Political situation aggravating every day
Unfortunately, FM Qureshi’s warning goes unnoticed
The 11-party opposition alliance PDM’s second public meeting held in the 16-acre Bagh-i-Jinnah, Karachi, on Sunday night had some similarities and some dissimilarities with the first one staged in Gujranwala on Friday.
The Karachi rally was hosted by the PPP, the party ruling Sindh for the past 12 years, while the Gujranwala event had been hosted by the PML-N, the opposition alliance’s biggest component that governed Punjab for five terms since 1985.
Both were well-attended events, reflective of the public following of the PML-N and the PPP in their respective provinces. Thank God the shows of power came to an end peacefully.
The Gujranwala rally was addressed, through video-link, by London-based three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, in which he named some important figures who, according to him, had played a role in his ouster and promised that they would be held accountable for their misdoings.
However, there was no address by the PML-N supremo to the participants of the Karachi rally.
It was noticed that Maryam, PML-N vice-president and a daughter of Mr Sharif, did some damage control exercise at the Karachi rally apparently to narrow the gulf her party and the establishment created by her father by mounting a frontal attack on the top military and ISI leaderships a couple of days ago.
She said: “Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz salute our jawans and officers. Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz salute martyrs of our forces. Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz salute those parents who sacrifice their loved ones for the security of this motherland. It [movement of the opposition] is not against the forces. It’s our force. It’s force of every Pakistani. But yes. If anyone comes and bulldozes mandate of people under his boots then he would be criticised and resisted.”
Unfortunately, she did not come up with any denial of the serious corruption charges levelled by the NAB high-ups against the Sharifs.
The anti-graft institution bigwigs have alleged that the Sharifs used the low-paid employees of their industrial units for money laundering worth billions of rupees.
Some of the employees in question are in the NAB custody and have also turned approvers.
The PML-N leadership also missed a golden opportunity to counter the allegations levelled by the late president Ziaul Haq’s son Ejazul Haq at a ceremony in the Punjab capital on Sunday.
The rise and rise of Nawaz Sharif was because of the helpful role played by Gen Zia and Gen Ghulam Jilani Khan.
Ejazul Haq alleged that Nawaz Sharif had received the money distributed by some agencies for the success of then anti-PPP alliance IJI in the 1990 elections.
He had further alleged that Nawaz Sharif had sent bags of money to him (Ejaz), which the latter refused to accept.
He claimed that the PML-N president had sent his late father Mian Sharif 26 times to his residence with the offer to take any ministry in his cabinet – but he did not accept the offer.
He was critical of the language used by the former prime minister against the Pakistan army in his address to the opposition gathering.
Also, nobody bothered to respond to the allegations made by Dr Shehbaz Gill that former federal minister Khurram Dastgir’s father Dastgir Khan had used derogatory language against Madr-i-Millat when she contested an election against Ayub Khan in the 60s. Likewise, the allegation that Ghulam Dastgir Khan had encroached upon state land in Gujranwala to set up a filling station (removed by the PTI government) went un-responded
There is no room for any disagreement with PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman that a sinking economy can disintegrate a state. At the Karachi jalsa he cited the example of the Soviet Union to substantiate his argument.
But the PDM chief forgot that what the opposition alliance was doing at present would also deal a serious blow to Pakistan’s already weak economy. If the PTI government has failed to improve the situation – that has added to the common man’s problems - the opposition parties should have played a role in setting the situation right.
Unfortunately, the opposition parties want the government to commit more and more mistakes so that people’s problems multiply and they are left with no option but to come out on the streets. This is a selfish approach – not in the national interest.
So far, the opposition parties have been lashing out at the PTI government for surrendering Kashmir to India.
This is an irrefutable fact.
But the opposition parties have not come up with any idea what should be done to take back Kashmir from the enemy.
No leader at the Karachi rally liked to address an important warning sounded by PTI’s senior leader and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmud Qureshi.
He had said at a news conference that the PDM’s movement could derail the system but the opposition would not get anything in return.
While other leaders of the ruling party have been consistently claiming that the opposition can’t harm the system, the leader from Multan is the first one to say something different.
This is the time for Bilawal to remember that his maternal grandfather ZA Bhutto’s government had been overthrown when the then government and opposition alliance PNA were claiming that they had resolved their differences.
Imposed on July 5, 1977, Gen Zia’s martial law was in force on August 17, 1988, when the General was killed in a mysterious plane crash along with many others.
Similarly, Maryam Nawaz should bear in mind the kind of situation the Sharif family had had to face when Gen Musharraf overthrew the second government of her father on October 12, 1999.
The political situation is aggravating every day. All political parties, ruling coalition as well as opposition PDM should find a solution before it’s too late.