Does democracy face a threat?

Published: 12:56 PM, 2 Nov, 2020
Does democracy face a threat?
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The confrontation between the ruling PTI and the opposition alliance PDM is intensifying every day as a result of which no one is in opposition to say what is in store for the country.

Senior journalist Mujibur Rehman Shami has quoted in his column senior anchor Kamran Khan as saying in a video message that democracy faces a very serious threat.

Since Kamran is a well-connected journalist and has sources both in the establishment and political parties his warning cannot be ignored.

But the question is: Who will be held responsible in case of such an unfortunate development?

The answer is that the opposition and the ruling party will have to share the blame.  

They have brought the country to this point.

The main character behind this tragedy will be former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who has been ensconced in London for about a year and despite being summoned is not willing to return to Pakistan to face allegations against him. He is a convict and is required to serve his remaining term in jail.  

Progeny of the military establishment, the industrialist-turned-politician has created a difficult situation by targeting the military and ISI leaderships. Most of his party leaders are parroting the same narrative, insisting that they are behind their leadership, no matter what the consequences.

These leaders are claiming that the Imran government will be out of power before the end of the year (in two months).

On the other hand, the government functionaries claim that the fugitive ex-premier will be brought back from London before January 15 after which he will have to face cases against him.  

The legal procedure for the repatriation of the three-time former prime minister has already been started, although opinions differ on the outcome of such efforts.  The PML-N circles claim that since there is no extradition treaty between Pakistan and the UK, it may take years for these efforts to get some results. However, the PTI ministers are confident about the success of their efforts according to the timeline given by them.

Whatever the result of the ongoing power game, the country as well as its people will get nothing.

They have been suffering in the past and they will continue to suffer in the future.

While the future direction of the country will crystallize in the weeks and months ahead, the PML-N also faces a serious threat to its unity.

Already, president of Balochistan chapter of PML-N, Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, has started consultations with his friends to hammer out his future course of action.  He is scheduled to meet his friends and relatives on November 7 to take a final decision  

There are strong indications that he is thinking of quitting the party because of the new stance of Mr Nawaz Sharif. In an interview, he said country’s interests are more important for him compared to the party interests.

In his opinion what former prime minister is saying in his fiery speeches is an attempt to ruin the military discipline, something unacceptable for the former general, who remained a minister in the Nawaz Sharif cabinet.

His decision will be a setback for the PML-N which is already very weak in Balochistan.

While the PML-N adherents are known for changing loyalties in difficult times, this time it will be a new experiment.  

In case the party stalwarts stood behind the former prime minister despite all pressures mounted by the government, the PML-N would emerge as a party with a new character.

Otherwise, people still remember how most of the PML-N people had joined the PML-Q after Gen Musharraf overthrew the Nawaz Sharif government in October 1999.

Superfluous to point out that already some PML-N MPAs are bitterly criticizing Mr Sharif’s narrative against the army leadership and are ready to quit the party.  A legislator from nearby Sharqpur, who is also respected as a spiritual leader, said that the statements of the former premier show that he has also contracted some mental disease.

The regional situation is very bad. The Pakistan army should be allowed to focus on its professional duties. The political parties should settle their differences among themselves. Otherwise, everybody will be repenting.

Categories : Opinion
Ashraf Mumtaz

The writer is the Deputy Editor of 24 Digital.