Mar 9, 2009

Closed doors

The PPP, oddly enough through its minister for water and power, has announced an end to reconciliation efforts with the PML-N. Both parties have now gone on record with bitter attacks against each other. The PPP in Punjab is preparing to announce a final accord on government formation with the PML-Q.Things change fast in Pakistan. A year ago, Asif Ali Zardari posed for picture after picture with Mian Nawaz Sharif, as the two exchanged multiple handshakes and hugs under the unblinking gaze of TV cameras. The party that Mr Zardari now seems willing to embrace was termed the 'Qatil' League. One cannot but wonder at just how willing our politicians are to abandon principle and even dignity for the sake of power. This is something that people will not easily forgive them for. The distasteful events we see now leave a terrible imprint on minds. And what is worse, the astonishingly thick-skinned Punjab governor has hinted that, quite regardless of the fact that he is quite obviously disliked by people across his province, he may be eager to vie for the post of chief minister. Other PPP leaders of course also eye the spot, unable to disguise their desire to acquire it. Throwing the wishes of people along the wayside like a piece of discarded garbage, the slot of senior minister would under the agreed formula go to Moonis Elahi, the son of former chief minister, Pervaiz Elahi– and a man against whom multiple allegations of corruption have surfaced in the media, though it must be said that these have never been proved.All this is despicable. There are no other words to describe what we are seeing. Politicians have once more let down people in a terrible fashion. The tall talk of national unity in the face of crisis has proven to be nothing more than a lie. Are we really to believe our leaders are oblivious of the fact that their country faces extreme peril? While many foolish people exist among the ranks of politicians, an inability to realize the dangers is not the reason for what is happening. The events we see unfolding are a result of self-interest and an unwillingness to make any kind of sacrifice for the sake of national interest. The demonstration of statesmanship that we had so ardently hoped for and so badly needed has not come. More uncertainties lie ahead. The government has decided to stop the long march outside Islamabad. This will of course lead to added friction with the opposition parties supporting it. Troubled times lie ahead, and the lack of political integrity and acumen we see everywhere will only add to the storm that is being anticipated.

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