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Spotlight: Are we in for more of the same for another half decade?: ‘Muk Muka’ at its crudest: the Captain is right!

Hobnobbing with new found mutual admiration between the outing de facto ruler of the country for five long years and the newly elected ruler hopefully for the term of another five years is fascinating to watch!

You scratch my back …………!It would appear from the patting on each other’s back by our two top leaders – respectively in and out of power for now – that in their view there was neither anything much wrong with our governance over the last five years nor is there anything much wrong with the country today. President Zardari complements himself on having completed five years of his term (and we may add of his control over the country’s destiny) in an exemplary manner and would let his special friend of long standing – Nawaz Sharif – rule over the country in peace till elections 2018 when he would begin serious politicking again.



Speaking at a farewell luncheon in honour of outgoing President Zardari at Islamabad on Thursday‚ PM Nawaz reportedly paid tribute to the former President thus: “he is the only President in the country’s 66-year history who is leaving the office with dignity and this has become part of history” and that Zardari happened to be the only President who was being given a farewell lunch at the Prime Minister’s House. Whether that benefited the country and its people in any way is quite another matter.

Losing touch with reality We think PM Nawaz is fast losing touch with reality, perhaps as a result of the problems he is not able to overcome: problems in governance left to him as legacy by his departing friend for whom he is all praise now. How else do you explain his being apparently unmindful of the fact that his tirades ad barbs (and those of his brother Shahbaz) against President Zardari and his governance are too fresh not be recalled by people at large even without the benefit of their replay many channels would be only too happy to dig out of their archives and rescreen.

Staying on one’s throne is all?

In fact more credit would go to the occupier of an elective office if he were to resign because of failure to achieve the promised targets. That would be an honourable, exemplary decision (In western democracies it happens all the time!) rather than taking pride in merely having lasted the full term and not much to show for it! Ask victims of Drone attacks which have continued over the entire five-year term now ended, if they see light at the end of the tunnel heralding end to their misery. Ask them if anyone is looking after the rehabilitation (medical and financial) of the tens of thousands rendered destitute and debilitated physically and mentally.

Ask! Ask! Ask! Ask victims of targeted killings in Karachi if they agree that anything was done over the past half decade to provide them at least some relief from daily dread and loss of life and property. Ask shopkeepers, businesspeople and industrialists in Karachi if they got any relief from extortion and lethal attacks during the last five years now being eulogised almost as a golden period for democracy. Ask millions of flood victims if they got anything approaching meaningful relief from last year’s floods (not to talk of the current year’s more of the same) which rendered them helpless, landless, hungry and destitute and highly vulnerable to disease and death. Shall I go on?

Who and where are you, NAB Chairman? We had voiced a full-throated plea to PM Nawaz against “Playing games with crucial NAB appointment” in Spotlight only two weeks back (27 August 2013), a game which President Zardari’s government played to perfection through its 5-year term. Ask the Judiciary about how it sees the role of the government in furtherance of the rule of law in the country over the period the outgoing President appears to be so smug, self-righteous and happy about. At almost every occasion the PPP government made sure that the Judiciary would be thwarted in its attempt to root out corruption in high places in which incidentally the accused happened to be the top functionaries in the government. In another paradox cases against the Present PM and his family were not moved by the PPP government itself while it blamed the Judiciary of showing special favour to PMLN, then in opposition. This was done by dilly dallying with the appointment of an upright person as the NAB Chairman without whose orders the high profile cases could not be conducted, even initiated against anyone whether in the government or in the opposition. Now the second glorious half decade appears to have started with continued delay in the matter. So much so that the Supreme Court had to give to the PM Nawaz and Khursheed Shah the leader of the opposition a deadline (13 September 2013) for finalising the appointment.

Power transfer from President to PM Among many credits given to the outgoing ruler is the constitutional transfer of power from President to PM. Even a blind man could see that throughout the five years one after another the PMs could not move an inch without the permission of the President. One sacrificed his prime ministership and the eligibility to contest again for elective office for long years following the President’s orders and in the process running afoul of Supreme Court orders while another PM came close to being arrested.


Wajid Naeemuddin, "Spotlight: Are we in for more of the same for another half decade?: ‘Muk Muka’ at its crudest: the Captain is right!," Business recorder. 2013-09-10.
Keywords: Political science , Political issues , Political parties , Political leaders , Political change , Political crisis , Targeted killings , NAB Chairman , Democracy , President Zardari , PM Nawaz Sharif , Khursheed Shah , PPP , PMLN