100 days under the king-maker
The directionless PPP government seems to be dropping in darkness. The 100 days treated as a litmus test for a nascent government to prove its willingness and capacity to perform have been wasted. The regime seems to be treading the same path of preserving the status quo. The PM is as dummy as was Shaukat Aziz and the powers now rest with the king-maker Zard-Aari. The government has remained hostage to the problems that it has inherited but has not shown any will to resolve them. I doubt if any government has lost its image and trust so early before the ‘change-loving’ people of Pakistan.
The performance of the PPP led government can be faulted on three major points. One, price hike – the exponential rise in the prices of commodities has burdened the nation on the whole. Two, the law-and-order situation in the country is the same and is unfortunately expected to worsen for the continuation of the military crackdown in the FATA. The state of affairs in Baluchistan is same as it was in the cursed regime of Musharraf. Three, they have failed to fulfill the promises as per Charter of Democracy and Murree Declaration, which is leading to political and leadership crisis in the country which is alarming for the growth of democratic values in the country.
The “roti, kapra aur makaan” dream seems to be an illusion for the people of Pakistan, once again. The doubling of the wheat prices, 25% increase in the cement prices and the food-inflation rising from 11 to 30 percent will not let the ‘roti’ dream or the ‘makaan’ dream come true. For ‘kapra’, thanks to the energy crisis, the textile industry is going through a turmoil leading to sharp increase in the prices of textile products. The government has done nothing at all to solve the energy crisis. Neither the short term promised plans like the early closure of markets for energy saving or the exemption of textile industry from load-shedding have been implemented nor the long-term plans like extra brick lining, dams or rental power plants have been given a serious thought. Interesting mention is the increase in CNG prices by 35% which the government announced to be a result of miscommunication between ministries 20 hours after the stupid announcement. 62 million rupees were looted in a single day.
The promises to bring peace into the country do not seem to be fulfilled any sooner, thus increasing insecurity and deteriorating the law-and-order situation. I feel insulted, affronted and snubbed when someone like Karzai, whose area of rule does not extend beyond 10KMs of Kabul threats Pakistan of a military assault. The new folks in the parliament seem to have learnt no lesson from the previous regime when the FATA and Baluchistan are concerned. The policies adopted by the PPP haven’t changed a bit from what they were in case of PMLQ. The attempts to bring in peace through violence will do no good. It’s ironical that the PM proudly announces ‘dehshat gardo se koi baat cheet nahe ki jayegi. Un sab ka mukabla kia jayega” – doesn’t this sound like Musharraf ? The Baluchistan issue is probably the most important one of our times. We are on the verge of another division of this land of the pure but the government is fooling the people with ‘look-busy, do-nothing ‘attitude.
The worst thing is the Constitutional Package suggested by the PPP which is going to indemnify the illegal and anti-constitutional November 3 actions of the cursed dictator Musharraf. How easily the people of Pakistan have been fooled by Zard-aari on the issue of restoration of Judiciary. The Murree declaration promised to restore the judges as the position of November 2nd within 30 days of the formation of the government but the leaders didn’t hesitate to break the promise. Even the 12 day grace period expired and the nation was betrayed – double standards or no standards ?
The people of Pakistan have turned against the United States for multiple reasons. The issue of restoration of Judiciary, the involvement of US in the domestic affairs of Pakistan, the attacks in FATA and the support to Musharraf are a few of the issues for this hatred. In such times, the representatives of the people of Pakistan are busy inviting Boucher and fellows to come and decide the fate of Pakistanis. There seems no willingness to clean the dirt produced by the previous regime. Everyone swearing allegiance to President Pervez Musharraf has remained well entrenched in their high places. Tensions have been creeping up between the coalition partners on issues like the attacks on FATA where they were not taken into confidence.
One understands that it is not possible to completely change the state of affairs in just a period 3 months but 100 days are enough to judge the willingness, capacity, capability, maturity, integrity and the senses of the rulers. The government lacks a direction and has suffered with not only remaining bogged down in lingering issues but has showed no seriousness to do something for the people. Promises, one after another have been made but none fulfilled.
Here is the performance report of the baby-government after the first quarter:
- The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has not been setup. NRO has been considered enough.
- Press freedom laws are still in the (non-working?)committee with no visible results. Freedom of speech still seems to be a problem to the government.
- NAB continues to exist and cases have not been transferred to the normal courts.
- FCR laws, which the prime minister had promised to abolish, remain.
- Though there has been partial withdrawal of khakis from the civil institutions but not all have been sent back.
- The PM continues to waste the public money on luxuries. Rerortedly, he used 2 helicopters on a personal visit to Jehanian to address election campaign rally of brother of Shah Mahmid Qureshi. Did he forgot ‘hakumat ne VIP culture ko khair ba-ad keh dia hay’ which he said during his first address to the parliament.
- The issue of restoration of Judiciary has not been resolved despite documented promises.
- The annual budget for the education sector has been cut down.
- A so-called task force has been established to resolve the unemployment issue but it seems busy in accommodating the PPP jiyalas.
- The government has broken the peace deal in the FATA and has started using force to bring in peace. Similar is the situation in Baluchistan. Nothing has been done for them other than ‘hum balochistan ki awam se maafi mangtay hain’
- The issues of price-hike, energy crisis, unemployment and insecurity have not caught the attention of the government for serious actions towards the resolution of these issues.
- The government seems unconcerned about the upcoming global food crisis.
- No serious attempts have been made to solve the issue of missing persons.
Apart, all this stuff which the PPP government was expected to do for the people of Pakistan, they have not even yet resolved their very own matters like the issue of having the UN probe into the assassination of Mohtarma BB Shaheed.
What the hell are the rulers doing then?