Is PM Nawaz Sharif playing with fire?
Some people would disagree with the title of this piece altogether. For them the US$ 1.5 Billion injected into our economy by a close ally of Pakistan and that of Sharif Brothers is a big achievement as currently our Dollar parity has improved by at least 10% . But what they are missing to realize is that this short term bail out is coming at a cost. One thing is sure that the government wanted to wriggle out of a complicated situation by giving a lollypop to the people of Pakistan so that they can get some breathing space for critical decisions which would definitely shape not only the future of this country but more so their own political posterity .
But the polarity the nation faces where clear line of difference of opinion is being formed in this nation is exactly the line of fire our most respected Prime Minister is drawing across the nation. Politically Nawaz Sharif in my view is a risk taker where he flirts with the boundaries defined by the system we live in. Now if he challenges the system to change the status quo would be appreciated but he always have an agenda which is around himself. History has shown that all his political decisions have been around his personal financial posterity with a pinch of lust of power which he always aspires.
What in my view started as a political career to liberate his industry nationalized by Bhutto government in the 70’s by shaking hands with Gen Zia ul Haq ? It turned out to be his future as he ascertained that by staying closer to the corridors in power could make him both a financial lord as well as a strong influencer on the Pakistani politics. Well, the history is long about this topsy turvy career and have been covered in some past blogs which I have written. But the game which is in progress now; I am sure is the most difficult hand the Prime Minister and Co plays. One because the situation is really dire and Secondly there would be no second chance if it fails. Reason why he is keeping close and empowered his most trusted and shrewd lieutenants around him for the same and maybe his most penultimate political battle.
Pakistan’s dilemma apart from financial issues is three fold currently. Firstly, domestic terrorism where negotiations with Talibans have antagonized millions of Pakistanis as well as Pakistan Army which is keeping its cards close to its chest. Secondly , the changing global political situation where Pakistan may be sucked into a more sectarian polarity in the region; the government having its history is being pushed by its international friends and supporters to choose sides openly and infact take offensive positions. Thirdly , the ongoing trial of Gen Pervez Musharraf whose tenure is a benchmark for the millions of Pakistanis who live by the same memory and keep on comparing the haves and have nots since the former President left power. The trial of Pervez Musharraf and that too under Article 6 has perturbed many who are not only dismayed over the level of accusation living in a country when many who have killed and maimed Pakistanis, written letters to its enemies to thwart Pakistan, gave away national secrets, looted and plundered Pakistan and lastly have openly challenged the existence or relevance of the nation run scott free and Pervez Musharraf on the contrary has been pushed into being called a traitor just because he put his foot down on a Chief Justice who we should not forget took oath under him only to go rogue when challenged on the actions of his son. The accusations seem true today as a multimillion Rupees home is under construction in Islamabad at a Salary of a few hundred thousands a month.
Now , the centre of gravity in this whole situation is the army in all the above scenarios. Reason because I feel after loosing thousands of men fighting the barbaric Talibans they are a big stake holders and I feel are not fully onboard for the negotiations under progress. Rightfully so since the way Talibans have killed and maimed not only our civilians but our soldiers where we have seen footages of Talibans playing with the heads of our martyrs . I doubt that Army it would be easy to forget the same as a ceasefire without persecution of the perpetrators in my view would be nothing short of surrender . Second, the issue of international involvement of sectarian polarity . Again our army would be directly effected incase involved where I fear would see our Army cadres as well where both sects serve under debate and many more have coexisted in unison to serve Pakistan. I feel such decisions unnecessarily put their spirit and unity under trial .
Lastly , the case against Gen Pervez Musharraf what any one might say is not against him as an individual . The PML N parliamentarians have emphasized in many programs that they want to inhibit the urge by any patriot in the future to challenge and put a stop of mockery in the name of democracy. Whilst PPP’s Vice Chairman Asif Zardari the most corrupt President in the history of Pakistan and maybe in the world was proudly heard calling the Generals as Billa in his speech at Gadhi Khuda Bux. The case is clearly Politicians vs The Army of Pakistan. To add salt to the wounds Gen Syed Pervez Musharraf has not been allowed to go and meet his critically ill mother not only because of political ill will but ironically on the assertions of Talibans who have put that as a condition for peace talks.
I am sure that our Army and its young officers are under a lot of psychological pressure as of now. The three fronts they are under now I am sure is impeding their morale severely. Thankfully the Indian front is quiet but for how long as Narendar Modi may become the Prime Minister of India where this would mean clearly a fourth front for our Army Jawans and the nation on the near future.
Now some of these are inherited issues and some are being created. If I would be Nawaz Sharif. I would do as follows. Go for a final push against Talibans and choose to stay away from such proxy armies in the future. Stay away from the sectarian polarization and infact try to pitch in as mediators. Thirdly let Gen Pervez Musharraf go and meet his mother and infact let the steam down on the Article 6 issue as I feel that its just Chaudhary Iftikhar’s vendetta at the shoulder of our government. Last but not the least calm down things with India which I feel is going anywhere with peace overtures with Talibans nowadays and they being victims of the same in the past.
The problem is I doubt that our respected Prime Minister would do the above as he has past baggage and owe it to his own ego and his friends. The Line of Fire he is drawing through Pakistan is nothing short of dangerous and if nature take its toll the counter balancing act would be unfortunately fatal or costly for our dear Pakistan. Well lets see what happens in the next 6 months or as Sheikh Rasheed says especially April. This would define the life of this government . Otherwise, I am hearing ….. Anyways , I hope it turns out to be better for our nation. Pakistan Zindabad!