Why Nawaz Sharif should resign?
The drop scene of the drama is reaching its logical end. I wish it could be a win-win situation for everyone; unfortunately, it seems to be a win-lose for everyone. Although it is better than lose-lose for Pakistan but still this win-lose will leave a bitter taste for many in their mouth if unable to justify it for oneself. It is very unfortunate to comment that the Sharifs and PML(N) have called for it by adopting a competing attitude to resolve a conflict, which had not only escalated it but culminated it to the point of “No Return”. In spite of the clear evidences, the Sharif government and PML(N) leaders have been declining of their involvement in rigging and 17th June incident. They had to accept that they were not stumped out of the wicket but had been clean bold much before they could realize it. They had lost the right to appeal to the third Umpire, still they were given the opportunity not only to make them realize the sanctity of the institutions, they have maligned in the name of democracy, but to run their trial open and public before the media, before submitting them to formal courts.
Sharifs should realize by now that they have lost in their public trial; their criminal acts are no more hidden. Some of these include delay in registering FIR and influencing the police and judiciary to help them cover up the mass murder of innocent citizens of Lahore, in which 14 people were actually murdered on the spot, while more than eighty people were critically injured. It has put a huge question mark against credibility and moral justifications of Sharifs to stay in the government. In fact they have turned against their own saying; younger Sharif had proclaimed that if implicated they won’t take a second to resign. Yet the man in uniform had to monitor and intervene till the end until the FIR was registered.
This is not news for many that Pak Army wants constitutional and legal partnership in the government affairs, especially relating to defense and international relationships with India, Afghanistan and USA. Moreover, army is fighting to remain autonomous, not submitting to any civil whims. The political sit-in of Tahir ul Qadri and Imran Khan has proved to be enough social and moral pressure from the civil society on the government to submit. They had to submit because their hands are not clean; it is not an undue political pressure of the opposition of civil and military forces. The bitterest failure of the government has been to sustain good relationships with the men in uniform; because the only balance Sharifs know is the win-lose; they win and the other lose.
I’d still say that elder Sharif’s volatile nature is to be blamed for. His passive aggressive attitude and constant craving for more and more power has no limits. Today Ch. Nisar’s address to the Parliament proclaims that it was Qadri and Sharif who had begged Army to intervene and Mian Sahib was gracious enough to “grant the permission”. This is an illusion or a delusion…? Is this “the truth” or last attempt for face saving; it’s not just a singular attempt to save their vote bank and appease their coalition partners; it is an effort to become a “political martyr” as well. This act of saying one thing and doing another is not a new tactic adopted by Sharifs. That is how they spell a cast of disinformation, confusion and doubt over their semi-literate vote bank. They will not hesitate in becoming a victim, the role they can play at their best. They will make use of all defensive measures and tactics to declare Qadri, Imran and Army Chief as the worst culprits.
The people of Pakistan react to stereotypes devoid of making any intelligent decisions. They conform to the most primal model of leadership – the savior hero or the great man phenomenon. Still they believe in demonstration of physical power as the best power, exhibited best in subjugating the opponent physically or influencing through hoards of wealth combined with power of reference, by virtue of belonging to a significant family or business group. The rational power is beyond their cognition and the power of morality has been obliterated from their consciousness. In order to restore justice and fairplay in our society, it is needed that institutions assume power instead of individuals and there is balance of power among all key stakeholder institutions of the state.
Why both Qadri and Imran insist upon the resignation is to deprive the Sharifs of that symbolic power of the sovereign they have been projecting upon the poor public. The formal withdrawal of this power will empower the law and judiciary to do the needful to make a system capable to meet the challenges of the 21st century. We are in dire need of such a system to escape survival threats; otherwise struck in the survival mode, we will be expending our strengths upon satisfaction of our survival needs as nation, like fighting with extremism, terrorism, and energy crisis rather than planning proactively for the welfare of the people of Pakistan.
I think that Sharifs have realized at their heart that once again they have failed. How much angry and retaliating they might become in future is to be determined with a great caution while bargaining with them. Some sages are of the view: even if PM survives the term, his position would be as ceremonial as that of Mamnoon Hussain, with their hands tied at the back the knot will keep hanging over their head. The message of the man in uniform should be clear for everyone: forced resignation would never be an option during the forthcoming negotiations but a voluntary withdrawal would be welcome. Mian Sahib the options are open before you: become a political victim or a toothless snake; the choice is all yours.
Those who claim of their sovereignty and autonomy have not been able to explain as yet, why the resignations of all PTI and allied members have not been accepted as yet? Why that decision is yet pending? Whatever may be decided by the political veterans to bring inevitable change in the structure of the government, the interim government or the mid-term elections, there is no good news for PTI and Imran Khan. They have chosen a long and hard path to create political and civic awareness in the people of Pakistan. Putting the civil society in active action is the only achievement they will have to be content with for the time being. They have miles to cover and they will have to be content with the KPK government only. May be they acquire some more seats after some by-elections, if rigging is proved in some cases. In case of re-elections, the all party coalition of PML(N) Q, and the alike again would be a sizeable majority in the Parliament. Do your homework carefully Insafians. Be part of the interim government to get fruitful law making for the people of Pakistan.
And Imran Khan, once you were our hero, now you are our leader; we salute you for your honesty and integrity, but even then I’d not wish that you should become a politician. We need you at many hard fronts to become the ultimate savior of Pakistan.
About the writer
Seema Arif is associate professor at School of Social Sciences & Humanities in University of Management & Technology, Lahore. Pakistan. She portrays herself as humble seeker of the Sufi way. Her academic output relates to organizational behavior and concerns about leadership. She has published widely in local and international newspapers, magazines and journals.
Contact her: email@example.com