Pakistan Elections 2013: Let the games begin – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi

elections 2013

For the last five years, the most hated political party in Pakistan, according to the paid media, children of General Zia ul Haq and Bhutto haters went along with their mantra of “Corruption, Bad Governance and destruction of Pakistan” by the PPP government. Conveniently they forgot to mention that it was a coalition government which for the first time was able to complete its term despite the multi pronged attacks it saw. Be it the Taliban; be it the judges; be it the media; be it the bureaucracy or be it the nature; the government kept doing its work under the name of reconciliation.

Some chose to call it “loot maar” or trivialized it with “lutto tay phutto”, the fact remains, that the period of 2008-2013 was the most difficult time for anyone to have governed Pakistan. Energy crisis, terrorism, judicial activism, global economic meltdown etc, this period saw it all. For sure not a bed of roses. Dates were given for the PPP departure. Predictions were made. Some even talked about President Zardari running away when he fell ill in December 2011. The show kept going. The media circus kept the country on tenterhooks always.

If one reads Jang newspaper these days, it seems that it is only Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif that are contesting elections. PPP is not to be seen anywhere. Maybe being the underdog is what gives the PPP an edge over others.

While my friend, Abdul Nishapuri, has given his predictions and also talked about what the PPP achieved in the last five years, I would like to mention some key points which people will remember always:

· Restoration of 1973 constitution

· Benazir Income Support Program, benefiting 7 million people, who are the poorest of the poor

· Bringing stability to the nation by removing the sword of 58-2 (B) from the constitution

· Establishing power plants which will help the country in the long run and if someone else heads the government, he can claim the success

· Stabilizing the agrarian economy and thus benefiting the rural areas. The decision of more than doubling the support prices of wheat in 2008, ensured that Pakistan didn’t have food security issues despite of horrendous floods in 2010 and 2011

· Economic stability allowing the corporate sector to perform amicably despite the challenges. From KSE-100 index being at 4900 in January 2009, today it’s at 19000+. Profitability growth has been in double digits. Imagine if there was no load-shedding, and complete peace and a scenario the media was kept on tight leash!

· Pakistan repaid all borrowings despite of the economic problems faced and USD moving from 63 to almost 100! We never became a Greece, Ireland, Iceland or Portugal!

While PPP will remain the target always not because of what it has done, but because why it has survived, one looks forward to the battle on Saturday, May 11, 2013. We will, InshaAllah, write another media obituary and request for Suo Moto from our beloved CJP!

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