Dull November brings the blast!
By Wasib Imdad
We hardly see a dull day in Pakistani politics. At times, there is so much action to follow that one literally demands a break from the popcorn screen time so that one’s other life can be lived as well. It was one such week where too much happened to be recounted and yet more action is on the cards. By the time I am writing and by the time you read, much of the questions I pose now would have been answered. The capital is getting hot and Maulana is entering the city with men way less than his quoted figure.
Will the numbers be of any worry to the government? I certainly think so. A small or a large crowd has a huge impact on the optics with which things are viewed. The government is sitting on a pressure point not far from imploding.
Everyone is in a state of unhappiness with the government, people are confused with whether things are even getting better, staying the same or even worse? At a time when traders are protesting, doctors are out on the roads, the media is unhappy, farmers are complaining, investors are packing their bags, industrialists are cold-handed, and the opposition is out having only one task to do, bring them all on a page where the government actually stops functioning and calls it quits; easier said than done, however. Opposition still stands divided. Bilawal showed next to no support for Maulana during his walk past Sindh with the local leaders turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to the calls of support by Maulana. As he entered Punjab, he saw that even the disinterested Peoples Party was way better than a totally off PML-N. Nawaz turned down Maulana’s request for a meet up; Shehbaz was nowhere to be seen and so were other veterans like Ayaz Sadiq, Khwaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal and co. All lost like needles in a haystack. Maulana certainly seemed upset with his final ray of hope being rallies coming from KPK and Balochistan where he certainly thinks he has some support.
Mian Nawaz Sharif’s deteriorating health is not debatable at all. If there is anyone who, on or off the camera, casts a look of doubt shall recheck his stance. To my surprise the government so far has handled the issue with care and that is what matters in actuality. A medical board, a ready air ambulance, Maryam being at his service, Buzdar monitoring his health round the clock and prayers and wishes are all that can be done. Apart from that, all is in the hands of the mighty fate and the antagonists would always pen dissenting no matter what. Politics has happened and politics will happen but what matter right now are the moralistic values which are to be taken care of. Values sit at the root core of Imran Khan’s envisioned Rayaasat-e-Madina. Contrary to the rumors of his flight abroad, Nawaz Sharif, for now, is staying in Pakistan and his health would keep the governing machinery at its toes. Just like Nawaz, ailing Zardari too shall be dealt with soft hands and delirious remarks shall be refrained from.
My articles in the recent past have pressed upon Imran Khan’s need for a war cabinet. It is now when I reiterate that he needs his clique shortlisted and gathered. Imran Khan so far hasn’t realized it well enough. The Federal cabinet meeting yesterday made me realize that the Prime Minister isn’t as aware as he needs be at this time, where he is being attacked from almost everywhere. He needs men to guide him, speak for him, solve most of the problems before they reach him and present him a table free of all the to-do files. Things however all are reaching his throat. He explodes in the cabinet meet by realizing that it he, alone, has to solve gargantuan issues like Kashmir, troubled eastern and western neighborhoods, negotiating with the IMF, seeing off the FATF, de-intensifying Iran and Saudi troubles and the local issues like price hike, protests, dengue, PEMRA’s blunders and the health of ailing opponents.
He won’t resign and Maulana won’t stick to his that very demand for long. Maulana’s failure or success shouldn’t be measured by the angle of his success or failure of oustering the PM. His success or failure shall be seen by how he manages to strangle the government by putting life at the twin cities to a halt, how well he milks the sore juicy nerve of the populace, how well he markets himself on the centre stage of being the exact remedy of all the problems of the hour and how well he exposes the incompetence of those ruling currently.
A slight advice for Maulana is to rewrite his speech. His audience is not just the Madrassa students anymore who are programmed with whatever he feeds them. His listeners will now range from foreign think tanks to the power circles locally who won’t buy his narrative of selling of Kashmir and IK being a member of the Jewish lobby. He needs to call the opposition to come and gather for the final push to governing colossus and after that narrate and sell his plan, his joint opposition team and his competency. Rumors have started in Islamabad about who can be the next choice as November, as they say, is finally here.
The writer is an Islamabad based Broadcast Journalist. He tweets at @wasib25