Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is the PPP-PML(N) Coalition Up To The Task Ahead?

The drama between the PPP and the PML(N) and within each party that has unfolded during the last 48 hours clearly shows the lack of competence and maturity of their leadership in handling the very basic political disputes in their ranks. In the midst of rising terrorist violence claiming many innocent lives on a daily basis, the petty personal differences and mutual suspicions have clearly trumped any discussion of how to deal with the real challenges Pakistan faces today. The simplistic answer being parroted by the two parties and their mindless followers seems to indicate the belief that everything would be fine as soon as Musharraf steps down and the judiciary under Iftikhar Chaudhry is restored. I believe this answer is misleading. Pakistan's problems are much bigger than any one individual or institution. The resolution to these problems of rising violence, high worldwide inflation of food and fuel prices and continuing political instability will require all Pakistanis to work as a team. What Pakistan needs is a unifying leadership, not a divisive bunch with personal ambitions and vendettas against others.

The very public and crude manner in which a PPP stalwart Makhdoom Amin Fahim has been snubbed by both parties is nothing short of absolutely astounding. Not only does it smack of personal ambitions of a few individuals gone awry but also of the ethnic prejudice. But beyond that, it inspires little confidence in the leadership qualities of Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif and their closest lieutenants.

As the entire Pakistani nation holds its breath waiting for a peaceful power transfer, the coalition can not even agree on who will be the prime minister in the new set up. This clearly does not augur well for democracy in Pakistan.

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