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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has become one of the most reviewed books since and even before its publication in June 2017. The antici...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The elections in Pakistan

The elections in Pakistan marked many firsts for that country that culminated in Nawaz Sharif’s party getting the largest mandate. Last time Nawaz Sharif got into power, it was with an overwhelming majority and despite that three years later he was bundled out of office through a military take over under General Musharraf. The period starting from the late eighties and throughout the nineties was defined by an intense rivalry between him and Benazir Bhutto. Each was elected twice and removed from the office mid-way through their terms. Both had one common factor binding them and that was both governed Pakistan as badly as anybody could imagine. It was said that she doesn’t listenand he doesn’t understand. Nawaz Sharif came into politics as a protégé of Zia-ul-Haq and after the death of the late dictator he came into his own with his strong base in politics and business in Punjab. In his second time as the prime minister with a two-thirds of parliamentary majority he started to put his markon judicial and military appointments. That is when he replaced Jahangir Karamat as army chief with his nemesis Parvez Musharraf. It was a reenactment of appointment of Zia-ul-Haq to the post by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Parvez Musharraf stuck to power until his forced removal in 2008 with Benazir Bhuttohaving been assassinated during electioneering. The real triumph of theelections in Pakistan has been the democratic process itself and remarkable success of party lead by Imran Khan in general and in particular in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, which saw total decimation of National Awami Party of the descendants of Ghaffar Khan. Anybody disappointed with the process and outcome should have seen a picture of General Kayani casting his vote. Those are the kind of incremental changes that are lasting;revolutions on the other hand, most of the time, turn out to be short-lived. The task facing new government including the controlling of drones raining from the sky could hardly be termed envious.