Articles of the year 2007

The Final Touch
Published on March 19th, 2007

The conspirators it appears are winning and are determined to take Pakistan to the edge of the Abyss. And it seems that the President is being given the advice from which not only will he suffer irreparable damage, but the institutions he is relying on most may cast him aside. In every case Pakistan will be the loser for the smooth peaceful transfer of power will be yet never to be realized dream.

Starting with the arrival of the 10th September. One scenario that is emerging, is the gathering of a large crowd to receive the Sharifs at Islamabad. The Parties who are committed to the reception are the, PML N, with the JI, and JUI Fazlur Rahman, who has stated categorically that he will support Nawaz's arrival. The crowd pulling power of Imran Khan will also be thrown into Kitty, and with the Lawyer,s from their respective Bar associations, the numbers already look formidable. The firebrand speakers are practicing their lines, with Ch.Aitzaz showing the way. At the moment the President's advisers are counting on the 'Deal' with Benazir to rein in the PPP workers against participating in the rally. Do not they realize that with the talks with Benazir, the bulk of the PML Q MNAs and MPAa of the Punjab, and the Northern areas, feel used, and as echoed by Ch Shujaat are now on the lookout to align themselves with the Nawaz crowds.

Last but not least , the Punjabis love a mela, especially a joyous one. They are about to see the biggest Mela of their lives, with a cast of millions. The Musicians, hve dusted down the Dhols, and the yellow turbans and flags are already prepared. The hope of Spring is in the air.The people opposing the Sharif coming are now only the leadership of the PPP minus Faisal Saleh Hayat, Rao Sikanadar Liaquat Jatoi, and the formidable Sherpao. That leaves precious little for her PPP, when on considers that the southern Punjab is her mainstay in the Punjab, but the Sharifs have chosen the Northern Punjab for their show of strength. For this reason the MQM will not be missed, as it will be predominantly a Punjab show, and the MQM will be dealing themselves in later.

The PMLQ, of the Chaudris, have stated quite clearly their unwillingness to sit with Benazir, for they have a long outstanding blood feud with the Bhuttos, and are not about to bury the hatchet any time soon. So their supporters will present themselves in very large numbers. The fed-up factor will also be very prominent, and when the crowds are building, they will feed upon each other, with a total much larger than the sum of their parts. It will not be out of place to mention here that the Punjabis who have built up a large following for Chaudri Aitzaz, and the Chief Justice, will also make their presence more as an Anti-President factor. Arraigned against the Sharifs could be some of the secular Parties, who do not exist in that part of the world, and if any, will be part of the Sherpao party. So really the wooing of Benazir seems quite pointless in the 10th September rally. Now a million man march in Rawalpindi, may unnerve many of the people living there, and with the recent bombings could send strong signals of the weakening grip of the President, especially in the Garrison town.

Also amidst the euphoria the joy may overflow, and a situation where the mob is turned into a monster on the rampage is a chilling thought. There are many in Pakistan who would dearly love such a scenario. With enemies on our borders, and many already within the Country it is indeed a frightening thought. With the chaos in Iraq, and the Afghan problem getting further into an undeclared civil war, we are fast approaching the critical mass. It needs very little to spark a riot, and the control will be very difficult. It would be advisable not to ask for a showdown for if the Sharifs are holding a winning hand then it could spell ruin for the country. Far better to sit over Siri Payas, and negotiate. To go with the disaster courtiers is suicide—unfortunately it may already be too late.