Articles of the year 2005

The KBD Factor
December 23rd, 2005

Before a single spade has broken ground over the now so- controversial KBD, the whole country is being polarized into for and against factions. Amongst the casualties are some of the coalitions that were fragile to begin with, and are now crumbling before our eyes. When looking at our political figures, all lightweights, in the present context except the London Pir who has read the situation correctly, and has taken the 'consensus' position, even though he is the strongest of the three leaders. All the others have come out against the dam, and at this point in time both Benazir and Nawaz cannot now endorse the dam, lest they put at risk the remnants of their parties.

The President is being ill advised—no, he is being led into a well laid trap. His coterie of sycophants has now assumed alarming control over his mindset and are insisting that he harden his position.—so the showdown it seems is inevitable. The advice being that he is the true saviour of Pakistan, and must prevent Sind from its suicidal path, and only he can deliver a better future in the shape of the KBD. The President must realize that he is the target, and the KBD is just a rallying point for the anti-Musharraf movement just that, no more no less. The same politicians who are crying themselves hoarse ar trying to seize this cry as an opportunity.

His insistence of the Uniform, and of his constituency—the army, is reminiscent of Bhutto's last days when he Declared that his 'Chair' was the true power. He was right --- the Chair stayed on, only the occupant changed. Similarly the Uniform will stay, the wearer may change. The KBD issue is to be viewed in this context, ie allowing the President to go so far out on a limb that a retreat would be impossible, ala Kargill. We must look at another more sinister factor, the ganging up of all the political factions against the Institution of the Army itself, and if this situation continues then the Army may just be forced into asking the President to step down.

The President is a good man, but the advice being given him is so obviously a trap, that one is amazed that he is following it. Good Governing means the acting and behaving in the best interests of the Nation—and of course yourself. This the President must realize now, he may have been 'led' to believe that KBD is good for the country, but certainly will not be good for him. He should distance himself from the decision itself, and abide by the majority, of the provinces, and not the major Province. Here lies the rub. For the interests of the Punjab are so heavily intertwined with the Islamabad bureaucracy that they are indistinguishable from each other, and speak as one.Hence they are opposed as one by the other three provinces.

The country has many many problems facing it, and we are being led away from them, instead of concentrating on the poverty of the masses, we are chasing a KBD whose net effects will not be felt for ten years, but may destroy the fragile fabric of our political system now. The President must now rubbish the numbers that his economists are feeding him, and change them if need be, but give results to the people that are tangible, that they can eat, and not statistics of the Bulls and Bears of the Stock market, for you may be talking of the moon. If his kids are hungry, he does'nt care if the value of Nestle water shares are up three or twenty three times. His water is murky smells and makes his children sick. Mr President your constituency are the poor of Pakistan, for they are the true power. Fight for them. They need saving from the parasitic feudals that have been ensconced into the corridors of power, whose first aim is to line their own pockets, and have a good time while they are at it. (Please note the trip to Hong Kong with 70 'friends' by HAK.) No Mr. President, you should give the KBD problem to the next elected parliament, and take up the immediate problems of the poor.