly changed the political scene altogether.

PAT Chief Allama Dr. Tahirul Qadri’s return in the backdrop of these killings has ostensibly contributed greatly towards further heating up the already charged political atmosphere of the country.

Dr. Qadri claims he has come to Pakistan this time for good or for a longer period of time. In one of his statements he claimed he would remain in Pakistan, amidst his workers, till the time a new Pakistan takes birth after his ‘revolution’. While one may not disagree with what Dr. Qadri says about the incumbent system, which according to him has failed to deliver the goods. The system in vogue also does not provide panacea for the problems of millions of people of Pakistan who are forced to lead a miserable life simply because they are the law abiding citizens. The most agonizing aspect of the current system is that it only encourages mal-practices while those who want to go by the book, are relegated to the realms of obscurity.

So, there is no second opinion that this system needs complete overhauling and perhaps that is what Dr. Qadri wants. However the modus operandi he has adopted to bring about this revolution has perturbed many. Dr. Qadri himself appears to be confused as to how his struggle would lead to a revolution in a peaceful manner or without the help of armed forces. On June 27, Dr. Qadri in his statement said, he would be the first person to oppose military taking over the reins of the government. And yet day in and day out, he calls upon the armed forces to come to his rescue. Even during the plane crisis, he said he would disembark only when a high level military official, at least to the level of corps commander, comes and escorts him to his residence.

Dr. Qadri first has to improve his credentials. Those who do not belong to his party do not take him seriously for they think he is a leader who is not consistent in his vows. He first has to be sure what he exactly wants. In the recent history we can quote the instance of Orange Revolution in 2005 when the people of Ukraine filled the independence square of Kiev and sat there for months to achieve their end. They had to occupy the parliament building in order to make the incumbent government run. The question is whether Dr. Qadri can make his people sit at the D Chowk for months or till the time their revolution finally takes place?

PML Q and some other small parties gathered Dr. Qadri’s residence with a view to forge a greater alliance however the efforts scuttled simply because small parties were demanding too much. On the other hand PAT believes, these small parties stand nowhere in the given political circumstances and they need some crutches to enter power corridors. And in the present situation PAT provides them with a platform they are looking for. So for the moment it seems this alliance dream may not come true.

On other hand, PTI of Imran Khan has given final call to the government that if their demands were not met they would launch mass protests. To begin with they would gather about a million supporters in Islamabad. Now PAT and PTI are staring right in the eyes of the government putting it in a state of to be or not to be. Government’s predicament is that neither it has friendly relations with the main opposition parties nor with the military. Opposition parties may not matter however estranged ties with military may cost the government dearly.

As the PTI and PAT along with other parties seem to have tightened their nose around the government, the only way out left for it (government) is to try to take people of Pakistan on board by extending to them immediate relief such as bottling the specter of price hike; lawlessness; corruption; injustice etc. For the moment nobody seems to be on government side except those who are the beneficiaries. If anything happens to this dispensation or it is sent packing before completing its term of five years, the government itself would be responsible for that.