Politics of alliances, somersaults harmful to democracy?


No other than politicians are responsible for a fragile democratic set in the country as they are encouraging somersaults also called as horse trading just for reaching into power or getting attractive and beneficial slots in government. History of horse trading or forced loyalty changes started along with inception of the country when founding Muslim League made successful attempts of replacing All Indian Congress allies’ governments in Punjab and present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. And later the initiatives was followed by former British ruler’s inherited “establishment” when almost of Bengali leaders and parliamentarians were disagreed with decisions made by a particular mind set, making attempts of converting minority into majority and majority into minority. As a result, majority left with option no other than waging a struggle for independence from minority.

Following fall of Dhaka in 1971, despite stock of reservations and rivalries politicians from both treasury and opposition benches have joined hands for the safety of remaining Pakistan comprises Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan. All of them have unanimously passed first ever social contract- 1973 constitution with guaranteeing rights and interests of three smaller federating units through constituting of Upper House, The Senate of Pakistan. But unfortunately soon after adopting of 1973 constitution, late ruler Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had indulged himself in politics of horse trading whereas the opposition parties started politics of alliance. Strange pulling between the two sides concluded with imposition of Martial Law in July 1977. Like of Khan and his predecessors Ayub Khan, the then military dictator Zia Ul Haq had made almost leading and influential political figures of assembling in his introduced “ Majlis-i-Shura,” whereas its declarations and resolutions are now essential part of 1973 Constitution after controversial Objective Resolutions.

On end of third military dictator Zia Ul Haq rule in 1988, one was expecting “change” in policies of followers of Shaheed Z A Bhutto and his PPP but democracy loving people have found the situation on ground very different. For saving first ever government of Shaheed Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto, her associates have airlifted almost of MNA’s to Swat whereas for toppling of PPP set up in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mian Nawaz Sharif (serving as Chief Minister of Punjab at time) had hosted opposition MP’s in Changa Manga. Tussle for power between the two parties at last concluded with toppling of Nawaz Sharif government in October 1999. Both the rivals and former Prime Ministers i.e. Shaheed Mohatarama Benazir Bhutto and Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, experiencing too many sufferings have realized needs for a political reconciliation and have signed the Charter Of Democracy at London on May 14, 2006. But unfortunately, the two sides- leaders of PPP and PML (N) have termed it a “meaningless document” after the sad assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Soon after 2008 general elections, former President Asif Ali Zardari in the light of Benazir Bhutto commitments had inducted PML(N) nominees in the federal cabinet and PPP nominees in Punjab government. But within months, the understanding between the two sides smashed into pieces. And since mid of 2008, political rivalries now switched into hostilities, thus providing opportunities to third forces for getting benefits of the situation.

One can differ but it is a fact that disqualification of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif caused worst kind of unrest amongst people throughout the country. Pakistan Tehrik Insaaf chairman Imran Khan eyeing on the top slot of Prime Minister and for the purpose he is engaged in washing and cleaning of all those influential politicians who remain occupants of important ministerial slots in past. Just for ensuring majority in parliament in 2018 general elections, he is welcoming each and every one into his party. Even he jubilating entry of those who have been rejected or side-lined by respective parties on one or other grounds. For materializing his dreams of becoming Prime Minister, Imran Khan after discharging from legal battle for toppling of Naas Sharif, is now engaged in addressing rallies in different parts of the country, thus portraying “electioneering atmosphere.” Similar is the position of Siraj Ul Haq, his colleague and chief of Jamaat Islami enjoying lion’s share in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

In retaliation, PPP, PML(N), Jamiat Ul Ulema Islam (F) and Awami National Party leaders are also on streets not only for mobalising own party workers but also for mustering support of all those made disgruntled by leaders of their respective party leaders or office holders. People from all over the country in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular have made great hopes with Imran Khan as he had made commitments of bringing an end to the outdated trends of corruption, nepotism, injustices and others. He had promised of establishing good governance. But in last four and half a years, his party has not only encouraged politics of somersaults but also re-loaded all those who on the charges of from corruption and malpractices were removed ministerial and other government offices or ousted from party. Through such acts, Imran Khan could materialize his long standing dreams of becoming Chief Executive of the country but fate of his government will not be different from the fate of previous successive governments.

Similarly, in recent past both the leading religious parties like JUI (F) and JI lost a lot despite remaining major share holders in Federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. Most recently, son and other family members of JI elected MNA from Buner switched to PTI whereas IK had made sleepless nights of Siraj Ul Haq by addressing well attended public rallies in Chitral, Upper and Lower Dir districts. Whereas a number of sitting JUI (F) MPA’s have already made minds of disassociating them from the party before of coming general elections. Smelling the rate, both Maulana Fazal Ur Rahman and Siraj Ul Haq agreed for the revival of Mutahida Majlis Amal (MMA), which had governed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2002-2006. Now it is premature to say something about 2018 general elections or its results but in the light of continuing politics of alliances and horse trading it could be nothing else, “old wine in new bottle.”