• Saturday, December 15, 2018

Nawaz, Imran have buried their political future

Discussion in 'Pakistani Siasat' started by Devil Soul, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Devil Soul

    Devil Soul ELITE MEMBER

    Jun 28, 2010
    +46 / 27,127 / -1
    Nawaz, Imran have buried their political future
    Bilawal says no desire to meet rival leaders before polls but coalition with PML-N, PTI possible after elections, Advocates civilian supremacy, Pak-US ties must not be a zero-sum game,Indian leadership driven by extremist ideology, Nothing against Fatima Bhutto
    March 06, 2018
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    Nawaz Sharif and cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan had buried their political future by “committing blunders”.

    In an exclusive interview with The Nation at his residence, Bilawal said Sharif squandered the opportunities that came his way and Imran Khan exposed himself to be dangerously inconsistent, leaning heavily on the unelected elements and making “hypocritical” U-turns.

    This was Bilawal’s first ever tête-à-tête with any national daily as he leads his party into this year’s general elections.

    About ousted PM Nawaz’s future, the PPP chief said: “This [the future of politicians] is determined by the people. We believe that Nawaz Sharif had so many pluses on his side that he could have done much better. Yet he squandered the opportunities that came his way. It is now for the people to judge him.”

    Bilawal said Sharif should have learnt from the past but unfortunately it was not so.

    “He does not seem to have learnt from the mistakes of the past. If he had learnt appropriate lessons he would have leaned on the parliament and strengthened it against forces inimical to democratic development. But he did not and ignored the parliament. He even failed to turn up in parliament’s sessions,” the Bhutto scion said.

    “Just consider the way he handled the treason trial of [former military ruler Pervez] Musharraf. He should have placed the issue before the parliament and let it decide how to go about it. That would have strengthened his hands and strengthened the parliament against dictatorship.”

    But, he said: “Nawaz Sharif ignored the parliament and instead made a unilateral declaration to institute the treason case. At the end of the day and devoid of parliament's support he could not pursue it. Contrast it with how the PPP drove Musharraf out of the presidency. All the provincial assemblies passed unanimous resolutions demanding Musharraf's resignation. At the end, Musharraf was driven out by the united force of the people’s representatives.”

    Turning to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, he said when the former cricketer entered politics many had pinned high hopes.

    “After all he was untested, appeared to make the right noises and was relatively well known because of [the cricket] World Cup [win] and the philanthropic work he had been doing.”

    Once in the arena, Bilawal said, Khan exposed himself to be “dangerously inconsistent, leaning heavily on the un-elected elements, making hypocritical U-turns on critical issues too often and too sharp, revealed soft corner for religious extremists and fanatics and was totally devoid of any political acumen. That side of his personality was not known at all to anyone. I think Imran Khan has also squandered his chances to secure any place of significance in the national politics.”

    Asked if he would meet Nawaz or Imran Khan for political alliance, he said: “I have no desire to meet them.”

    However, he added, meetings could take place after the general elections.

    “We led a coalition government earlier [2008-2013] with the people [as coalition partners] who persecuted my father [Asif Ali Zardari]. It was difficult but my father managed to lead the government for five years, completing the term after democracy was restored [following a long military rule 1999-2008),” he said, recalling the PPP’s alliance with the PML-Q.

    Bilawal said the PPP would go to polls to win a majority.

    “After the polls, we can discuss partnership with other parties. This [the talks with other parties] is a post-election scenario,” he maintained.

    The PPP chief said he stood for parliamentary and civilian supremacy.

    “By their very nature progressive societies are pluralistic societies also. State power is no longer wielded by one individual or one institution. Pluralism demands that power is diffused among various power centres,” he said.

    “It should however be remembered that, while the power is diffused and all state institutions have stakes, the leadership role belongs to the civilians and the elected parliament. I am quite clear on this.”

    He said he was pro-people.

    “I want that [the civilian supremacy] in accordance with the ideology of the party, all power should [be] vest[ed] in the people of Pakistan. I am pro all those forces that are for people’s power and I am against all those who rob the people of the intrinsic power that belongs to them and them alone,” Bilawal emphasised.

    On Pakistan’s relations with the United States, he said, the PPP believed in a mutually-beneficial relationship with Washington.

    “Relations between [the] two countries must not be a zero-sum game. We want to have equal partnership with the US, not a transactional relationship. Anger and emotion is not a foreign policy. We must look at Pakistan's interest. The US is Pakistan’s largest trading partner. We need each other,” the PPP chief remarked.

    Bilawal said the incumbent government ignored foreign policy for years before appointing a full-time foreign minister.

    “We had been asking the government to at least appoint a foreign minister. Now they have one [Khawaja Asif] but there has been a lot of damage already,” he added.

    The PPP leader said Pakistan’s placement on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) terror watch-list from June was a huge setback.

    “This [placement on the watch-list] will have its implications. It is outrageous that the government is taking it lightly,” he contended.

    Bilawal said the FATF tag would have its affects on Pakistan’s economy in the future.

    “The government should know, it is not an ordinary thing,” he argued.

    Questioned, if Pakistan and India could ever live like friends, the PPP leader said Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah had envisaged and hoped that Pakistan-India relationship would be like that between the US and Canada.

    “Geography has placed Pakistan and India as neighbours. There is no escape from it. Wars between us have not solved our problems. This is the lesson of the four wars the two countries fought,” he said. Bilawal said his mother Benazir Bhutto hoped for free trade and free movement of peoples across the borders.

    “However, there are extremist elements and vested interest groups on both sides of the border who do not want normalisation of relations. Unfortunately, the present leadership in India is also driven by extremist ideology,” he said.

    Bilawal was hopeful that times will change and wisdom will dawn upon all concerned to realise that “war is no option and the over one billion people of the subcontinent deserve a better future, which is possible only in an environment of peace and security.”

    He said the future of the PPP was very bright.

    “Those who think otherwise should wait for the 2018 elections and see it for themselves. In each and every free and fair election held in the country, the party has done fairly well. This is a matter of record. Manipulated power transfer and rigged elections, however have been used in the past to create a misperception about the party's standing in the masses,” Bilawal claimed.

    He said the parliament had provided for a new legislative and administrative framework for free and fair elections in the country.

    “We will keep an eye on the conduct of general elections 2018 to guard against possible manipulations and rigging. If the elections are held freely and fairly, I am confident the PPP will do well,” Bilawal said.

    He said the assassination Benazir Bhutto in 2007 had been a serious setback for the party.

    “That is why international stocks steeply fell on the news of her assassination. Having said this I should however also state that the martyrdom of our chairperson is a pause in the process, not a break in purpose,” the PPP chief asserted.

    Bilawal said the PPP’s two successive chairpersons had laid down their lives for the cause.

    Perhaps it is the only political party whose two successive chairpersons have laid down their lives.

    He said when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was controversially executed in 1979; his detractors said that the party was over.

    “But far from being over, the party bounced back with a force and resilience not witnessed before in the history of the country. The name Bhutto represents an ideology and a political philosophy, more than an individual or a family,” the PPP leader said.

    To fairly judge, PPP’s achievements from 2008 to 2013, one should also keep in mind the challenges it faced, he stressed.

    “It was a coalition government. It inherited huge challenge of militancy. The writ of the state had been challenged by the militants and the national flag lowered the Swat valley as the militants continued to advance against the State. The public and political opinion was divided on how to meet the existential threat of militancy to state and [the] society,” he said.

    Bilawal alleged the non-democratic forces were arrayed against the PPP government and waiting in the wings.

    “The Memogate case was the most prominent of many assaults on democracy. Globally there was international financial crisis at the time and petroleum prices at the highest in decades. Natural disasters in the form of two devastating floods had further strained the resources and capacity of the PPP government. A political chief justice [Iftikhar Chaudhry] took daily suo motu and played to the gallery,” he said.

    The PPP chief said despite those challenges the government made remarkable achievements.

    “We restored the constitution through the unanimous 18th Amendment, gave unprecedented provincial autonomy, gave the new National Finance Commission Award after more than a decade, changed the NFC award formula to accommodate the provinces, gave the Pakhtuns their identity by changing the name of the province to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and presided over the first ever peaceful democratic transition from one civilian government to another in the history of the country,” he counted.

    On the social, economic and human development front, Bilawal said, the PPP government gave new support prices to farmers injecting nearly Rs300b in rural economy, made workers in state-run enterprises share holders, empowered poor rural women by giving them state-owned lands, introduced for the first time a women-oriented poverty alleviation programme called Benazir Income Support Programme that earned international approval for transparency and credibility.

    He said the PPP’s ideology was its strength and the party could not afford to deviate from it.

    “The PPP would do much better than what many people thought we are capable of” in the Punjab on the basis of its slogan.”

    Asked, who will be the prime minister if the PPP won this year’s election, he said that would be a “decision of the party.”

    Bilawal said his father possessed the experience of the government as well as the political acumen.

    “He is most well versed in coalition politics and successfully cobbled coalition set up during the previous government. His leadership is valuable for the party and the country. He too will play whatever role the party decides,” the PPP chief said.

    To a question, he said the PPP was not engaged in any horse-trading in the Senate polls.

    “In fact they [Sharifs] have deep pockets. We cannot compete with them on spending money. They are the ones, who introduced this trend,” he said.

    Asked, if he could reconcile with his cousin Fatima Bhutto, Bilawal said: “She is the daughter of my maternal uncle Mir Murtaza Bhutto. She has endured great personal tragedies and pain. I hope that someday she will realise that her perceptions of my mother and father were not based on reality.”
  2. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

    Aug 12, 2015
    +14 / 42,164 / -12
    The eunuch needs a major surgery. Also he finds to find out who is his real father...some Zardari or some Bhutto?
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018