Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Aftermath of the Miscalculations of the Presidency

The Constitution Avenue, in front of the National Assembly still has the traces of the very much remembered Lawyers’ Movement against the then ruler, General Pervez Musharraf and we have a new same sort of movement waiting in the wings. The road blockers, barbed wires are still there which were put by the administration to keep the protestors away from the sacred buildings of the state. Only thing which has changed is that now these hurdles stand there in the name of security measures.

The President’s valentine gift to the judiciary, in the shape of notifications for appointing judges against the will of the Chief Justice brought much controversy. Rumours of emergency were looming around when the apex court ruled out the notifications and kicked in the teeth of the Government. This surely is a great test for the Zardari Administration to stand firm and show it still has the popular support with them which brought them to the Presidency.

The advisors to the President sure as shooting got it all wrong and triggered all the elements which were waiting to have a go at the President alone. This act has got all the guns pointing towards the President. Even though the issue is merely of a constitutional nature but the media and the politicians have grabbed the opportunity to malign the already much maligned regime by making it political.

Presidential camp can argue on the merits of their decision, which of course according to the seniority basis is correct. Another question may arise is that why the CJ wants the judges of his choice, perhaps building his own camp. This certainly doesn’t go well with the Presidency.

The repercussions of this surely will be long lasting as the previous movement had. In fact the previous lawyers’ movement was a launching pad for the removal of the then potentate. The reaction of the lawyers after the decision of the three member bench of the Supreme Court was the same as it was before. Different political parties including the second largest party in the Pakistan has indicated their intentions with full aggression.

Mian Nawaz Sharif in his press conference singled out President Asif Ali Zardari as the root cause of all the problems and called him the biggest threat to democracy. This singling out is a real statement of intent from PML-N. PML-N has been labeled as friendly opposition by many factions but the truth is that it is the PML-N, who has forced the Peoples’ Party to take these unpopular decisions.

What awaits after all this doesn’t differ from the previous situation. There will be mass-protests all around, conspiracies to malign each other. In fact Peoples’ Party has already put their foot on the accelerator and started to show their street power and they are in the mood to counter the opposition both in legal manner and also in the streets. It won’t be very easy for the opposition parties to gather the large numbers especially when the Lawyers’ leadership is scattered and divided unlike before. This time PPP has taken the bull by the horn and are in full mood to answer all the questions put at them. The ball is now in the court of PML-N to respond as PPP has made themselves very clear by showing their anger in the streets. Onus will be on PML-N to respond and it won’t be very easy for them because Nawaz Sharif doesn’t want the Mid-Term elections.

Looking into the activities and engagements of President in the last couple of months, we can easily tell that PPP was planning for all this. President was looking for the support of the masses to tackle the arrows pointed towards him. He visited two of the main provinces of Pakistan i.e. Sindh and Punjab. Gathered large number of masses and showed his stance. This time around PPP will play on the front foot and has employed the maneuver of “Attack is the best form Defense”.

This Royal Rumble between the political parties will affect the masses of Pakistan who are already plagued with load shedding of electricity, gas and shortage of food commodities. Pakistan is already surrounded with uncounted problems. These mass protests will only damage the already lingering economy of Pakistan. Price hike has killed the people of Pakistan and a new turmoil will add to the miseries of the people. These protestations will fend off the international sponsors and donor agencies from further investment as it happened last time around.

It is very difficult to conclude any positives from the current situation. Removal of one person or the old cliché “Minus One” won’t solve the problems. The problem lies in the very core of the system. The prevailing system is full of flaws. A uniform system based upon the ideology of the masses is required to solve our problems. Decisions according to the will of the people can only be taken if the system implemented is embroidered from the thread of their minds.