Pakistan’s Long March on the Road of Political Uncertainty Continues

Posted on March 11, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Politics
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Adil Najam

Zardari NawazFor a while now we have been carrying links in our middle column to what was featured at ATP a year ago and two years ago. If you look at the headlines for today, you will note that exactly one year ago today the lead story at was Uncertainty Rules Pakistan and two years ago it was a post about the then-recent sacking of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and a video of the then-living poet Ahmad Faraz’s Mohassra. It seems that nothing much ever changes in Pakistan politics. Except, maybe, to get progressively worse.

I had started my post exactly a year ago, about Pakistan’s political uncertainty, with the following words:

Explaining what is happening in Pakistan, and why, is never easy. Never has it been more difficult than it is now.

I may have been wrong. It seems even more difficult today than it did a year ago.

The talk then was about Gen. Musharraf calling a session of the Assembly, the supposed agreement between Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif on Gen. Musharraf but the lingering questions about who would be Prime Minister and about what will happen to the deposed judges. Today, the question seem to be even more confounding:

  1. Would the ‘Long March’ of the lawyers movement be able to start, as it is supposed to, tomorrow? The Punjab government and some major PPP voices seems bent on not letting it happen. News suggests mass arrests as well as strong statements. Oddly, the questions that come to mind are: Would the lawyers’ movement actually be strengthened if it is somehow stopped from happening? And, if it did happen would the results be any different from the last ‘Long March’?
  2. Would the real – and really dangerous – battle now between the PPP and the PML(N), whose Punjab government was recently ousted, has this ‘Long March’ now really been co-opted by the Sharif brothers and is more about vindicating their cause than the original lawyer’s movement?
  3. Even if not, what is to become of the Punjab government fiasco? Everyone seems to be escalating the game with every move in what seems to be a rather silly game of ‘Chicken’ being played by our politicians as the nation sits and waits – knowing that no matter who blinks it is they who will be pushed over the ravine, especially if nobody blinks!
  4. What will happen to the very future of the PPP as Asif Ali Zardari takes one big gamble after the other? Another major leader of the PPP old-guard – Raza Rabbani – has resigned after being overlooked for the Senate Chairman’s position. The handling of the Punjab government has been obviously bungled. Even Prime Minister Gillani seems to be getting impatient. And so much more is going so very wrong in so many ways.
  5. One wonders, also, if Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani just made the speech of his life? Or was he merely conveying the deal already made? One refers, of course, to the speech he just made saying that he will advise the President to call a session of the Punjab Assembly to select a leader and also on ways to resolve the judicial crisis. Is he sending Asif Ali Zardari a message? Or is he conveying Asif Ali Zardari’s message to the rest of us?
  6. And what about the Pakistan military in all of this? This being Pakistan, they seem to be all over all of these stories, and yet no where to be found. Given our history, that is ominous in itself.

Too many questions. Each central to Pakistan’s political future. No answers in sight. Uncertainty can kill. And it may well do just that to Pakistan politics.

25 responses to “Pakistan’s Long March on the Road of Political Uncertainty Continues”


    Who will bring the political system in pakistan on track when our politician mostly under pressure due to our country’s economy which is shattered by wrong policies,also our politician try to be in power not by the strength of people whom they say real power in their speeches,otherwise they privately think them as cattles as the majority are they always can live in power with conspiracies,as is now happening.If any musalman make promise even with nonblivers and break he is no more muslim.

  2. Riffat says:

    we are now in a real mess. Since everybody is only interested in thief own selfish interest we are in a no win situation

    I want the CJ to be restored

    But then what? What happens the next morning? Will Pakistan be less stable or more ? seems to me that will land us in whole new crisis

    The problem us what if he us not restored? That prolongs current crisis and creates new ones

    So whatever happens we as a country are in touble

    What we need is a way out of ytjus that leaves Pakistan more stable. And no one except maybe Adil Najam is interested in that!

  3. readinglord says:

    The fact is this ‘Inshaallah, Mashaallah’ society of Pakiland is rotten to the core. Just see what happened to me, an old citizen of Islamabad, residing in Khanna East. The other day, I went to the Expressway to board a public transport for going to Polyclinic. I however found the road empty, as what the policemen said, “‘Route’ laga hua he sadar sahib ke lie”. I stood their to wait for the wagon but the police won’t allow me even to stand there and asked me to go and stand about 200 yds away from the road. I refused to budge as I was feeling very unwell and was arguing with the police man about my condition and reason to stay there when a police officer came and without questioning me lifted me with the help of the police man to dump me at a place about 100 yards away from the road.

    It is almost a matter of almost daily occurrence on the Expressway, called VIP road. I often see people including women and children standing in the scorching heat for hours to let a VIP pass away. What surprises me they don’t even protest against this torture.

    So what can you expect from such people who deserve to be treated like cattle.

  4. Farrukh says:

    No one has commented on the point about the Prime Mimister

    I do think that Gillsni is also getting tired and may pull a Junejo ok Zardari, or worse
    This time army seems to be more with the PM than President

  5. Farrukh says:

    I keep getting emails about arrests etc of lawyers supporters but don’t see much in the media about that

    Are the Internet reports exagerating?

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