The General , or rather the Former General (R) Pervaiz Musharraf, now holds the office of the President of Pakistan SANS the uniform. It’s been long overdue. And now has finally happened. But what now ?
In today’s DAWN, there is a news report which quotes the President saying that he will quit if the situation worsens. He has after imposing the emergency on numerous occasions reassured the nation (or tried his level best to do so) that the emergency was imposed so that the transition to democracy will carry on as planned and without many obstacles. He has said he imposed the emergency to stop elements which were pushing Pakistan towards committing suicide. That the emergency was imposed to ensure ‘Free and Fair’ elections.
My question to this claim is that if that were so, then why is that the lift on emergency is announced immediately after taking oath ? And before the ‘free and fair’ elections ? Unfortunately, even if his thought was in the right place, this can only lead one to believe that the emergency was slapped merely to remove the Former Judiciary and stopping them from delivering a verdict not in his favor. Will that harm Pakistan ? Only time can tell.
Meanwhile, in the opposition barracks, the tussle at reaching a consensus continues. While the ‘blacklisted’ Nawaz Shariff rallies up the parties to boycott the elections, MMA has joined PPP’s stance on participating in the elections. One of the primary reasons why Benazir is keen on the elections is because she knows, all things as they stand, PPP will probably come out the winner in these elections. PML-Q will be something the nation wants a break from, including our newly retired army chief. PML-N has been played down even by Mr. Bush in Washington as someone ‘I don’t know’ and someone who might not work well in the war against terror.
So we are basically back to square one. The outgoing party thou has served it’s entire full term, under questionable performance circumstances. And it is now the other party’s turn. A ‘Wimbledon’ scenario which was quite the trend during the 90’s of Nawaz and BB.
It is however concerning that Musharraf should now choose to voice rigidness against the US. It can be a signal at anything when he says that he will step down if the situation worsens. It might mean that it’s inevitable. It might mean that his days in US’s good books are numbered. Pakistan’s popularity already is numbered when the Democrats win the next US elections (which they surely will). So it could also be Musharraf preparing for the road that lies ahead. Unfortunately these are all factors and questions the answers to which nimble minds like myself cannot arrive at. We must wait. And we must pray.
In all honesty, the way I see it, Musharraf will be working with Benazir come January. The PPP will be the majority ruling party with power sharing in other areas. MMA, I don’t know where they will fit in. PML-N almost certainly out. MQM, will continue it’s rule in Karachi, something which the PPP will have to give in order to maintain some sort of semblance.
All in all, we must pray, for whatever end.