- Politics and Social Issues
Nawaz Sharif; Hopes and Realities.
"Because ordinary people have not learned how to run the ship of state. They are not familiar enough with such things as economics, military strategy, conditions in other countries, or the confusing intricacies of law and ethics. They are also not inclined to acquire such knowledge. The effort and self-discipline required for serious study is not something most people enjoy. In their ignorance they tend to vote for politicians who beguile them with appearances and nebulous talk, and they inevitably find themselves at the mercy of administrations and conditions over which they have no control because they do not understand what is happening around them. They are guided by unreliable emotions more than by careful analysis, and they are lured into adventurous wars and victimized by costly defeats that could have been entirely avoided." (Socretes)
Elections are over and Nawaz Sharif is the Prime Minister of Pakistan now. All kinds of hopes and predictions are pouring up from all sides. Everyone is waiting for the miracles, they were expecting, once the PML-N comes into power. Well, they are in power. But the question remains the same that, who has the real cartouche? The unfortunate incident or coincidence, on the very first day, of the interaction of the convoys of the elected Prime Minister and the Chief of the Army Staff, rose a lot of questions in the minds of people. These questions are important because these will decide the ultimate fate of this country and it's people. Will the Prime Minister bring the civilian supremacy? And will he be in the position of pulling this nation out of the abyss, in which it is? Will he be in the position to deliver what he promised?
All the journalists and analysts agree on one thing that most of them were expecting a hung parliament, which would have been in favor of the establishment. Some of them say that the establishment backed the PTI of IK to divide the vote bank of the PML-N in Punjab and making the government of the PTI in the KPK.
All these predictions or opinions would have been true if, only, the elections had been free and fair. Sadly, this wasn't the case. This time the plan was totally different; to give the PML-N as much power (though only in the book) as one can wish and dream for, and they did that, to convince everyone that the elections of May 11 were the most fair and free elections in the history of Pakistan, to make a ground for the future's mis-adventures of the establishment. To this point, we ignore the fact that the think tanks of the establishment think two steps ahead of the journalists and analysts of this country, being more experienced than the naive journalists and the immature media of today, in the tricky business of king making. Mr. Nawaz Sharif has been obliged with every thing, which one needs to change the destiny of a nation except, off-course the power, so he will have no excuse to cover the misconducts and the blunders, which are expected to take place in the coming five years of his rule. So the fact of the mater is that the phenomena, that these were the most fair and free elections in the history of Pakistan, has not an iota of truth in it. Rather we, may, say that the rigging was done in the most sophisticated and modern way.
The fact, keeping in view the past performance of the PML-N, is that they just develop the industrial sector of the selected class of people and have nothing to do with the development of the country or the nation or, for that matter, with the foreign policy. Their government is considered to be the most vulnerable government, for the establishment, to go with their mis-adventures without any check or balance. The reasons are obvious. Nawaz Sharif will never be a mature politician and will never learn any thing from his mistakes of the past. He is, basically, a businessman and very easy for the establishment to tackle. The very first budget, his government came with, backs this reality, more than any of his slogans and statements, that he was not talking about the welfare and development of the nation and the country, but about his family, the industrialists and the rich of the country. Mr.Prime Minister, "Actions speak louder than the words".
Looking at the budget, it does not have what the people expecting from the government of Nawaz Sharif. It does not have any relief for the poor people. The taxes are already implemented and the prices touching the sky. It seems that the great expectations, which Nawaz Sharif generated in the minds of people, are impossible for him to meet with. He should have not ignored the economic realities when he was making these Utopian promises. But then politics is what it meant to be; to win on any coast. A tiger, used to the taste of blood, will never go for grass. Nawaz Sharif was not ready to sit in the opposition, other wise every one knew the graveness of the economy and the difficulties of the foreign policy. This is a reality that the control of these things are not in their hands. The beauty of a "Puppet-Show" is that, on the front, are always, the puppets.
The figures of the budget, in a layman's eyes, are Rs. 627 billion for the Defence, Rs. 57 billion for Education and Rs. 9.86 billion for Health. The total population of Pakistan is 180 million. 63% of them are under the age of 25, the total of which comes to 113,400,000. The people who can go to school and get education can be, at least 80,000,000. The total manpower of our army, even, if we consider the reserve which is 617,000 and the paramilitary which consists of 513,000 also as the active military, is 1,434,000.
It means that we are spending Rs. 54.77 per head, per year, on health, Rs. 712.50 per head, per year on education and Rs. 437238.49 per head per year on the army. Can we afford it? Should we not, reconsider our priorities and policies? But who will? The fact of the mater is that the Geo-political position of Pakistan will not allow any one to cut the Defence budget. We have to keep in line with India abhor the question, if it is a real threat or not. The second and more important thing is terrorism. That is also related to the international politics and policies. Until this problem is solved through negotiations or power, it's inevitable to spend on that. These realities will not let anyone do something for the people . Unfortunately these are not in the hands of any national leader.
Though, some of the things which people were expecting from the new Prime Minister were that he will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That he will not be politicking only but will deliver in real sense. That he will not consider, Lahore or Punjab, the whole Pakistan. That he will, as he had promised, practically strive for the civilian supremacy. That he will give priority to a solution for the insurgency in Balochistan and the KPK. That he will develop the infrastructure to produce more opportunities of jobs. That he will accept whole-heartedly and help the opposition's rule in Sindh and the KPK to shed out the impression that he is, only, the Prime Minister of Punjab. That he will work for the development and prosperity of the whole nation, without any prejudice, as a national leader and an impartial ruler. That his philosophy of politics has been changed with the passage of time, that he has learnt from the past, that he is a statesman rather than a Punjabi politician, which he was in the past.... But, unfortunately, his style of government and his actions, taken so far, don't go with these hopes.
Rather, all these actions give the impression that the prime minister does not care for any thing but his vote bank; Punjab and a particular class of industrialists. If Nawaz is planning to ignore Sindh and the KPK to avenge the people of these provinces for not voting for him, it will be a bigger mistake than the one made in 1971. He will not be ignoring two provinces but, God forbid, two "Bangladeshes" in the offing.
The people of the KPK and Balochistan, stung by the snake of terrorism, are already on the verge of exhaustion. The grievances and sufferings of the terror-torn KPK, been totally ignored in the federal budget and the havoc taking place in Sindh and Balochistan, may, add fuel to fire. The new government should consider some facts about the volatile provinces of Balochistan and the KPK, while making it's policies. Which are:
1, That the majority of the people of these provinces are not properly educated, been ignored, in this context, by most of the previous governments, especially the Swat Valley, after it's merger in Pakistan in 1969.
2, The unquestionable strong affiliation of the people of these provinces, traditionally, with religion.
3, Keeping that in view, they are more susceptible to be abused by the TTP-like organizations to use them for their own purposes and interests, like the TTP did in Swat Valley in the past.
4, The strongly sensitive geo-strategic positions of these provinces. and
5, The majority of the fanatic leaders' influence on the people of these provinces because of their naivety, ignorance and illiteracy. Ignoring these provinces, at this juncture can be more drastic than a "Nuke", capable of costing us, not only our blood this time, but, God forbid, the survival of the whole country.
After the insurgency in the Swat Valley, the recent terrorist attacks during elections and most recently those in Ziyarat, Quetta, even after that, the same old tricky style of politics and the manipulative creepy attitude of our politicians and rulers, the phenomena of the western world, about Pakistan's nukes, being susceptible of going into the hands of fanatics and extremists, does not seem so unrealistic and impossible because a common man is not as aware as our Generals of the Army. Until and unless Nawaz start to think like a national leader, consider all four provinces a part of Pakistan, work honestly to translate his promises into actions and carefully deal with the giant of terrorism with iron hands, it looks hard for him to govern the country for five years, let alone in the future.