Qadri’s show came to an end when an agreement was signed with the government. It seems that the commotion was futile and the administration is victorious at the end of the day.
Whatever goodwill Dr Tahir-UL-Qadri initially gathered during the long march, the purpose of protest vanished into thin air after the agreement’s details were released. This agreement makes one wonders what was the fuss about!!
Dr Qadri is facing mounting criticism for conducting the negotiations with the regime he called “Yazidi” referring to the historical battle between Yazid and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The shot introducing Qamar uz Zaman Kaira after the agreement was a sight to behold. Only a day earlier, Kaira was making fun of Dr Qadri and the next day he was embracing the person he was mocking. Without a doubt, a day in politics is too long a period.
The government didn’t commit on two of the most important demands made by Dr Qadri.
On the dissolution of the assemblies, it was agreed that the National Assembly would be dissolved any day before the 16th of March 2013, the date its terms would end. Who knows this could be a day before the term ends. A second demand of dissolution and reformation of the ECP was also deferred to a later date, after the consultation between legal experts named in the agreement.
Pakistani media speculated for days, trying to identify the forces behind Dr Qadri’s appearance and creating havoc in Pakistan. But as per their unprofessional practice, no one provided any concrete evidence of involvement by any quarter. The deplorable practice of going on a wild goose chase must be condemned by everyone.
After the agreement, the majority of political pundits are of the opinion that Zardari and PPP were behind it to tackle the growing popularity of PMLN after its by-election success.
Rehman Malik has just floated a new idea during his press conference that the killing of MQM’s MPA was a result of MQM distancing itself from the long march. Alas, the Interior Minister always finds an excuse for his own failures by shifting the blame and diverting the attention of the nation. MQM till the last day, not only agreed to the demands of Dr Qadri but also maintained tacit support for him.
The idea PMLN was the victim of this exercise is far fetched. Even though, PMLN had benefited from their successes in the recent by elections, there is no denying that many quarters have raised their concerns about the fairness of these elections. Many news organizations have reported incidents of rigging during polls. The analysts are of the opinion that the turnover in certain constituencies was also questionable.
Recently, while Qadri’s protest was still holding the center stage, Imran Khan mentioned his own reservations on ECP’s ability and fairness to deal with the complaints lodged with it for irregularities in electoral process.
The not so productive drama staged by Dr Qadri could be both harmful and helpful to PTI. Confused!! You shouldn’t be, let me explain.
First of all, for days I was of the opinion that PTI should hold back fire and after Imran’s initial statement pointing to similarity between Dr Qadri’s demands and those made by PTI few years back, there was no need to give any press statements further.
Some PTI supporters raised eyebrows when during the sit in I opined that PTI should join Tahir-UL-Qadri, after listening to Imran’s press conference about ongoing consultations within the party.
I hope PTI had looked into all the pitfalls of the show Dr Qadri conducted. The only reasons I thought PTI should have joined TUQ at the sit in stages would have been to avoid the inevitable conclusion the drama reached.
There is no doubt this drama was conducted to hamper the chances of PTI who had been asking for a “change” in Pakistani politics, differentiating it from the ruling parties. A failure to the demand and efforts for change could result in PPP and PMLN taking their turns alternatively for years to come.
If PTI was in the discussion, they could have asked for a different outcome, for example immediate dissolution of the assemblies, and immediate resignations of the members of the ECP, two demands which Dr Qadri had failed to secure from the coalition partners.
Now the thunder from the motto “change” has been stolen by a con trick. The threat and potency of a possible “Tsunami” is damaged, if free and fair elections are not forthcoming, as desired and demanded by PTI, then what!! What steps would PTI take in such eventuality, which is bound to happen? It is in the nature of Pakistani political parties to rig the elections as old habits die hard. If PTI had decided to join the protest, it was in the position to first resist and torpedoed any “Muk Mukka” with the ruling parties’ alliance, or walk out exposing the scam. The ruling coalition (PPP and PMLN) has effectively isolated PTI in the last few days. On one side of the coin, PMLN invited all-parties conference of “opposition” parties, excluding PTI. On the other hand, the coalition parties as a group were agreeing with Dr Qadri to conclude the fake drama of “change”.
This isolation of PTI could turn into an advantage, if PTI goes on the offensive against the status quo parties. Without a shadow of any doubt, PTI workload has increased many folds by the stunt Dr Qadri pulled. First of all they have to bring themselves to the center stage, which had been occupied by them before the recent sit-in. In almost every TV talk show, we see the spokesmen of TQM on screens instead of PTI leaders.
Unfortunately for Pakistani nation, most of Pakistani journalists have allied with the corrupt ruling administration. The real change is difficult to achieve and implement, considering the nature of Pakistan society. Lack of education and implementation of law, makes the job of libertines easier. The last few years have provided them the opportunities to ring fence their interests.
It is also a test for the Pakistani nation: would they like the real change or stick with status quo parties. If they did, they can kiss their country goodbye. I am in no doubt PPP and PMLN can never bring any meaningful change to the lives of Pakistani citizens. They are in for their own selfish gains. PMLN could only increase the personal wealth of Sharifs to trillions rather than billions. After all, what good is politics if it doesn’t fill the coffers of the iniquitous politicians!
There is no doubt that PMLN is another incarnation of PPP. Soon it would be the turn of PMLN’s burlesques to plunder Pakistan to their heart contents, while Pakistanis face same hardship similar to those in the last five years.
Can Pakistanis expect any different results if they leave the “wolves guarding the hen house”!