Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Latest Tangle

February 14, 2010

The Latest Tangle
By Saeed Qureshi

I have great liking for Mr. Asif Zardari as a person. But, solemnly, I cannot support or vouch for his politicking style which in the mildest term is bizarre and shifty. He has exhibited himself more like a street urchin than the father figure of a nation yearning for a redeemer for six decades now. He possesses a mindset to sacrifice the supreme national interests for the basest personal motives. He seems ready, for no cogent reasons, to demonstrate defiance that if shown for good causes, could have earned him the abiding gratitude of the Pakistani nation. Only a psychiatrist can figure out as to why he has an unenviable knack to do even the harmless things in a wrong and intriguing manner. Is he being pampered and puffed up by his imprudent and fair-weather advisers or is he a victim of the personality disorders that impel him to move in self-chosen paths unmindful of the ground realities? He has infamously distinguished himself to be a past master in palace intrigues and uncanny scheming that earn him more ridicule and vitriol by the already harried citizenry of Pakistan.
Perhaps he is under the self gratifying delusion that he is the one out of millions who possesses the amazing guts to outsmart every Tom Dick and Harry in politics and business. He is on record of making the boastful claim that he is blessed with the eyes of a hawk and can read the minds of the mischief mongers and, therefore, preempts them before they spill the disaster. To beef up his claim he cited the example of Taliban and the way they were routed in the Northern scenic valleys of Pakistan. He grins copiously and grins viciously that strikes awe and palpable fear in the minds of discernable and sensitive minds.
Now if all these and a host of other freakish symptoms were not made public by him through myriad acts of omission and commission, how could he defy the Supreme Court’s rulings and mount an avoidable fracas. It freezes the mind when someone thinks how insane such a course is, both for him and for the sacred rule of law and for upholding the sanctity of the constitution of Pakistan. His latest mindboggling bloomer has flashed in his blatant foot dragging in regard to the compliance of the apex Court’s decision relating to the follow up action of NRO’s nullification and appointment of the two senior judges. If the constitutional canon stipulating appointment of judges in consultation with the chief Justice, which apparently is an innocuous administrative obligation, is not being complied with, then patently the government is spurring more Waterloos.

A cut and dried flamboyant person grilled in jails for years on real or trumped up charges should have turned a 7th century saint like Bayazid Bustami or Junaid Baghdadi and in case of becoming a president should have doled out plenteous rectitude, spirituality, wisdom and virtue and piety. Such a uniquely fortunate person should have turned a sage to deliver sublime guidance to his countrymen and even the humanity at large. Woefully, he has lost that rare blessing of time. Instead of a person recast and reoriented nobly, after such hair-raising tribulations, he has bounced back with a renewed roguish vigor surpassing his past lurid deeds. From all visible indications he likes to style himself like Italian mafia leaders never to roll back from devious path and keep fighting for the shady pursuits hammered in their minds either genetically or by the compulsions of clannish culture.
The most tragic and spine-chilling aggravation in the poltical bellicosity can be seen in the riots that, of late, have broken out between the activists of PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League led by Mian Nawaz Sharif. The inflammatory slogans are being raised, the effigies of Zardari and Nawaz Sharif being burnt, and the battle lines are being drawn. Could this appalling bad blood be avoided? Yes, if the good will that had bound the two leading parties together at the start could have been preserved. Both were part of the government and could have stabilized Pakistan variously, had their coalition not stymied by throwing the pledges overboard. Mr. Zardari chose to choose lesser partners who had their own humble pie to eat. Their subservient position to predominant majority in the center and elsewhere in three provinces suited the designs of the incumbent government. That historic chance for forging unity and projecting good governance by sharing power was unscrupulously lost.

So in the wake of a continuing constitutional deadlock a volatile situation is being brewed and fueled by the hidden hands? The street battles and riotous rallies between the charged activists of the two leading parties are horrifically ominous for Pakistan, faced concurrently with raging religious militancy. Other fringe parties are also hurling themselves into the street agitations taken out against a dysfunctional and besieged government. There is going to be a kind of mayhem, presumably, prodding army to step in. The detriment can still be contained if there is a sincere will to do so. Tragically, a nation has been persistently betrayed by the poltical leaders who still remain grossly unmindful and stubbornly indifference to their prime responsibilities.

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