Monday, February 8, 2010

What Legitimacy the Government is Left With?

February 1, 2010

What Legitimacy the Government is Left With?
By Saeed Qureshi

It is nauseating to talk about the legitimacy of a government that stubbornly refuses to provide any relief to the extremely hard-pressed people of Pakistan. The distress and suffering that the Pakistanis have been exposed to ever since the advent of the PPP government in power, has no parallel in the past. The foundation that was laid to erect the edifice of the incumbent government was malafide and lacked moral and legal justification. This government came from the sidelines and all of sudden was declared the victor of a fight that it did not compete. It was not a part of the struggle to oust the disgraced former crony president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf who was ready to resort to any illegality howsoever loathsome to hang on to his illegitimate power.

He brokered NRO with the PPP leaders for them to be pardoned and whitewash all the sins and crimes they committed against the people and the state and for him remain at the helm for a few more years. It was visibly a very plausible marriage of convenience that could have kept both the parties in good cheer.

PPP manipulated the lawyers’ countrywide historic agitation that ultimately forced Musharraf to abdicate power. With sham promises that self proclaimed chairperson of PPP Asif Zardari held out to every poltical force, catapulted him to the highest office in Pakistan that only a few months earlier he could not have even dreamt of. After assuming the presidency he ditched and betrayed his poltical allies and forged alliances with regional ethnic groups that still stand by his side because otherwise they have neither considerable national standing nor any outstanding prominence. Mr. Zardari in clear defiance of the deceased chairperson Benazir’s wish to reinstate the sacked judges went all the way to stall and hinder their reinstatement.

This is what the PPP did to the poltical parties and the principal organs of the civil society. The PPP’s governance of Pakistan is a repugnant tale of utter dereliction, complete breakdown of law and order, Pakistan turning into an open house for corruption, nepotism and patronage for all sorts of criminals. It is being spawned on falsehood, deceptions, farce fraud and forgery. There is crooked and conspiratorial approach to every problem that the harried people of Pakistan face. The decency, the uprightness, the honesty the sincerity and sobriety needed to address the minefield of problems of Pakistan are replaced with chicanery, breaking of promises and subversive tactics that instead of making any headway are further complicating the utterly chaotic situation.

One is appalled to watch majority of Pakistanis with dirt on their poverty stricken faces, tattered clothes, running helter and skelter for a loaf of bread, the houses going dark for most of the day, the fuel running short for cooking, the staple food items disappearing from the markets, the vendettas feuds raging in the streets of Karachi and elsewhere and the peaceful citizen being indiscriminately killed in the crossfire.

To use the word inept for the sitting government would be to glorify it and utterly inadequate to illustrate it’s poverty of morality and phenomenal failure and audacious abuse of its mandate and responsibly towards the people of Pakistan. The ministers walk like shameless demons of proven corruption and refuse to resign. In any government even in anarchical Somalia ministers or top functionaries of government would resign and offer himself for probe till cleared. But wearing brazen masks of shameful demeanor they walk and talk and vomit out frivolous, perverted and counterfeit logic for them to stay in power and keep kicking around.

While the people are in desperate need of relief on soaring prices and provision of sufficient food supplies, these Don Quixote’s and charlatans of 21st century without any qualms raise the already unbearable prices. The latest hike in gasoline prices would compound the woes of the psychologically mauled and financially depleted people. How a government worth the name could have been so unkind and diabolic as to rub salt on the bleeding wounds of the harassed people of Pakistan?

In the parliament the people’s elected representatives, carrying the honorable titles of law makers or parliamentarians gasp, yawn, laugh, nap, sooth their bulging round bellies, make nonsense speeches and walk out in the protection of armed guards in slick cars, with starched apparels, with grins on their swollen faces and enter their well fortified citadel like mansions. Such is the blood boiling paradox and yawning absurd gap between the lifestyle of the peoples’ servants and those whom they are supposed to serve.

What stopped the government from taking so long in reinstaiting the deposed judges? Why it dithered on honoring its promises with their political peers? How could it afford to antagonize the media for no obvious reasons? Now when Apex court’s verdict is out why is it procrastinating on honest implementation of the court’s ruling on NRO? Why has it been staking its entire honor on protecting the ousted Musharraf and blocking his prosecution? Why is it not rewriting the constitution to conform it to the norms of parliamentary democracy? What was the urgent need for Zardari for his uncalled for outburst against the army? Why is it not abandoning the insane strategy of doing too little too late? Why is it not emphatically telling Americans to stop drone attacks? Why is it not moving fast to ameliorate the worsening conditions of the people? Why can’t it think of forming a national government? If it still chooses to live in fools’ paradise then it should be forewarned that countrywide civil unrest or military takeover is not far off?

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