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Tragicomedy

Discussion in 'Pakistani Siasat' started by ghazi52, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    Tragicomedy

    By Shahzad Chaudhry
    November 10, 2019

    [​IMG]

    Maulana Fazlur Rehman.


    It would be hilarious if it weren’t so grievously consequential. Maulana Fazlur Rehman seeks Imran Khan’s resignation while sitting in on an Islamabad road. The few thousands left with him from the earlier almost 30,000 – though he promises some reinforcements – are all his party men, including the baton-armed Ansar Ul Islam. It may harm democracy to define the accompanying party-men further (pun) but most are not there of their own volition. In a cult, you do as you are told. Even the most informed and educated in politics behave like a cult in Pakistan. That is the nature of it. Maulana’s men shout slogans as directed and not because they are invested in it or even know what it entails.

    Next, he seeks dissolution of assemblies, provincial and national, and early elections. He fails to state who he is addressing his demands to. To Imran Khan, to resign and dissolve the assemblies? Why would IK oblige? He is the elected Prime Minister by a nation-wide majority for the last 14 months that the assemblies and he have been in power. Good or bad – it is a sorry mix, undoubtedly – he governs on with almost four more years to go. Why would he give it all up? Because the Maulana wants it? The Constitution defines ways of replacing a prime minister and that doesn’t include sit-ins on Islamabad’s roads.

    Next, the provinces under different political dispositions again have defined ways of dissolution. The chief minister of a province must recommend the dissolution to the governor who is bound to heed his advice. Since only two of the four provinces are under IK’s party’s control, he could at best dissolve the national and two provincial assemblies. The other two, including one in PPP’s Sindh, are likely to have their own mind and not oblige. Till this happens, full parliamentary elections may not be feasible. The Constitution doesn’t detail the way out of such a political half-state. Again, why would IK listen to a few thousand men on the roads shouting for elections to be held again? The JUI-F’s weight in the Parliament is about five seats in the National Assembly, significant in the Balochistan Assembly, and a smattering elsewhere. That isn’t big enough to even cause a stir. To think dominoes may fall is a bit of a stretch.

    However, the nine political parties that the Maulana claims are in his camp and as much want IK to go and a new election held include the PPP and the PML-N, major players in the Parliament and on the political scene (some would say even bigger than IK’s PTI in political terms). To break IK’s obduracy on quitting, the simplest and easiest way out is for each of these two major parties to resign from their national and provincial seats and forced dissolution. An en masse resignation of such numbers at both the national and provincial level including others accompanying the Maulana will mean that the National Assembly and the Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan assemblies will cease to exist. K-P will be forced to follow and a new election will become a fait accompli.

    Why haven’t they? Why don’t they fall back on the constitutional method of bringing a government down and forcing a new election? The fact that such resort to re-election just a year down a government’s tenure will set a precedent which each of these major parties is unlikely to be excited about. Any party which fails to find its own government can call an election void. That’s untenable for any political system. Two, the PPP, has a government of its own in Sindh where a lot of resources — time, money and effort — have gone in winning an election only a year back. To repeat the same exercise with a similar cost and effort just because someone in some part of the country thinks that it has been denied its rightful share in the parliamentary seats is rather flimsy for it to give up what it already holds as a position of power and influence in national politics.

    The PPP is right in basing its position on democratic principles to keep away from politics of agitation seeped in bigotry and religious sentiment. It also rightly considers the closing of cities, especially the capital, as a negative expression of the democratic right to agitation. To it, short-circuiting democracy or its processes is counterproductive to the larger democratic purpose. The PPP thus is on the right side of history even as it preserves its base in Sindh by qualifying its support in Maulana’s pursuits.

    The PML-N has other issues. The PTI is a minority government in Punjab where the PML-N outnumbers all other parties in the number of seats. Yet the reverberations it is suffering from within restraining it from any inventiveness with unknown implications and consequences. They have gone along with the Maulana only reluctantly. This has a lot to do with the status of the legal cases and challenges the party leadership is facing in NAB and the courts. Also, the matter of transition to the new leadership weighs heavy on the party’s mind.

    While Maryam Nawaz is the obvious and preferred heir-apparent, the current leadership rests with Shehbaz Sharif. The PML-N will be wary of giving this arrangement permanence. With Maryam serving a conviction away from politics, any new election will mean Shehbaz Sharif will only reinforce his position as the party head, especially if he can conjure a nation-wide victory. That will weaken Maryam’s prospects of replacing him. It may thus rather wait than hurry into another election till Maryam can be back in the political fray as the next natural leader. Early elections don’t suit the PML-N; hence the reservations of a different nature. Its support of Maulana is strictly qualified.

    With these two major protagonists out the Maulana seems to have lost steam. He is visibly sullen and the swagger of his day one at the sit-in is gone. He is more contemplative as he encourages people to stick with him. He himself claims that he has now entered a closed alley. What he seemed to have regained with his bold march has slowly slipped away as options narrow down. This is bad politics – closing options – and a poor wager. One should know when to quit, even in politics – always on a high. The Maulana has let that moment slip away as he became a captive of his moment in the sun and false bravado forcing bad choices.

    And who is he addressing his complaints to force IK to resign and institute new elections? To the same non-democratic establishment he calls out every evening for standing behind IK and supporting the government? What irony. It is time to think beyond one’s self and above petty purpose. It is time to rediscover maturity and restore some credibility to politics and politicians at large.

    Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2019.
     
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  2. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    Maulana and his non-state audience

    Muhammad Ali Ehsan
    November 10, 2019

    [​IMG]



    There are many stakeholders involved in the continuity of Maulana’s dharna (sit-in) in Islamabad. Internally, the opposition parties are having a joyful political time and externally, the enemies of Pakistan. The whole sit-in conveys an extremely negative image of our country. It has a political utility for Maulana but for him to escalate it beyond the point of political utility in our fragmented political environment becomes a dangerous game that Maulana is playing. So far, the government has dealt with this sit-in with the patience it deserves but could just being patient be termed as a strategy?

    The Mossads, RAWs and the NDSs of this world are not conventional battle-seekers. They live amongst the people and have agendas and objectives to achieve for which they deploy and use their assets. The dark forces operating in any country including Pakistan are easily exploited and facilitated to create political situations that we all are very familiar with. The civil-war like situation in many countries in the Middle East post-Arab Spring is obviously not a natural phenomenon. Maulana’s dharna is high-risk activism and is like an “unexploded bomb” that needs to be defused. Waiting for it to explode cannot be termed as a strategy. The enemies of the state can trigger any unpleasantness or horribleness in that crowd which can dramatically transform how people may get involved and respond.

    Maulana’s outrage is uncontrollable and the worst thing he is doing is targeting state institutions. The politically discarded and discredited leadership which lost the elections and stand on the container to deliver their “enemy pleasing political sermons” suffer from a political disease called “institutional accusation syndrome”. What the national institutions including the military, intelligence and all law enforcement agencies have achieved for this country has been at a great cost that demanded huge sacrifices performing their duties 24/7/365 throughout the length and breadth of the country. Maulana appreciates his crowd for weathering Islamabad’s thunder and storm but he has no clue how the military and other security agencies weathered the thunder and storm of terrorism that targeted the very roots and foundation of our state.

    Maulana’s emotional outrage and uncontrollable speech making is creating an irrational narrative that seeks to only spread negativity. This negativity is strengthening the beliefs of the non-state audience that identifies more strongly with their given identity (in this case the Maulana-given identity) rather than the identity of the state. The state represents rationality and the core audience (the majority of the people) that identifies with the state believe in their rise, fall, victory and defeat together with the state. The unquestionable political mistake that Maulana is making is estranging and alienating himself and his followers from the state. His political method of creating a non-state audience can please Pakistan’s enemies but can in no way enhance and compliment his own political credibility. To this extent, the government’s strategy of allowing him more political exposure looks right because the further he speaks or gives interviews the more he exposes himself and the dark side of his movement that projects state hatred. Maulana, who had, for a long time, been hiding under the attire of his politics, is now giving some very confusing statements. On the one hand he talks about the “non-violent nature” of his movement and on the other hand threatens the state with how ‘”there can be violence and killing and how his accumulated crowd is ready to fight and sacrifice lives”.

    Malcom Gladwell, the famous Canadian writer who writes for The New Yorker, divides the audience in political theatres like the one currently going on in Islamabad into two types — engaged and participatory. The participatory audience is created by social media and this audience is the creator of the related excitement, hysteria, propaganda and hype. If this audience could correctly recognise its responsibility, much of the melodrama and sensationalism being generated can be controlled. The tragedy is that this participatory audience, few members of which are actively involved in adding fuel to the already burning fire, will not be there if and when the engaged audience may face a crackdown by law enforcement agencies. The engaged audience which is the “staying there audience” which is not participating from the comforts of their homes and studios, is so far demonstrating norms that speak of disciplined behaviour. Yet these norms may change with the change in situation. In a greatly changed situation, people tend to resort to the norms that are condemnable yet may think about them as absolutely reasonable. During Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was decimated and people were trapped without supplies and no way to evacuate. In those circumstances what the outsiders (the participatory audience) showed and shared through social media as looting was an emergent act carried out by the engaged audience to seek much needed supplies for survival.

    Our engaged audience in the dharna is equipped with solar energy panels and so their mobile batteries never die. They also remain in contact with the participatory audience that continues to give them feedback on the righteousness of their cause. History will judge not only the role of the political leaders and the direction in which their politics is taking this country but also the role of both the participatory and the engaged audience. Those not condemning Maulana’s anti-institution and anti-state tirade are doing no good service to the state. Some of the great champions of democratic azadi (liberty) are showing little or no responsibility towards the state. They are part of that non-state audience which is unprincipled, purchasable and corruptible.

    Maulana is entitled to his media exposures but if he doesn’t stop using foul language against the state and its institutions then it is the combined responsibility of all pillars of state to ask whether he deserves such media exposure for what he is saying? A state of emergency was imposed in France in November 2015 when militants killed 130 people in coordinated attacks across Paris. Two years later it was replaced by President Macron with anti-terrorism law. France hasn’t lowered its guard against the threat it faces regardless of its purge against civil liberties. Pakistan also experienced a horrendous attack on APS Peshawar in December 2014. The subsequent National Action Plan (NAP) which was approved and signed by all political parties, including the Maulana’s, hasn’t so far met its determined goals.

    Unlike France, in Pakistan the propagators of civil liberties are actually the very proliferators of our insecurities. While they also have the option of taking a flight abroad, we don’t have such luxuries and are left to deal with Maulana and the non-state audience that he and the participatory audience on his side continues to create.

    Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2019.
     
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  3. Sine Nomine

    Sine Nomine ELITE MEMBER

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    Fazlu has played his part in this tragicomedy quite skillfully,he pulled an act for mass public deception which has worked more than desired,Sharifs are out of jail and going out of Pakistan,Zardari is in PIMS and might be out soon.No one is questioning why this is happening,that's known as performance.
     
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  4. Verve

    Verve ELITE MEMBER

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    Foreign involvement is one thing, Establishment itself is split. One side pro-current-rotten-system and the other pro-new-presidential-system.
     
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  5. khanmubashir

    khanmubashir FULL MEMBER

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    fazlu was pumped by Nawaz and and zardaris and now dumped by em
    as
    the purpose served of securing medical leave from Jail


    which


    itself is a joke with law
     
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  6. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    آزادی مارچ

    مولویاں دا میلہ
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Pakhtoon yum

    Pakhtoon yum SENIOR MEMBER

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    So all the ho ha was for nothing and they won?
     
  8. Salik

    Salik FULL MEMBER

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    There are several reasons for IK's resignation. That include;

    1. IK has been doing dharnas to demand resignation from the PM of that time.

    2. He has himself said that if a crowd would demand resignation from him, he would resign if he were a PM.

    3. He has majority of overall voters. He can take the risk of tactical retreat.

    If IK resigns it would really be a twist but it could be necessary to avoid any potential new wave of bloodshed.

    After his resignation there'll come simple Maths and logic into play. That is, if he can resign on the demand of say thirty thousand people, he can take back the resignation on the demand of sixty thousand people.

    Why would this simple Maths and logic work?

    People engaged in protest are basically from conventional religious background who demand daleel to accept or reject anything. Their demand for resignation from the PM is based on the argument that people are dissatisfied with the performance of this govt., and daleel of their dissatisfaction is that they are on the roads in protest. To tell them that the majority is satisfied, a daleel is required and that would be the people who come out in favour of this govt.
     
  9. HAIDER

    HAIDER ELITE MEMBER

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    Well, it so sad when establishment again and again get the stamp of NRO or .... ( don't want to complete that part) ..but this time everyone naming Turkey. Because Shareef family did huge investment in Turkey and gave lucrative contracts to Turkish companies ...
     
  10. Verve

    Verve ELITE MEMBER

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    No! They are all brainwashed madrassah students who follow Diesel blindly and without a question.

    Watch their interviews
     
  11. Salik

    Salik FULL MEMBER

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    Their biggest daleel is Molvi 'Diesel' himself.

    Follow my daleel.
     
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