Of the Next Elections

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With his zestful style, President General Pervez Musharraf has–”once again made it clear–”that the next general elections would be held in Pakistan during the year-2007 and not before that–”as is being propagated by some elements in the country.

This clear-cut avowal of the President on the issue is quite reassuring as–”it comes in the wake of all sorts of rumors–”being disseminated overtly by some vested interests.

To this effect, the affluent couple, Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari, who ruled Pakistan, not only once but twice–”has specifically been over active.

Resultantly, they are making frequent assertions on the topic–”prima facie to create a sort of perplexity and a political flux in the country.

Their motives are understandable.

Asif Ali Zardari has remained behind the bars for years and now when the Government has shown some flexibility in its outlook, he is a free man–”trying to make people believe that all this was under some sort of deal and that holding of elections next year is part of such an ‘understanding’.

Likewise, his spouse, BB who is living in self-exile with her own choice–”is making efforts to keep moral of her party workers alive by issuing periodic statements about imminent elections.

In fact, this propaganda crusade is nothing new for Pakistan.

Experiences of the past validate that those in the opposition did not ever show tolerance and started attempts at destabilizing the system–”as and when general elections were held to establish an egalitarian system of governance at solid footings.

Paradoxically, despite their lofty claims about democracy and its values–”such political icons in Pakistan–”have, by and large been reluctant in accepting results of the elections.

And thereafter they got into strategies–”aimed at nothing but to pull the system down.

Such attempts did succeed in the past as the then Presidents were duly influenced by such propaganda and sent successive Governments home, while they were just close to mid-way.

As is indexed in the history, the relentless scenario in the national polity, based on a startling fiasco due to the visible collapse of attempts by some politicians to touch the zenith of a consensus for renaissance of a democratic rule did put the peoples zest, observed during the Oct-10 polls at hazards.

As the election process was over, the constant and consistent aspirations by almost everyone to grasp the dazzling slot of the Premiership plus other portfolios–”like Speaker’s slot and alluring ministries depicted an icon of bewilderment towards the restoration of democracy in Pakistan with parliamentary form as its pedestal.

Such a mindset of the victors of the elections explicitly the apex headship indeed did put the guiltless voters into a state of ordeal as they did not expect that their leaders shall take so long to agree upon the formation of a regime, which could be defined as a government by the people, for the people and of the people, which had, by and large been a familiar slogan by almost all the contestants during their pre-polls campaign to attract optimal sympathies of the public.

Disquieted with the luckless lessons of the past, inked in the lexicon of the polity–”in a crystal clear way, the outlook and perception of the populace towards the potential performance of the winners did take a swift change with the advent of every dawn.

At that time, we had hinted that its an apposite time for the members-elect of the Parliament to take into their heart and soul, the ground realities seriously as the nation irrespective of ones’ faith, cast, color, creed or credo–”can in no way afford to face a dilemma of any nature or magnitude any more and in the long run, the electorate will be left with no option–”but to withdraw its back-up for a parliamentary system.

If one goes by the factuality, no one nowhere is ardent in a specific mode of governance may it be a parliamentary or presidential one.

Peace, progress and prosperity with the continuance of integrity and sovereignty are of-course the foremost desire of the populace of every de facto state. Its indeed a pre-requisite for a perfect welfare country, where the people could lead a snags-free life, which can only be ensured by a solid set-up.

A common view that was being envisioned in the wake of the post-election tug-of-war to grasp the lofty slots was a flashing signal for the politicians to reach a mutually agreed formula, reflecting the hopes of their vote-bank–”lest the masses set off their up-dated feelings about the course of a democratic system in Pakistan.

One expects that all those who have stepped into the arena of momentous politics with a triumph shall make sure by eschewing petty issues that the on-going green signal does not turn into red shape.

Its virtually a psychological as well as a universal phenomenon that the pragmatic nations always keep the national interests–”as leading instead of getting into fervor for their individual ambitions.

No one can disprove the well-known truth that the patriotic people of our lovely homeland have always applied this benchmark in times of each predicament and seemed resolute to uphold this approach even in all times ahead.

Though keeping mum for the moment, they may disillusion their leaders in the same fashion as a set of politicians look bent upon through a peculiar yearn for clutching the corridors of power–”in place of the revival of democracy, which is ought to seek the utmost priority as was energetically pledged by them to their voters.

Now, when that period is eventually, over and a suitable government is all set to make the country–”strong from all angles, a new aspire is, ironically, being placed with an appetite for ‘fresh elections’.

After all what for? And can the national exchequer afford such a repeated lavish spending–”and that too without any justification and any logic?

As realist–”with love and leaning for a democratic set-up–”we have all along been opposing such moves as we firmly believe that every Government that comes to power through votes of the people–”should be allowed to complete its constitutionally mandated 5-year term.

Amid this perception, we would like to suggest that the Opposition is ought to and should wait for the next elections and fight it on the basis of performance of the Government in diverse fields.

The practice of winding up the system half way should now come to end as the country has suffered immensely–”explicitly politically, diplomatically and economically.

Pragmatically, the present Government, which is led by a capable leader–”is steering the country to the right direction and–”obviously, the resultant economic stability would be of great benefit to the upcoming Governments as well.

Now, when the President has beamed a categorical statement on the topic, the rhetoric vis-à-vis the episode of ‘new elections’–”by a set of eager and excited politicians must come to an end.

Instead, all stakeholders should make preparations for polls in 2007. This forward-looking approach would be in the best interest of Pakistan.

We would like to remind all those aspirants, impatient ‘to serve the nation’ through the forums of their political entities that a fitting time for a consensus on this subject, is, in any way, is passing through with a high-speed velocity.

Isn’t it so? Thus what is a hitch in translating the established phrase that the ballot is stronger than the bullet into a reality by quickly reaching an accord with the government–”on the bona fide date of the next polls–”to pull the nation out of the all types of perplexities-cum- pandemonium-like settings?

And that is possible only through patience, acceptance of realities and–”of-course waiting–”alike civilized nations–”for the specific period of the next general elections–”which, in Pakistan, are now due in the year 2007.

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The author is a noted journalist, editor of 'Pakistan Times', political analyst and ex-Director News Pakistan TV. He is a regular contributor to Media Monitors Network (MMN).

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