Uncertainty Rules Pakistan

Posted on March 11, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Politics
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Adil Najam

Explaining what is happening in Pakistan, and why, is never easy. Never has it been more difficult than it is now. Talking earlier today to the National Public Radio show Here and Now, it struck me again how difficult it is to articulate any explanation of Pakistan’s politics – not only to non-Pakistani audiences, but to Pakistani audiences too.

Consider the recent news stream. Suicide bomb blasts by extremists kill another 30 in Lahore in yet another dastardly attack. Gen. Musharraf calls the National Assembly to meet on Monday, March 17. Supposedly Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari come to an agreement on the government formation but it is no more clear today who the next Prime Minister will be than it was before the meeting. They also insist that they will “restore” the judges but speculations remain rife on just which judges and just how “restored.”

Depending on who you speak to, you are told that Gen. Musharraf is playing games with the parliament by trying to call the opposition’s hand before they have decided on the Prime Minister issue. Others tell you that it is the politicians themselves who are playing games not only with the cat and house of Prime Ministerial candidates but also with the judges and the lawyers movement. Meanwhile, the extremists continue their deadly game of murder and mayhem as they did in Lahore.

At the end of the day the real losers are – as they always are – the people of Pakistan. It is they who suffer the instability. It is they who are killed. It is they who languish in uncertainty. The costs of uncertainty are never trivial, but it becomes particularly horrendous with suicide bombers blowing themselves up.

What is most disturbing and truly dangerous is that as Gen. Musharraf keeps fighting for his personal survival and position and as the politicians keep fumbling in their indicisive daze, it is the extremist forces that stand to gain by playing simultaneously on the citizen’s dislike for Gen. Musharraf and distrust for the main political leaders of our time.

No one is clear on who will rule Pakistan tomorrow. But it is clear that uncertainty rules Pakistan today. And that is not good for anyone except the extremists who seek to destabilize the country and breed anarchy and chaos.

42 responses to “Uncertainty Rules Pakistan”

  1. Khwaja Aftab Ali says:


    Reference to the Islamic history and Pakistan

  2. Reza Kamran says:

    Uncertainty indeed does rule Pakistan. It is political uncertainty. Uncertainty surrounds us in Pakistan. The obvious uncertainty is of course, post election uncertainty. It is the worst kind of uncertainty. Then their is uncertainty in people’s lives. What kind of uncertainties impact our people’s daily lives. Its about uncertainty whether their homes will have power. Will they see steep rise in commodity prices? Such types of uncertainty have devastating impact on their already uncertain lives. With such mass uncertainty now taking over, the political uncertainty may be like a passing phase. Such uncertainty may soon disappear and inshallah we may have certainty of political leadership. But the other more uncertain uncertainities may be the ones most difficult to ignore. These uncertainities may be debilitating uncertainities. They last longer and such uncertainites also have large scale social impacts. Are these measurable uncertainties or they immeasurable? Hard to tell. But we need to deal with them with conviction. Because the longer these uncertainties last, the more devastating they become.

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