Politics of Raiwind and the Mian brothers – by Fauzia Wahab

Shaheen Sehbai in his article on 28th June has instigated on Mian brothers to bid adieu to the Charter of Democracy and unfurl a new series of disrespect to the people’s mandate. Earlier, some other rightist columnists have also suggested the unleashing of the efforts to destabilise PPP government in the Centre. And in the words of Shaheen Sehbai, Mian Saheb should abandon the politics of principles and throw the Charter of Democracy to the winds. For what? Who needs it? People of Pakistan who have cast off the yolk of dictatorship after ten years or the Pakistani media which has been given back independence over air waves and the freedom of expression by the PPP government, which it is using to launch unrelenting attacks against the government.

Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif signed the Charter of Democracy in 2006 to promote democratic politics and eliminating the interference of the non-democratic forces in the politics of Pakistan. It is an important document for encouraging politics of principles. This important agreement between the two most popular politicians became instrumental to the movement for restoration of democracy in 2007, an independent judiciary and media, which paved the way for a new dawn of democracy in 2008. The slogan of “Pakistan Khapey” by President Asif Ali Zardari on the eve of the martyrdom of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and the message of Bibi in the voice of Bilawal Zardari Bhutto that “Democracy is the best revenge” reiterate the politics of reconciliation in Pakistan.

Mian Nawaz Sharif has also given some responsible statements concerning Shaheed Bibi, which have also added to his popularity. Mian Saheb should also be thankful to Shaheed Bibi for the role that she played to ensure the participation of the second biggest political party in the elections on that historic occasion. Otherwise, some rightist columnists and one or two unpopular political outfits had almost convinced him to boycott the elections like the Baloch nationalists.

It was due to the political vision of Bibi, sagacity of President Asif Ali Zardari and intelligence of Mian Nawaz Sharif that the enemies of democracy failed to achieve their designs. The proponents of politics of confrontation used all kinds of machinations like asking questions in the press conferences, headlines in the newspapers and through columns to incite him to adopt this suicidal course but they failed in their efforts.

Mian Nawaz Sharif is aware of the fact that it is his principled politics that has added to his popularity and that is why he strives to stick to it. In the meantime, the journalists place their own principles at the threshold of Mian Saheb and he picks some of them to make a statement the next day. Since these bizarre principles have no connection with the Charter of Democracy, so Shaheen Sehbai sees tension on the face of Mian Nawaz Sharif during the press conferences. That is to say he is not even happy over this. Next time when Mian Nawaz Sharif makes a statement against President Zardari he should spot a smile and also express good wishes for Shaheen Sehbai. What a “unique” stuff Pakistan has?

The Charter of Democracy had not even been signed when these people had started creating doubts about it. These self-proclaimed icons of wisdom failed to understand that the politics of 1990s will become redundant and the CoD will become Magna Carta of politics of reconciliation. People were taken by surprise when President Zardari expressed extreme disinterest in enlisting the support of 30 independent MPs of Punjab to from a government in the biggest province. The parties were allowed to form governments wherever they were in majority. This was all done under Charter of Democracy.

Then suddenly the demands for the implementation of CoD started echoing with Mian Nawaz Sharif leading the chorus. Nevertheless, ever since a non-governmental institution after a careful scrutiny has revealed that 90% of the CoD has been implemented, the critics of the government have abandoned their rhetoric on the issue and taken up new issues of their choice.

The government in its report on two year’s performance has shown it through the help of charts how the government has implemented each and every clause of the CoD, except a few issues like appointment of PCO judges as head of the Judicial Commissions, unveiling the assets of the generals like the politicians and other such matters on which Mian Nawaz Sharif does not seem as enthusiastic as he was before. Much of the CoD has been implemented. So much so that the critics of the government now perforce have to say that CoD has no legal or constitutional status and its implementation has no significance. Why not Sir? Now that a firm foundation for responsible politics has been laid, why are you bent upon weakening it?

Shaheen Sehbai lives thousand miles away from Pakistan and if gets some news late then he cannot be blamed for that. For his knowledge we present an outline from the book titled “ Policy, Promise and Performance” on two years performance of the government to establish how much of CoD has been implemented and how the opinion of Shaheen Sehbai that since President Asif Ali Zardari has trampled the CoD therefore Mian Nawaz Sharif is not morally bound to stick to it, negates the ground realities. But we also need to look at the fact that it is only President Zardari who has implemented 90% of the CoD. The Parliament has passed seven constitutional amendments out of nine settled in the CoD, seven out of eleven laws have been enacted and nine out of ten administrative measures have been put in place. With regard to the Code of Ethics all the three principles are being observed. Steps are also in the offing to build the institutions envisaged in the Charter of Democracy. It would be better if Shaheen Sehbai also writes an investigative column on those ten clauses which could not be implemented and also convince Mian Nawaz Sharif to cooperate with the government in this regard.

He should also tell the world who are the people whom these clauses pertain to. Instead of expecting Mian Nawaz Sharif to show courage to unravel it, Shaheen Sehbai will himself have to display the nerve to do it. It is not a matter of valour to spew poison against a person who has repeatedly been claiming himself to be a humble human being (Faqir). Even your minions are writing against that man. Come to the real thing, the things that could not be implemented. (CoD implementation outlook is attached).

The writer is Central Secretary Information, PPP

Source: The New, July 05, 2010