Courtesy: Daiy "The News", 18 April 2011
Has Nawaz Sharif taken the PPP bait again?
By ANSAR ABBASIISLAMABAD: The PML-N has again been set up, fooled in the name of democracy and possible threats from the establishment, as the Zardari-Gilani duo has smartly pushed the bogey of a technocrats’ government to scare Mian Nawaz Sharif into supporting the PPP to pass the next budget.
Sources said that Nawaz Sharif, who has recently undergone heart treatment in Britain, has already been alarmed by statements of Prime Minister Gilani of the possible setting up of a technocrats’ government to exploit his fears. The PML-N chief was asked to support the system and not to let it derail.
Without the support of the opposition and in view of the unpredictability of the MQM, it would be extremely tough to get the next finance bill passed, which could mean the fall of the government. According to sources, the talk about the technocrats’ government by the president, prime minister and a few ministers, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik, was a deliberate move aimed specifically at Nawaz Sharif. No evidence has been produced by any of the PPP leaders to substantiate the imaginary threat.
Interestingly, the government, which is already plagued by mounting corruption and bad governance, is not doing anything concrete for much needed institutional and structural reforms but it is effectively playing the democracy-card to keep itself going without any reforms.
The PML-N, which had given a 11-point reforms agenda to the Gilani regime and had removed the PPP from the Punjab government after the Centre failed to implement the same, is in a limbo and without any strategy to put pressure on the government. It has failed to get the support of other opposition parties to implement what could not be achieved earlier.
Interestingly, before the PML-N could think of any strategy, Prime Minister Gilani met Mian Nawaz Sharif in London and furthered his fears by sharing with him the “fears” of a technocrats’ government. The prime minister “innocently” shared with Nawaz Sharif his “concerns” over the possibility of a technocrats’ government within days after President Asif Ali Zardari first mentioned the rumours in Naudero on April 4.
He raised the subject again addressing a ceremony organised by the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) when he said that the government was working for the welfare of the poor and that the technocrats could not see the slums of the poor.
President’s confidant and Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik also talked on the issue. He ruled out the government of technocrats, adding that these kinds of rumours were against the people’s aspirations. He said the reports of technocrats’ government were making rounds ever since the PPP came into power.
He did not raise the question as to why his own president had picked up these old rumours at this particular time when in recent months there was hardly any talk of the technocrats’ government and the issue was thrown up out of the blue. It is also not clear whether Prime Minister Gilani gave any solid evidence to Mian Nawaz Sharif in London to convince him. The PML-N has been silent on the issue ever since.
For any vibrant opposition, which has its own political manifesto and programme to implement, this is the best opportunity to press a corrupt government and get some important institutional reforms like the setting up of an independent accountability commission, restructuring of public sector entities, reformation of election commission, depoliticisation of bureaucracy and improvement in governance.
But as the shrewd PPP leadership has made a monkey of all other leaders, allies and opponents alike, Nawaz Sharif has again been set up. It appears he has taken the bait and may end up being used once again, like many times in the past. As a wily politician of Rawalpindi has said, Mian Nawaz Sharif is the insurance policy of President Zardari. This has been proved right many times over. But to whose loss and gain is a moot question.
Note: The viewpoint expressed in this article is solely that of the writer. "FATA Awareness Initiative" Team may not agree with the opinion presented.............
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