Yet an­other con­spir­acy?

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - Ma­lik M Ashraf Email: ashrafazim2000@ya­

THE op­po­si­tion leader Khur­sheed Shah speak­ing at a talk show on a pri­vate TV Chan­nel said that the Dharna’ by the duo of Im­ran Khan and Dr. Tahir ul Qadri was scripted, which means they were do­ing some­one else’s bid­ding. So also said the for­mer COAS Gen­eral As­lam Baig in his ar­ti­cles writ­ten dur­ing the sit-ins. The state­ments of Javed Hashmi and the brother of Shah Mehmood Qureshi also al­luded to the same re­al­ity. And above all, the way the things rolled out dur­ing the sit-ins also had the trap­pings of a grand de­sign to desta­bi­lize the govern­ment.

Now when the op­po­si­tion and the govern­ment are locked in a dead­lock over the fi­nal­iza­tion of the TORs for the Ju­di­cial Com­mis­sion to probe Panama Leaks and the op­po­si­tion par­ties are threat­en­ing to take to the streets, par­tic­u­larly the PTI, the Canada based cleric has re­turned for the third time to con­trib­ute his bit to rock­ing the boat of democ­racy. His pre­vi­ous home­com­ings have been dis­rup­tive to say the least. The ques­tion is that if he is so ap­palled by the con­di­tions back home and wants the things to change for the bet­ter as he never tires of claim­ing then why does he not stay back, re­nounce his Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship and be­come a full time politi­cian?

As per the Supreme Court de­ci­sion on his pe­ti­tion re­gard­ing the dis­so­lu­tion of ECP when he came dur­ing the PPP regime and had a sit-in at Islamabad, he is not en­ti­tled to do pol­i­tics in Pak­istan be­ing a dual na­tional. But it is strange that no ac­tion was taken to stop him in his tracks and cast­ing his evil shadow on the Pak­istani pol­i­tics. PAT is de­cid­edly a cult. He has a good fol­low­ing in the coun­try and it is not dif­fi­cult for him to gather his diehard sup­port­ers and cause dis­rup­tion in the civic life. But it is also a fact that he can­not trans­late that fol­low­ing in any elec­toral vic­tory on the na­tional level.

He prob­a­bly knows his worth in that re­spect and his men­tor are also aware of it. That is why he is be­ing used to cre­ate chaos in the coun­try. The model Town episode which in­deed was a re­gret­table in­ci­dent, was also a se­quel to the de­fi­ance of the state au­thor­ity by the PAT work­ers and in­flam­ma­tory speeches made by him.

His ar­rival at this crit­i­cal junc­ture, as most the po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tors and peo­ple be­long­ing to the in­tel­li­gentsia feel, is not for seek­ing jus­tice for the vic­tims of Model Town Tragedy but prob­a­bly he wants to start again from where he left, as scripted by his men­tors. Will he join Im­ran like in the past or there will be more play­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in this game can­not be pre­dicted with cer­tainty.

But one thing is cer­tain that a con­spir­acy by the anti-demo­cratic forces is cer­tainly in the off­ing, as sug­gested by the turn of the events, to have yet an­other go at democ­racy with the ex­plicit pur­pose not let it take roots in the coun­try. That is typ­i­cal pat­tern that has been wit­nessed when­ever elected gov­ern­ments are in place. Politi­cians play­ing in the hands of the hid­den forces to scut­tle democ­racy.

If the coun­try has to move for­ward, the trend will have to be re­versed. The politi­cians must avoid to do things which strengthen the hands of forces in­im­i­cal to democ­racy. They need to show vi­sion and com­mit­ment to pro­mot­ing na­tional causes and well be­ing of the peo­ple by strength­en­ing democ­racy and stop pol­i­tics of self- ag­gran­dize­ment. Cor­rup­tion in­deed has been the bane of our so­cio-eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. The coun­try needs re­forms in the sys­tem of gov­er­nance and the way we elect our rep­re­sen­ta­tives. That in­vari­ably should form the agenda of the politi­cians instead of try­ing to em­bar­rass each other. Yes cor­rup­tion needs to be tack­led on pri­or­ity ba­sis. But instead of witch-hunt as is be­ing done now and has been done in the past, we need a fool­proof mech­a­nism on per­ma­nent ba­sis, may be an anti-cor­rup­tion com­mis­sion, which takes care of cor­rup­tion with­out the in­ter­fer­ence of the govern­ment and covers all kinds of cor­rup­tion, not just the off­shore com­pa­nies.

Is it not iron­i­cal that all the par­ties who are sali­vat­ing for the ac­count­abil­ity of Shar­ifs also have myr­iad of skele­tons in their own cup­boards and the echoes of some of the cor­rup­tion done by their lead­ers are still res­onat­ing across the coun­try?. They are rais­ing the hue and cry over the Panama Leaks know­ing well that noth­ing will come out of it even if the Com­mis­sion is formed be­cause of the le­gal im­ped­i­ments. — The writer is free­lance colum­nist based in Islamabad.

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