Comparison between 1990, 1996 and 2010 – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi

The aamriat-nawaz (dictatorship loving) politicians have always conspired with the military and civil establishment to derail democracy in Pakistan

Our nation is gullible to a great extent. We believe anything that is negative against the rulers, be those rulers elected or those who capture power by subjugating the rights of the nation. Positive thinking is something that has just evaporated from our minds. Anything which is slightly scandalous is accepted with an open mind but anything that reflects positively on the sitting government is conveniently ignored.

Ever since the current PPP government came into power, there has been talk of its removal on one pretext or the other. We have had instances when dates have been given, possible replacement set up announced and doomsday scenarios presented. The players are the same, the stories similar but are these stories implementable? I have tried to compare the scenario of  1990 and 1996 when the PPP governments were sent packing with a possible scenario for removal in 2010.

  1990 1996 2010
Seats held by PPP in NA 93 out of 207 (45%) 89 out of 207 (43%) 130 out of 342 (38%)
PPP led by Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Asif Ali Zardari
Leader of the House (PM) Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Yousuf Raza Gilani
President of Pakistan Ghulam Ishaq Khan – supported by PPP in elections but promoted by the establishment Farooq Laghari – nominated by the PPP Asif Ali Zardari – Co-Chairman of the PPP
Opposition led by Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi backed by Mian Nawaz Sharif who was CM Punjab Mian Nawaz Sharif Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan backed by Mian Nawaz Sharif
Chairman  Senate Wasim Sajjad (IJI) Wasim Sajjad (PML-N) Farooq Naek (PPP)
Chief of Army Staff A highly belligerent Mirza Aslam Beg who openly defied the federal government by launching operations in civilian localities like Hyderabad and Interior Sindh A highly professional Jahangir Karamat who stayed away from Politics. He was later removed in 1998 by heavily mandated Mian Nawaz Sharif A very professional Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani who seems more interested in golf and more importantly the war on terror. He is also assured his tenure till November 2013
Role of ISI On a high after defeating the Soviet Union in a proxy war in Afghanistan. Unstoppable in Pakistan On a high after delivering Afghanistan through the Taliban. Strategic depth achieved Under pressure from political parties, media and foreign powers for their rogue elements
Judiciary Headed by Justice Muhammad Afzal Zullah. Nonexistent role in the scheme of things Headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, who started the trend of suo-moto cases in Pakistan. His partisan role can be recalled when he dismissed the petitions challenging 1996 dismissal of government just 3 days before the elections in February 1997 Headed by an extremely belligerent Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. From Suo-Moto cases, to embarrassing the government to playing to the galleries to admonishing private businesses, he has done it all. Arm twisted government by getting his favored people appointed as Ad-Hoc judges
Corruption Charges Numerous references filed against Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari. Widespread corruption cited as reasons for the government to be sent packing Corruption stories cited against Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari. Surrey Palace, SGS Cotecna and various other unsubstantiated charges made against the party government. Many cases have gone on till now Same old corruption stories added with new ones. Another charge of “Bad governance” added as it is the buzz word of the current era
Role of Media Whispering campaign started by media led by Jang. A young Kamran Khan broke the famous Bukhari Unnar story. Ayaz Amir was an equally vociferous  columnist in Dawn Kamran Khan had matured and become the leading investigator. His stories of corruption, polo ground inside the PM House, Ponies having their own rail parlors made headlines. Power has moved from print to electronic media. Kamran Khan still focuses on corruption while his colleagues like Ansar Abbasi talk about “krupshion” and “governance ka fuqdan”. There are many other players like Hamid Mir, Shahid Masood, Talat Hussain, Shaheen Sehbai etc. Most of the ties lead us one way or the other to the Jang Group
Situation in Provinces:      
Punjab CM Mian Nawaz Sharif led Punjab with a very docile General Tikka Khan as Governor. PPP members were coerced into leaving the party. Changa-Manga is a stark reminder of the Nawaz style of Politics Earlier it was Mian Manzoor Wattoo followed by Sardar Arif Nakai. Both belonged to PML-Junejo, led by Hamid Nasir Chattha. Their 18 seats tilted the balance forcing the PPP to be a partner in government. Raja Saroop Khan was a PPP promoted governor CM Shahbaz Sharif holding on to power with support of PPP. PML-N tries best to go back to the 1990 style of Politics through active war of words led by Rana Sanaullah, Pervaiz Rasheed and Siddiqul Farooq. Salmaan Taseer is governor and responds to the PML-N in the same coin. Salmaan Taseer is a major pain for PML-N
Sindh PPP having comfortable majority with Qaim Ali Shah followed by Aftab Shaban Mirani as CM. MQM leaves coalition to join opposition. Strikes and killing in Karachi quite usual. PPP again has a comfortable majority with Abdullah Shah as CM. MQM faces operation led by Naseerullah Babar. After intensive killing of political workers and law enforcement agencies, peace prevails in Karachi. PPP has comfortable majority with Qaim Ali Shah as CM. MQM remains the major partner in the province. Sindh has generally remained calm with just one suicide bombing but target killing begins end of 2009. MQM prefers to remain a partner than separate for their own reasons.
NWFP / Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Aftab Sherpao of PPP as CM along with ANP as partner. Aftab Sherpao of PPP as CM along with PML-Junejo and independents as coalition partner. PPP is part of the coalition which is led by ANP’s Amir Hoti as CM. Successful operation conducted in Swat and Malakand allowing peace to return. Long awaited change of name awarded to the province while hydel profits given.
Balochistan Nawab Akbar Bugti is CM. PPP like all other parties is part of government Zulfiqar Magsi is CM and PPP is part of government Nawab Aslam Raisani of PPP is CM. Nationalists are causing difficulties in the province. Government presents Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan package
Catalyst Events Establishment of Combined Opposition Parties comprising of IJI, MQM, ANP, NPP and others leading to a No-Confidence Motion against MBB Killing of Murtaza Bhutto in Karachi Despite of major events like restoration of judiciary, NRO shot down, corruption and floods, the media and chattering class is waiting for a catalyst event!
Power to dismiss government Yes! Exercised by Ghulam Ishaq Khan under 8th Amendment Yes! Exercised by Farooq Laghari against his own party under 8th Amendment Power to dismiss government rescinded through 18th Amendment. PPP chief is the president.
Army’s role Army was very much active in behind the scenes action with a belligerent Aslam Beg and Hamid Gul complicit with the opposition in trying to remove the PPP government Army was relatively inactive under Jahangir Karamat. However, always the threat of their involvement was there Army is faced with major challenge on the western border in the war on terror. They are very much taken care of through salary increases and defence budget. With the baggage of Pervaiz Musharraf on their shoulders, it seems less likely for them to step into power. Also with a Democrat administration in US and overall disliking for military rule, army’s coming into power will be not acceptable
MQM’s Role MQM was on collision course with the PPP government and had an ethnic outlook. Their leaving the coalition gave the opposition a lot of power MQM faced operation against them and was somehow forced to tame down. Karachi’s situation was the Achilles Heel for the PPP MQM has been in power for 8 years now. Leaving the same will be disastrous for them especially in the wake of internal dissent and threats to the life of Altaf Hussain. I suspect that MQM will stay in power for their own good

The above table is a decent comparison of the situation. Personally I feel that the PPP government can weather the storm as its biggest enemy currently is a hyper active CJ hell bent on embarrassing the government and an overtly nadan media that just wants to prove themselves right. One needs to question the media what is the measure of success? I am sure they would not know!

The PML-N is in many minds as to what to do. They are confused. They don’t know who to side with. One thing is for sure, that even if they come into power, they cannot handle the heat that is on. They must also remember that today the media is all abuse and curse against the PPP. Tomorrow they will be doing the same against the PML-N and the same judiciary will be after their back. It is time for the political parties to be firm against plots against them. Today they are after the PPP, tomorrow they will be after whoever steps into government.



Latest Comments
  1. Aamir Mughal
  2. Aamir Mughal
  3. Aamir Mughal
  4. Aamir Mughal
  5. Aamir Mughal
  6. Abdul Nishapuri
  7. Aamir Mughal
  8. Aamir Mughal
  9. Aamir Mughal
  10. Lani Etzkorn
  11. カタナ
  12. 子供用自転車