Saturday, November 5, 2011

Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif may join hands

Upright Opinion

October 30, 2011

By Saeed Qureshi

Despite a visible saber-rattling and verbal jingoism, there is a possibility that finally Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan may come to terms with each other to brace against the combine of PPP and the MQM.

In his statement that he made before his departure for China, Imran Khan feebly hinted at forging a kind of alliance with PMNL provided the Sharif brothers declared their assets.

Now declaration of assets would not be a tall order for the stalwarts of PMLN as they desperately need a cohort and an ally who could beef up the political prowess of these Punjab based parties in their own citadel of power.

Ideologically, there does not seem to be much antagonism or variance between Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif as both are vociferously speaking against the rampant corruption and bad governance of the ruling PPP.

While they may be a little mild towards Prime Minister Gilani, they are on an all out war of recrimination and condemnation against president Zardari who is the real force calling shots from the presidency.

It appears there is going to be a bitter and venomous war of words, tongue lashing, uproarious smear and slander bouts between PPP and MQM on one side of the isle and the PMLN and PTI on the other.

In the wake of the muck-racking and vituperation spewed out and the challenges thrown at Zardari by the chief minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, the battleground is predisposed for stinging attacks and counter attacks on each other’s character and moral conduct.

These parties are poised to wash their dirty linens in the public and thus would stand exposed with no cloths of dignity and a veneer of modesty on their public postures.

There is a shared public perception that the PPP leaders both in power and on the sidlines were riveted on taking maximum advantage and mileage in regard to amassing as much wealth as they can.

This penchant was in stark contrast to the gross insensitivity and utter neglect they apportion to the welfare of the people and towards ameliorating their aggravating sufferings.

A president who seldom comes out of his well fortified presidential mansion and a prime minister who excels in the shady indulgence of nepotism and the ministers styling themselves as cronies and shameless toadies, the political zodiac of the ruling party is getting murkier.

Until there is massive fraud and mammoth manipulation in the elections, the chances for the PPP to re-emerge as the majority party are decidedly slim. The Bhutto euphoria and the fervor of jialis (diehard fans), notwithstanding the supporters of the PPP are getting disgruntled especially with the widespread stories of the corruption of their leaders.

The support and sympathy for the PPP in all the four provinces is dwindling and it may be left with limited pockets of zealous supporters who still are in romantic kinship with a charismatic Bhutto, BB and the family.

The public meetings of both Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan have been stunningly impressive in Punjab. Even Nawaz Sharif’s public addresses in various cities of interior Sindh unfurled the change in perceptions and attitude of the people of that province.

A Punjabi leader known as the leading adversary of the PPP, had made an impact demonstrating that old and blind traditional loyalties were evaporating.

It is foregone that MQM would win majority of seats in the both provincial and general elections from Karachi. But there is also a possibility that some seats might also be bagged by ANP, JI and even PMNL. The PPP will be a formidable contender as well.

The direct and inhibited personal attacks that are being traded between the PPP shenanigans and the PMNL samurai warriors would get further diabolic and may even trigger physical attacks and brawls. The burning of PMNL office in Sindh and the murder of their local president in Punjab are the indicators of what sinister future is ahead.

If the bad blood and bellicosity accentuates and the violence overtakes a sober and decent political debate, the possibility of postponement of elections cannot be ruled out. At the same time if the acrimony and tussle enter the phase of retaliatory bloody skirmishes such as torching each other’s offices and murderous assaults, the army may step in.

In that scenario though remote, both the belligerents would lose and the army would have moral leverage to step in, disengage the rivals and hold the reins of government: no one predict for how long.

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