Ides of March

Murky politics enters next phase



One could never tell why in the world the government was making every single mistake in the book, making it worse by the minute. It is equally difficult to predict what the other parties were up to. Allies speak with double tongue and in a language that behooves a wily opposition. Conversely the opposition was unusually complacent.  Maulana is altogether on a different tangent. Although there are over two dozen television channels that churn out news and views stuff round the clock, there is little clarity around the political affairs. If anything, it the exact opposite of that. There is utter confusion. Just as people tend to take sides on a given issue, television channels as well as the anchorpersons too are clearly divided and even before they get to start a show it is evermore easier to predict a line of argument each set of anchorpersons and analysts would take.

During the last couple of years, media already under financial stress began to succumb to pressure and gave over the control over their editorial policy to the coercive forces. There are subjects of national importance and issues that concern the daily life of people which remain totally missing from the television screens whereas social media, though not entirely free, remains abuzz with overwhelming public opinion on those issues of importance.

That should explain why there was little or no insight offered by media as to why Maulana Fazlur Rehman wrapped up its over a month of effort in Islamabad last December without any tangible results. Who was he in touch with? What assurances was he offered and by whom? As weeks of silence, the maulana has jumped in the fray once again. Speaking in Karachi he announced his plan 2.0 that shall be spread over major cities, having support from some smaller political and religious parties. He has not entirely ruled out the participation from the two major political parties though. He was visibly not happy with them either.

People left to decipher and decode the political manoeuvres themselves, they still cannot wrap their head around as to what those assurances were to the maulana that though began to unfurl immediately afterward he wrapped up his sit in, yet they did not quite get far enough to translate into any meaningful change. The maulana himself has asked Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to disclose to the nation as to what did he mean by ‘amanat.’

It is unfortunate to say the least that people don’t get to decide their fate. They participate in the ritual of ballot but they are never sure as to who will end up representing them in the parliament. And then governments are run and removed and changed in behind the scene deals instead of a process enunciated by the Constitution.

The two big parties of the past – PML-N and PPP- learnt it the hard way and decided to proceed in politics under a charter that was named as Charter of Democracy. It seemed to work fine for the first couple of years but with the entry of new players it has been rendered useless. It won’t be effective enough unless PTI, another major stakeholder, affixed its signature to this document. The ruling party has already begun to feel the taste of its own medicine that it helped administer to its predecessor. The going is getting increasingly tough for it.