Articles of the year 2007

All the King's Men
Published on June 15th, 2007

The President is complaining that he has very few supporters left, and what little there are, have started distancing themselves from him. Needless to say, this is a law of nature, and survival is what matters. Especially in Politics—that too in Pakistan where being on the losing side can mean long stretches in Limbo—if not jail. The 'Q' members are masters of shifting loyalties in Pakistani Politics, and are amongst the first to move. They had after all proven their unreliability factor time and again. We had registered our dismay at the onset when the Q league was cobbled together, of known corrupt commodities, but expediency won over political reforms. Musharraf could have swept the entire political assemblage into the dustbin and would have been cheered for this one deed. And he would have been worshipped by generations of future Pakistanis. Unfortunately he was immediately surrounded by the key players of the previous regimes, and most plans for drastic change were all shelved—without a struggle, so persuasive were the new advisers.

And now that Musharraf is entering the run up to the elections, and the last lap of these assemblies, he can still take control of the Nation's destiny and chart a new course. But first like a good commander he must decide the objective, and then the plan. If the plan is to bring a revolution to society in Pakistan, then he should bring the major players on to the table, all the major players, headed by Nawaz and Shabaz for of these two their Patriotism can not be doubted. While for all the others their return is qualified by certain conditions that would need serious legal 'adjustments'.( including the dropping of Criminal embezzlement of huge Pakistani funds.)

As, at the moment his Q league is more dependent on him than he is on them. The Q league players have successfully conjured up an aura of indispensability which is pure myth. In so doing they have helped themselves to huge dollops of 'developmental' funds, placed at the discretion of the Nazims. Could any robbery be more brazen? Some MNAS had surrendered their assembly seats to take up the Nazim position for primarily this reason—the money. This folly of Gen. Naqvi will be long remembered for having made the National Assembly toothless, and worse still of no purpose, for the pomp and fury displayed in the Assemblies signifies nothing without the distribution of funds. The Members have realized that, but their five years have been bought for a pittance.

Luckily for us the Army has been left in tact, and the few that were shifted to civilian positions, have stayed out of the Army leaving the parent body unsullied. What is dangerous is the continuing standoff in the CJ and Government row, with the specter of the public debate on TV becoming daily fare for all. In this battle between the Judiciary and the Government, the beaming into the households is causing a split throughout the country, and unfortunately for the Government the performances of the Government's lawyers is woefully inadequate, completely outmatched by Aitzaz Ahsan. Whatever briefing they may be giving their handlers, let me say quite categorically that the Government's lawyers are way behind on points--- and this is a view shared by all the viewing public. God forbid the Government tries a referendum on the CJ issue. Just to view the massacre on TV is sad, and made worse by the inept Ahmed Kasuri accompanied by the equally incompetent Wasi Zafar trying on the various talkshows to explain their positions--- and only making matters far worse. How does the Government imagine a decision in its favour, no matter how many rabbits the Magician pulls out of his hat.? What is worse is that the Public throughout Pakistan has already given its verdict, and for the Courts to invalidate this expression of support will run contrary to the current public opinion. And so the President should cast away from himself those doomed by their stupidity, be done with them, and hasten them on their way with a few well aimed kicks at their departing behinds. For they had no business taking us so far down this road.

All the King's men have proven themselves, and with this close brush with certain defeat, surely it is better to remove them, and start with a clean paper, and draw up a new plan, of men that are competent , and not of the self promoting types who are recipients of Gold medals, and cover pages, with columns of dubious praise, while hiding their true failures. Mr President you have given them far in excess of their abilities, and now is the time to bring in the new faces for a new vision of Pakistan.