ATP Poll: Will the PPP-PML(N) Coalition Survive?

Posted on May 5, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, Politics
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Adil Najam

A number of our commenters have been suggesting that the honeymoon between PPP and PML(N) – or, more specifically, between Asif Ali Zardari and Mian Nawaz Sharif- will not last. That the “judges issue” will bring the demise of this coalition.

While one has been hearing such talk from the inception of the coalition, I myself am not sure. And by that I mean, I really do not know. In many ways it is a new Asif Zardari and a new Nawaz Sharif. Whatever views we have of them are, by definition, rooted in experiences that not only happened quite long ago but also in very very different circumstances. This is a very different time, a very different situation, a very different game. This is not to say that I think the coalition will, in fact, survive either the judicial crisis or other crises to come. It is merely to say – bluntly and honestly – that I really do not know.

And because I do not, maybe it is best to ask our readers what they think.

Hence, this APT Poll (its also been quite some time since the last one). Let us know what you think.

28 Comments on “ATP Poll: Will the PPP-PML(N) Coalition Survive?”

  1. Daktar says:
    May 5th, 2008 12:59 am

    I like the videos. Specially the first one. Very funny.

  2. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    May 5th, 2008 3:10 am

    @ it can survive if “they ” let it,
    apparently you understood by
    ” they” i.e. Zarbhutte and Mian ji,
    NO, not at all, its people around them,
    their advisors ” The mafia makers ” !!

    The break away of coalition is a dream for Seculars and
    anti-Islam . The only winner will be Fazlu, although, himself,
    not necessarily against coalition, well, some times you do get
    worst advices by your own ” entourage “.

    Guddi charhi hoi hay, Mian-o-Zarbhutte ki,
    Dekhiay sambhal kay, aksar hota hay bo-kataa !!
    Rafay Kashmiri

  3. Sohail Anjum says:
    May 5th, 2008 8:22 am

    It will not take a long time and will break with in year.

  4. MQ says:
    May 5th, 2008 10:38 am

    As long as Musharraf (their common enemy) is there they are more likely to stay united. Once he goes they would most likely go in different directions.

  5. Daktar says:
    May 5th, 2008 11:05 am

    The fact is that it has survived. In any such coalition we should expect differences. Till now they seem to have worked these out. I think there is too much public pressure and scrutiny on this. As if everyone is saying you SOULD NOT survive and just wanting it to break up.

    I say, give them a chance at least.

  6. A. says:
    May 5th, 2008 11:57 am

    I just heard that the election commission has postponed the bye-elections.

    Do you think this has something to do with the Judges issue.

    Seems a little suspicious to me?

  7. Daktar says:
    May 5th, 2008 12:38 pm

    Interesting article in The News by Shaheen Sehbai. Worth a read:

    Why Zardari should be helped, not attacked

    Monday, May 05, 2008
    News Analysis

    By Shaheen Sehbai

    KARACHI: All the guns are out and ready to fire, or already firing, at Asif Ali Zardari for betraying, delaying, dragging or denying the quick restoration of the deposed judges, violating the Murree Declaration, playing games with his coalition partners, risking even a break-up of the grand coalition and, in the eyes of some, secretly helping, abetting or collaborating with President Pervez Musharraf or even insulting the intelligence of the people. Nothing could be further from the truth, if the context is properly understood.

    That context, in short is:

    - Mr Zardari was almost an outcast in Pakistani politics, having been banished to babysit in Dubai and not allowed to even come and campaign in the elections.

    - Before that he was confined for years when moved to New York

  8. Faraz says:
    May 5th, 2008 1:39 pm

    Daktar the article that you posted is quite sickening (I know you are just the messenger here). It implies that Zardari is a victim of this country and its system, and we should go easy on him. Never heard anything more disgusting in my life. Secondly it says that he was forced into his current leadership role, as if he had no choice. We all know how badly Amin Fahim wanted the top post. Zardari could have put him in charge, or just held party elections. He did neither. And one more point. We are supposed to sympathize with Mr. Zardari because he may have made a new friends over the years who may now be meddling with his politics. That may be the reality but are we really supposed to feel sorry for the guy if he has his friends’ interests in mind more than the country’s?

    Daktar, I disagree. This article is not worth a read. It’s a joke.

  9. Eidee Man says:
    May 5th, 2008 2:34 pm

    Whether it will survive or not, I don’t know. I do know that it would be very bad for Pakistan at least in the short term if it does not.

    It’s funny how people who were against even having the elections in the first place have been almost wishing for the coalition to break up just so they could say “I told you so.”

    Regardless of what you think about the parties, neither Zardari nor Sharif is stupid. They know it’s in their best interest to ride out this first difficult year before they try to do some political outsmarting.

    The Sharifs have made one good tactical move after another since November and have basically resurrected their standing from zero. But if the Punjabi PM actually delivers, then I think the PPP can grow even bigger.

  10. ASIM says:
    May 5th, 2008 4:08 pm

    Prof Najam, like you I also hope it survives because that will be good for Pakistan

    But I hope the cost of survival is not compromise on the judges issues

    I fear that ZArdari and his American masters want him to do that

    The Americans have their man as President (musharraf) and now they have their neo-con agent Husain Haqanni as Ambassador to DC and Zardari singing their tune. So the only ones not playing ball with the US is the judges which is why PPP is trying to stop them as a favor to Washington

  11. Zaffar says:
    May 6th, 2008 1:15 am

    At a time when prices are soaring. Wheat and rice have become a prized commodity. Electricity is scarce. Our newly elected members have directed all their energies in the restoration of the judges. The common man does not care. They did not elect you for this.. they want you elected members to solve their daily problems. How will the country develop if we spend all our energies in these trivial matters.

  12. Kruman says:
    May 6th, 2008 2:04 am

    Baychari kai dino’n say dam to’r rahee hai
    Dar hai kay khabr-e bad meray moon’h say na nikal ja’ey

  13. SMM says:
    May 6th, 2008 2:48 am

    you have great graphics all over your site and on this Poll. Do you have a special plugin for making these.

    Congrats on excellent design of blog.

  14. Abdul Saboor says:
    May 6th, 2008 5:20 am

    Keep it up

  15. Arshad says:
    May 6th, 2008 1:59 pm

    I agree with bulk of people voting here and the coalition will sick together till Musharraf is kicked out and will then dissolve.

    This is a GOOD thing because a Multi-party system is a GOOD thing.

  16. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    May 6th, 2008 5:06 pm

    @ Its time that Rehman Malik should go home !
    he is proved to be the first hurdle of the coalition,
    he must be thrown out !!! and now !!!

  17. meengla says:
    May 6th, 2008 10:19 pm

    It will be a political suicide for several political parties, especially PMLN if Musharraf manages to yank PPP away from PMLN. Remember: Until BB landed in Pakistan on Oct. 18th the same ‘Lion of Punjab’ was unceremoniously (and illegally)rounded up and sent back to his Suroor Palace in Saudi Arabia. That NS stands as a ‘leader’ today is mostly because of the blame-PPP-NRO and the PPP persuading NS to contest the elections. The ego-maniac with dull brain called NS leading the PMLN is nothing but a symbol of the majority province to try to assuage that province’s ego by making a leader of out him. Even a few days ago NS was reportedly refusing to contest byelections because he does not want to be a ‘mere MNA now when he was the twice elected PM before’. Quite some Amir ul Mominoon!
    I am angry at the PPP folks for being too nice to these clowns of the so-called Muslim League. For a decade these Muslim Leaguers (Including NS) sat on Zia’s lap when journalists, lawyers, political workers were LITERALLY hanged and flogged in public and yet PPP fails so miserably in exposing the crimes of these clowns. Why? Why can there be instantly available videos of a young Bilawal partying in England on YouTube after BB’s murder when we don’t see the statements, pictures, videos of these ruthless wanna-be ‘democrats’ of PML-A-Z?
    As to the question of whether the coalition is going to stay together I’d say that Asif Zardari, despite being in prison for 8+ years, is willing to take on Musharraf when the time comes–sorry, this ‘Asif Ali Zardari being American puppet’ is noting but a ’90s mentality and a slap on 10 million Pakistani voters’ face. But NS is so desperate to take revenge for his less than 2 years of prison that he seems almost willing to open Musharraf’s skull. Quite a politician.

  18. Qudsia says:
    May 7th, 2008 9:17 am

    it is an unnatural coalition and should not be there because mutiple parties and strong opposition in parliament is important

    So once Mush goes then coalition goes

  19. Babar says:
    May 7th, 2008 9:12 pm

    I agree with Zaffar. The judges issue seems to be tearing the two parties apart. True to his nature, Nawaz Sharif is being confrontationalist. He does not seemed to have sobered down after all these years in exile. He comes out with all these declarations and deadlines and fails to see recognize the consequences. A package to reform the judiciary seems more pertinent to me than just reinstating the old judges (who took oath under a PCO themselves)

    Although an injustice has been done against the judges and Musharraf has surely no right to stay on as President, I have to say that the people of Pakistan must grudgingly accept that we are in an economic and security crisis that must take precedence over the judicial issue and the Musharraf issue.

  20. Aqil Sajjad says:
    May 8th, 2008 10:36 am

    A good article on the bielection conspiracy


  21. Qudsia says:
    May 8th, 2008 10:37 am

    It is clear that just postponing the issue will not help. Some clear decision on judges is needed soon.

  22. meengla says:
    May 8th, 2008 10:17 pm

    @Babar, has made a good point about NS being confrontational.
    Also, what is being under-reported and very-largly unacknowledged is the role of BB between Oct. 18 2007 and Dec. 27 2007: She managed to land in Pakistan on the basis of presumed legal cover of the NRO. Yet she did not waste much time in betraying Musharraf; the latter is on record to have said something to the effect: “We have allowed her to come back as part of a national reconciliation but she is constantly in confrontational mode”. BB took advantage of a ‘political space’ that enabled even NS to be able to come back to Pakistan only weeks after NS was illegally kicked out of Pakistan.

    What made the huge concession to NS possible?

    Also, it is no secret that NS wanted to boycott elections and had actually announced a boycott but changed his stance after his meeting with BB.

    The above 2 points are historic facts and happened within only last few months. The role of the PPP and especially BB in bringing NS to the fore is very strong. Without the above 2 NS would be forced to (illegally) stay in Suroor Palace for a little more.

    The judges issue cannot be reduced to NS being ‘principled’ or AZ being scared of the NRO. AZ has survived 8+ years of real prison under very hostile regimes and can certainly count on the current regime to make any prison stay far more bearable. Similarly, I am certain that NS has his main agenda of showing Musharraf the door in the nastiest possible way. And to NS a fully restored judiciary is the best shortcut to that goal.

    Having said what I say above. I still don’t know the real reasons why the PPP is ambiguous about the judges issue. PPP is the party which, starting Nusrat Bhutto versus the State case, got the least justice from the pliant judiciary of the yester years and so the independence of the judiciary is PPP’s strength. But I am certain it is not some NRO which is the main reason for PPP’s ambiguity. Perhaps this is all a smoke screen to keep the presidency confused? Perhaps a precondition from foreign ‘donor’ countries to let Musharraf be? Perhaps to defang Musharraf first? We will find out soon!

  23. anon says:
    May 9th, 2008 2:22 pm

    Were major political parties such as PML(N) and JI etc involved in funding bombings in Pakistan to undermine the previous governments and Musharraf before the elections.

  24. a-woman says:
    May 9th, 2008 2:46 pm

    In the past, Zardari had made five appearances before CJ Choudhry and was pronounced guilty before him. So its no wonder that Zardari is in no hurry to free him.

    It is also very likely that once the CJ is restored, Zardari may not be able to reap favors for himself like he does now from Justice Dogar. Justice Dogar upheld NRO and removed the requirement of graduation for him to contest election to the National Assembly.

    I hope for the sake of this country that they remain united atleast until Musharraf is out of the scene.

  25. Azeem says:
    May 10th, 2008 2:19 pm

    I think it will last as long as Musharraf is there then it will collapse

  26. Yaqoob Hassan says:
    May 10th, 2008 3:56 pm

    Zardari is cementing his coalition with MQM so that if he needs to drop Nawaz then he can do that easily

  27. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    May 11th, 2008 1:22 pm

    Adil Najam,

    Tight rope walk, which side will they fall ?

    @NS might be betrayed again & again,
    as for cementing coalition with MQM, does
    Zarbhutts realizes that the quality of ” cement ”
    is not reliable ? or if assuming ,
    MQM will accept the orbit zone of PPP satelite ?
    Altaf is desperate indeed, looking for ” safeguard” to
    ensure his return to Karachi ? where he is awaited with
    enormous tenderness.

    but I think I should stay with my ” Tajzia”
    Zarbhutts are going towards a posssible disaster, the solid
    card “Aitizaz” being invalid !!

    In Punjabi langauge there is a beautiful proverb,

    ” Rab danga’n nei maarda, dendah matt no maar ”

    May be for third option, get rid of PCO’s shadow, come out
    in the daylight. Sanp bhi mar jaiy aur lathi bhi ne…………

  28. Daktar says:
    May 11th, 2008 10:52 pm

    Maybe events will trump your Poll and prove the majority wrong. Most newspapers in Pakistan seem to be saying the the coalition may be about to be over, at least formally PML may leave the cabinet.

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)