Articles of the year 2007

The Troika
Published on July 07st, 2007

The Troika headed by a new confident Musharraf, can now embark on the measures he had only planned, but held in abeyance due to the alarmists, (read opportunists) around him. He can now attend to the promises he made when he took over in 1999.

He had promised a dynamic leadership, but was thwarted early on by the need for an election strategy to assist the formation of a Q league. This is no longer necessary, for the N league having been thwarted by the MMA, which in turn has shown itself to be playing for their own special agenda. And the Mullahs making the most of their control in the two northern areas are playing the two-faced card in a highly dangerous scenario, for while encouraging their militants and simultaneously wringing their hands, with their subterfuge exposed in the Lal Masjid affair, and Ijazul Haq as an able Trojan horse, we are lucky that the toll was not higher. The damage to the Federal capital cannot be calculated, but what is more seriously required is the immediate removal of these rogue elements from the Islamabad precinct including Ijazul Haq, who it seems is pursuing an agenda not in conformity with the rest of the cabinet.The MMA in following its own agenda, can be seen as encouraging the Talibanization of our Northern areas, and worse, allow the creeping Southward of this credo. The MMA should not be allowed the space to use these tactics as a bargaining chip, and also of infecting our armed forces with these dangerous and divisive beliefs. This is the time to rectify the mistakes of 2002.

Here Shaukat Aziz should be encouraged to exert his authority, and brought to the fore. As a very successful executive in the highest ranks of the business world, he is a capable taskmaster, and should be given free rein, to bring to heel these anti-Pakistan factions, who would seek to destabilize Pakistan using their peculiar brand of Islam. The President after his election, will be in a fortunate driving seat, for the entire political canvas will be at his mercy. He can have a truly fair election, and we the voters will see the cards and the candidates fall. Without the 'angels' to help, even the MMA will find it difficult in their own MMA held areas, provide the Election Commission is provided the necessary teeth.

Ch Pervez Elahi has given support to the President and to the Prime Minister as the third member of the troika, who are working seamlessly to protect the Republic from enemies, within and without. He has kept a firm grip on the Punjab from where came the greatest support for the PMLN , and the greatest threat to Musharraf, and successfully 'removed' Nawaz, without a shot being fired. With the reputed following of Nawaz, this was remarkable. And in the third world it shows a coming of age, and astute political and administrative ability. With the success of 9/10, it is established that the Troika is working well. Under these circumstances there is no need for any demands from the PPP to be entertained, or anyone else for that matter. They will already be falling over each other to line up the Troika's support for their elections. The President can make his decisions at his leisure, without any alarmists, as have surrounded him in the past.

The other hitherto ignored area has been Karachi, where the MQM, has been making waves in the infrastructure development, in the belief that this would be the instant fix. This is not the case, and the priority is the economic/industrial sector, which is at a standstill. The CM and the Governor are lacking in the financial skills to tap into the considerable potential that is Karachi. Unfortunately neither the MQM nor Rural Sindh have the necessary men who can fulfill this important need. What is required is someone as dynamic as PervezElahi, to weave his spell in Karachi. Maybe someone as gifted as Mohd Mian Soomro, or his protégé, Hafiz Shaikh. Either man could easily accomplish what is the desperate need of the hour. No amount of politicking can work if jobs are not created quickly. This is desperately required, and can be provided by new industries. Shaukat has a deep understanding of the problem, and should address it on an immediate basis. Having come so far this is the one piece of the jigsaw that is missing, and should be put into place immediately, to convert Karachi into a Paradise for the Investor and for the Karachiite.

As far as the Hariri caper is concerned the Saudis have suddenly realized that they had also been misled, and the protection accorded to the Sharifs, was now being viewed as an illegal confinement, of a very popular leader of the largest Province, And comprising the majority of the labour force in SA. This in itself is potentially a risk the Saudis can do without. They are not the murderous Idi Amins of this world but genuinely loved, and could easily form the next Govt. Ours is not a tidy monarchy where the succession is already worked out. Here the vote an go either way. I would assume the Saudis would be happy to make amends to the Pakistani people for the affront to the Supreme Court.

Similarly, Benazir herself maybe walking into a trap, for the rapturous welcome that awaits her will be hosted by the MQM--- the sole rulers of Karachi and if she believes other wise then the Fairy tale is about to have a sad ending, followed by a strict application of the brand new Anti-money laundering bill. Regardless of the US concern, the latest mood of the people of the North will not look kindly or forgive robbery.