Yet another conspiracy?
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.