PPP and PML-N have been ruling the political scene for more than two decades now. During this time both have played a role of opposition in the federal capital.
However, unfortunately, both PPP and PML-N have concentrated their efforts towards undermining the other party rather than solving real issues. This has not only shattered the trust of common man on politicians but has also given dictators a chance to bulldoze democratic process.During the recent times, Pakistan has faced numerous problems not only on external front but also internally. Pakistan’s problems have mounted during the last 4 years with power shortages, dwindling economy and above all an ever present opposition, which prefers to score political points rather than join hands with the government to solve the issues and give relief to the masses.
People of my generation still remember the politics of 1990s, when the two mainstream political parties i.e. PPP and PML-N concentrated more on destabilizing each other’s governments and making fake cases against each other while playing in the hands of establishment thus inflicting miseries on common man. However, after the Musharraf led military coup, both PPP and PML-N realized their mistakes and decided to move forward with a resolve that both parties would work together for the stabilization of democratic system in the country. However, it remained short lived as after the murder of BB and 2008 elections, although PPP and PML-N formed the collation governments in both federation and Punjab, they went on war against each other on the issue of restoration of judges.
This led to resignation of PML-N ministers from the federal cabinet as a protest; however, PPP remained in collation with PML-N in Punjab thus continuing their politics of reconciliation. Although for the major duration of the current tenure of the government, PML-N played a role of friendly opposition extending a hidden hand in bailing out the government from numerous problems; it has finally come out against the government with all guns blazing. Unfortunately though, they have chosen a time when the country just cannot afford it.
The whole of Pakistan is currently facing one of the worst power shortages with scheduled and unscheduled load shedding throughout the country. However, the way protests have been fuelled in Punjab, currently ruled by PML-N is unique in its nature. As per the constitution, electricity production has become a provincial subject and provinces have full authority to generate their own electricity. However, PML-N government has not produced a single megawatt during the last four years.
It is pertinent to mention here that it does not absolve PPP led federal government of its duties and they should be held responsible for their own part in electricity shortage. However, when the time calls for politicians to come together on one platform to solve this issue, we have provincial chief executive rallying his troops for protests against the federal government.
This is not one incident as during the last one year, our politicians have not spared a single opportunity of mudslinging and have tried to gain political mileage on every single issue of public importance. Be it war on terror, issue of drone attacks, SC’s verdict against NRO and Prime Minister or increasing inflation in the country, both PPP and PML-N are busy raising their ratings in the public rather than focusing their efforts on solving the above issues.
It is unfortunate that our politicians has never tried to actually unite for supremacy of law and strengthening of democratic institutions. In fact, this is the attitude that has always let the military dictators overthrow the democratic governments in the past but unfortunately our politicians have not learnt any lesson from this and they are still moving in the wrong direction.
The recent adventurism in the National assembly by PML-N was another example where politicians totally forgot their national responsibility and involved themselves in such a shameful act that even those supporting PML-N kept their heads down in shame. It was so unfortunate to see that the opposition members went too far in registering their protest against the PM and opted for a violent way, which resulted in serious mess up during the budget speech by the Finance Minister.
What our politicians did not realize while hitting each other in the assembly was that there surely would be some generals sitting in GHQ deciding to “sort out the civilians”. What they do not realize is that once again whatever they are doing would only pave way for the khakis to come and ruin the whole democratic process. What they do not realize is that instead of solving the issues related to general public, they are adding fuel to the fire, which can once again result in “my beloved countrymen”. – Waqas Iqbal
Writer is a banker by profession.