Does Pervez Musharaff matter for the People of Pakistan?

It has been more than 3 months to the formation on a new democratic government in Pakistan. Two major parties of the ruling coalition – Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League, Nawaz Group (PML (N)) – promised to deliver change in the lives of the common people yet no improvement but more uncertainty.

Since the new civil government came into power, the people of Pakistan are frustratingly watching the back door conspiracies of politicians, now in power, against the President who opened the doors for the people and politicians to form a civilian rule.

As usual the politics of ego, revenge and opportunism is going on the cost of promises made to the voters to bring change in the live of common people. The aim of the politicians-in-power is remained same –” how to secure their fate in the capital.

Pakistan’s economic situation is deteriorating day by day; growing poverty and starvation is increasing the rate of suicides in the country; the prices of even daily-use commodities, electricity, oil etc are getting out of reach of the common people; law and order is none to exist. On the other hand the top issue of the ruling coalition leaders is how to get rid of the President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. Interviewing to Press Trust of India, Mr. Zardari said that the people of Pakistan didn’t want bread or electricity but wanted Musharraf to out.

This was President Musharraf’s government when after years in prison on several corruption charges, Mr. Zardari was freed in 2004 and left Pakistan to live with his family in the United Arab Emirates in a close door deal. These are the same leaders of the ruling coalition who were firstly blaming Musharraf that he would not hold the election and even if he holds the election there would be rigging.

Similarly, the only issue for number 2 in ruling coalition, Mr. Nawaz Sharif is how to reinstate Justice Iftekhar Choudhry. Today, for Nawza Sharif the freedom of Courts and Judges are everything. Sacking and appointing judging of own choices have been a common practice in past governments in Pakistan. On November 28, 1997, the Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah of the Supreme Court was dismissed against revolt of other judges orchestrated by Nawaz Sharif’s younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, who was the Chief Minister of Punjab at that time. Similarly, Lahore high was attacked when he was in power.

Both, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari of PPP and Mr. Nawaz Sharif of PML (N) are turned out to be working only on 2-point agenda (1) how to get rid of President Musharraf (2) how to reinstate Chief Justice Iftekhar Choudhry.

No doubt, not only army but any form of dictatorship is not beneficial for any country. Nevertheless, in Pakistan nothing goes accordingly to the will of the people. The last 50 years history of Pakistan shows that from Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to Nawaz Sharif, the political career of the frontline political leaders has been launched by the army generals.

Unfortunately, in Pakistan, the army implements the democracy in its own terms. Army Generals pick and choose leaders and their parties. Even army decides which form of democracy suits to the country. When one army general brings a political figure on the political stage the other kicks him out. Ayub Khan brought Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Zia ul Haque threw him out and hanged him on murder charges. Zia ul Haque brought Nawaz Sharif who then became the prime minister. Pervez Musharraf threw him out not only from the power but from the country. President Musharraf brought an alien to Pakistan; a US Citizen Shaukat Aziz claimed to be high-level economist but basically a career banker who never involved in Pakistani politics became the Prime Minister. And now when the unexpected murder of Benazir Bhutto yet a mystery and surprisingly her husband Mr. Asif Ali Zardari became the king maker in the present Pakistani politics; the possibilities are the state powers are in the process of negotiating again with the one who can run the democracy on their terms.

Today, the reality of Pakistan is that every day sky-hitting prices of daily commodities and uncertainty in the country makes the people of Pakistan less worried whether President Musharraf stays or not and Chief Justice Choudhry Iftekhar returns to his chair or not.

First of all, everyday changing statements of Mr. Asif Ali Zardari don’t claim that Mr. Zardari is serious in impeaching President Musharraf or it is another part of the game. However, even if one assumes that Mr. Zardari, Mr. Sharif and their coalition partners are honest to oust President Musharraf for the sake of promoting democracy in Pakistan then they should also come out and explain how their action would help to the people of Pakistan making their lives better.

The most important issue for a common person in Pakistan today, is not Musharraf or Iftekhar Choudhry rather how to make enough money to buy three time meal for their children; how to live safely with their family and to feel that their country is in safe hand.

Today, Pakistan’s reality is that rich is getting richer and poor is getting poorer. Looters of government funds are getting free and taking control of the country. Recession is going high, the value of currency is decreasing frequently in international market. Insecurity on the northern borders keep escalating and law & order situation is remained unstable. In this situation, the country will not bear any battle between the civil and army institutions. This is the time that all the ruling powers and civil society of the state must accept each other and work together in the interest of the country and nation. Any clash between President Musharraf and ruling coalition will not benefit to anyone except further anarchy and creating opportunity to those religious fanatics who want to turn Pakistan into another Afghanistan.