By Saeed QureshiIf we have enough large-heartedness to admit good work of someone then we must acknowledge that PMNL government has three momentous achievements earned during its over a year’s stay in power. Before we start we should concede that elections in Pakistan have seldom been free and fair.
In the heat of opposing the beleaguered PMNL government and siding with his opponents, let us not lose sight of the fact the in political arenas the contenders have never been angels. Even in model democratic countries every trick covert or overt is pulled to win the elections.
The 2013 elections were conducted by a caretaker government headed by interim Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso. The PMLN was a participant like all other parties. For about a year there has been relative calm and political parties both in power and out did not challenge the validity of the elections. Now Imran Khan and Allama Qadri have suddenly launched a relentless blitz against the sitting governments for all the crimes and wrong doings happening in Pakistan.
Visibly as we have watched ever since Allama Qadri and Imran Khan have mobilized their followers and most of their criticism is clearly focused personally on Mian Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif. From counting of votes in four disputed constituencies, the demand has come to the stage of resignation of both these brothers and their summary prosecution with demands of immediate sentences.
One can recall in the hindsight of the PNA movement in 1976 against the then prime minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. ZAB conceded to every demand of PNA stalwarts but they reneged on every step and finally the Martial Law was imposed by the then chief of the army staff General Ziaul haq. The rest is history.
Can we argue that a similar scenario and a replay paradigm is being built by these fire spitting and stubborn leaders with a small number of followers in Pakistan to scuttle a democratic system presumably because of some vendetta, compulsion or agenda nurtured by them and their cohorts about Sharif brothers.
Should we convince and pacify ourselves that Qadri and Imran are acting out of sheer conviction for genuine revolution or there is more to it than meets the eye? Should we take it for granted that these leaders possess the caliber to herald revolution to make Pakistan a model country sooner than later?
Do they have the a road map to bring about a complete transformation of Pakistan from a problem ridden country to one like a West Europe truly democratic, welfare modern state? To make tall claims is one thing and to fulfill those is another and there no miracles to pull a magic wand and the desert would turn lush green.
In my opinion both have preconceived agendas that are less motivated by the interests of Pakistan than subverting a government leaning towards China for an historic economic cooperation for the monumental uplift of Pakistan. If the foreign inimical powers can oppose the Pak-Iran gas pipeline and mining of huge Thar coal deposits in Pakistan that are 6th largest coal reserves in the world then how would they tolerate Gawadar Port to be administered by China and constructing the highway connecting China and Pakistan.
The Thar coal deposits are around 175 million tons and are sufficient to meet the country’s fuel and energy requirements for centuries. Chinese have pledged to help Pakistan in every manner in utilizing and quarrying that hidden treasure.
Let us consider the three outstanding achievements of PMLN in barely two years. One is the phenomenal achievement to debilitate, crush and liquidate the criminal mafias of all hues, the sectarian target killers, the extortionist gangs, the drug warlords, the car lifters, and the state enemies in the grab of Taliban ruffians and so on.
Though belatedly yet the federal government finally gave a green signal and free hand to the Rangers and the police to go whole hog in the largest city Karachi against all enemies of public peace and agents of subversion and chaos.
Despite deficiencies one can see that Karachi is getting better and the rampant and unremitting lawlessness has drastically declined and the back of the villains and criminals mafias has been considerably broken. One can hope that with the time passage, Karachi would be completely liberated from the thugs, goons, killers and kidnappers for ransom and its pristine peace would be revived.
The second brilliant achievement is to flush out the dogged Taliban from North Waziristan by a massive military operation. That gigantic blitz is still continuing. Most of the Waziristan has been vacated from the Taliban’s brutal clutches who had committed countless atrocities, acts of violence, terrorism, suicide bombing and mass killings on the territory of Pakistan. North Waziristan was the center and hub of Taliban’s terrorism and bombing including the Pakistan’s vital defense institutions and airports.
The third monumental achievement is the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to China in July 2013 and ink watershed eight agreements. One of these agreements is the US $18 billion project to build a 2000 miles highway and rail track between the Kashgar city of China and Karachi including string of tunnels in the mountainous track passing over a height 4,693 meters. It has been described as part of the Pakistan-China Economic corridor. It would open a glorious gateway and gigantic spectrum of economic boom for both the countries.
On both sides of this highway, the industrial and economic zones would be created that in return would create countless jobs besides entry of Pakistan into the fold of prosperous nations. The Prime Minister then said that his vision was to extend motorways and communication links not only to Kabul but also to Central Asia and South Asian region. Now these projects would be primarily built by Chinese engineers and Pakistan would be assisting in that huge venture.
I would not be swayed by the argument that these are mean and insignificant achievements. As far IDPs (internally displaced persons) from North Waziristan, a similar situation exploded in Swat in 2007 when as a result of Taliban takeover of that beautiful valley, hundreds of thousands of residents were rendered IDPs.
For clearing Swat valley of Taliban and religious militants if the credit was rightly conferred upon the then political government of PPP and the army then in the present case the incumbent government and the Pakistan army deserves a befitting tribute and due credit.
I conclude my article on reproducing an email sent to me .In that email it has been very convincingly pointed out that,
“These guys remained silent for almost two years and now all of a sudden it has dawned on them that 2013 elections were rigged. Their conscience has started pricking them only now when a cleric and a cricketer turned politician has staged their dharnas for the last two weeks. Or maybe they have been made to speak the voice of their conscience when they have been "tipped" by the powers to be, to speak out their own "truth", the voice of their "conscience". (Nayyar Hashmey)