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Pakistan: A nation let down by treachery!

Mohammad Shehzad | August 28, 2008 14:47 IST

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When the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan People's Party signed the Charter of Democracy on May 14, 2007, political pundits said this alliance was unnatural and it will not survive long.

The Charter was violated by Benazir Bhutto [Images] when she started talking to a military dictator (General Musharraf) secretly. It was again violated by her when she decided to take part in the 2007 elections instead of boycotting it. But somehow, the PPP and PML-N did not part ways. They kept on working together in the 'interest' of the country.

After the February 18 election, the two parties formed a coalition. The PPP accepted PML-N's major condition -- the non-functional judges will be restored to the position of November 3, 2007, including Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

On March 9, the PPP and PML-N signed what was declared a historic agreement in Bhurbhan (Murree) in which it was stated that the judiciary will be restored within 30 days. The PPP never kept its promise despite repeated reminders by the PML-N.

Both the parties signed another agreement in August in Islamabad [Images]. They agreed to impeach Musharraf and restore the judges within 24 hours after Musharraf's ouster. The judges should have been restored by August 19 after the resignation of Musharraf on August 18, but the PPP leadership, namely Asif Ali Zardari, reneged on its promise.

Asif Ali Zardari justified his position by stating to media that political agreements or not, the holy words of Koran must be followed in letter and spirit.

Politics is a game of lies, deception and hypocrisy. It is a game of stabbing in one's back. That was the message in Zardari's statement. No agreement in life is a written statement from Koran. But a gentleman is recognized by his words that he keeps. Now, the coalition of PML-N and PPP has split.

A partnership that forced the mighty Musharraf to resign collapsed like an edifice of sand exactly a week after the dictator's resignation. What a pity?

Musharraf was absolutely right. Soon after resigning, he made two predictions -- PPP-PML-N alliance will not survive and Zardari will never restore the judges. The nation has been betrayed once again by the politicians. It is the destiny of the nation to be betrayed by politicians and military dictators!

Senior PML-N leader Javed Hashmi said after the collapse of PPP-PMLN alliance that it was an unnatural union. 'PPP and PML-N are different since their inception. So, there is no regret on the alliance's dissolution.'

But PML-N's information secretary Ahsan Iqbal speaks bitterly about the whole episode. 'PPP reneged on its promise four times. It used our shoulders every time to bargain with the United States and Musharraf.'

Ahsan told this writer that the last agreement on August 7 was put in writing on PPP's insistence so that PPP's reputation is restored. "We gave them enough time to restore the judges after Musharraf's resignation but they flatly refused to keep their words."

Ahsan holds Attorney General Latif Khosa and Law Minister Farooq Naik for sabotaging the issue of judges' restoration.

"Khosa and Naik are political rivals of Aitzaz Ahsan and Hamid Khan, who are the main actors working for the cause of judge's restoration. They are the eyes and ears of Asif Ali Zardari on the issue of judiciary. They have poisoned Zardari's mind about Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. They have created a funny fear in Zardari's mind that if Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry were restored, he would restore the pre-October 12, 1999 government of Nawaz Sharif!"

Ahsan said that the style of PPP's governance is such as if it is the last chance for it to rule Pakistan and it will never be in power again.

PPP has also reneged on other issues. For example, it agreed with the PMLN that it will not nominate its candidate for the post of President unless the Article 58 2(b) is scrapped. The said Article empowers the President to dissolve Parliament. The PPP could have nominated its candidate only after doing away with the Article 58 2(b).

PPP's move of nominating Asif Ali Zardari for the office of president was as a decision without PML-N's consultation.

No doubts Zardari is following the realpolitik -- on the one hand apologises to Nawaz Sharif over coalition's dissolution and on the other conspires to overthrow the PML-N's government in Punjab. Punjab Governor Salman Taseer has become active in this effect.

Zardari is not the only politician, who should be blamed for committing political treachery. It is a national characteristic! A cabal of politicians, clerics and army officers has been looting Pakistan since its inception. It is just the question of turn -- whose turn it is to loot Pakistan.

One group loots it for some years and then comes the turn of the other group to do the same. The gullible masses believe at every turn that their lot is going to be changed. The leadership will learn from its mistake but things happen just opposite to their wishes.

Though in our individual life, we cannot be cheated twice by a person. We do not deal with him/her in future but politics in Pakistan is a strange phenomenon. The poor masses are always ready to be deceived by the same cabal again and again. This practice will continue until Pakistan is completely eaten up.

The political divorce of PML-N-PPP is the victory of the dictators like Pervez Musharraf [Images] and the people from his tribe and the extremist elements -- the Taliban [Images] and religious fundamentalists.

Soon after Musharraf's resignation, the country witnessed two deadly suicide attacks - one of them at Wah Cantonment, a sensitive area where weapons are manufactured for the Pakistan Army [Images] and rest of the world (for the purpose of export).

There is no respite in violence in Bajuar, Swat and Kurram Agency. Militants are killing soldiers, policemen and the civilians. The military retaliates but its target is the civilian population. Around 300,000 people have migrated from Bajaur and settled in various cities of NWFP and Punjab.

According to them, the military is killing civilians and no harm has been caused to the Taliban. All schools in the tribal areas have been torched. Students tell media that government should build new schools for them before they join the Taliban in a state of despair.

On the political front, it is just the beginning of the dirty politics between the PPP and PML-N. Both will start accusing each other. Both will fight like illiterate Pakistani people in the streets and sling mud on each other.

The undemocratic forces will gain from this intra-feud. The politicians have failed to learn the most important lesson from the undemocratic forces -- unity. The undemocratic forces -- army and Islamists -- are the most disciplined and organized forces. There is no chaos in their structure. This unity helps them to sabotage the process of change.

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