Chaudhry Sahab, let’s have local bodies elections first – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi

It is interesting to see whenever the Prime Minister speaks his heart out. He usually keeps his best for the floor of the National Assembly. Yesterday, was no exception. The PM strongly rebuffed calls for political change in the country, ruling out the possibility of snap elections or a military takeover. He said that there are two possible ways: dissolve the assembly which he will not do or there is a martial law. The recent surge in demand in unusual mumblings comes for a “mid-term elections”. Nawaz Sharif said it, hence his party members have to repeat the demand. Chaudhry Nisar said it is possible while Jamaat-e-Islami’s former MNA and now a turncoat, Hanif Abbasi in his loud speech in which he said mid-term elections were the need of the hour to “kick out an administration whose inaction is making the lives of people miserable and deteriorating the law and order situation.”  It was the Jamaati’s speech that provoked the usually calm and composed Prime Minister to jump into the debate immediately.

There are plausible reasons for this demand:

  • The media, tonga politicians and pseudo-liberals in drawing rooms of the country couldn’t get the Bangladesh Model replicated in Pakistan. The Supreme Court which was being deemed as a savior, turned out to be a weak and instable lot, preferring to get excited on rumors on 14th October. The 18th Amendment verdict also nipped the matter in the bud for at least a few months.
  • There are mid-term elections taking place in US. Probably Nawaz Sharif and his party men do not know that they take place after every two years. This time it is all the more important as President Obama’s popularity is at test.

After the Prime Minister had spoken, our very favorite, highly esteemed and adorable, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan (the transcribers at the NA shudder when he rises to speak as he usually speaks for hours and unfortunately there is no substance in his loose talk) spoke of the third possible way of bringing  a change. “The prime minister in his speech has talked about two (possible) ways of the government’s ouster and did not mention the third option of an in-house change that is available in the Constitution,” he said while talking to reporters.

Chaudhry Nisar said the prime minister had deliberately avoided mentioning the third option. Later at a talk show on a news channel, Chaudhry Nisar said that Mr Gilani “cannot remain prime minister even if one ally quits (the coalition government)”.

Dawn in its editorial of today has reminded Chaudhry Sahab of a pertinent matter that he and his party choose to remain quiet about: Local Bodies Elections. Now that the President has asked his party to prepare of Local Bodies Elections in Sindh within the next six months, the pressure is on PML-N to contest and show that it is a power to reckon with. The Dawn editorial says

Ostensibly because of ‘law and order’ and ‘security’ reasons the Punjab government, led by Mr Nisar’s party, the PML-N, is delaying the next local government elections in the province. In reality, there appears to be little appetite within the PML-N for local government elections in Punjab because control of the district administrations through the provincial government apparatus has already been achieved. So there is this peculiar contradiction wherein PML-N leaders such as Chaudhry Nisar appear fixated on the need for a ‘representative’ government at the centre, but the party itself is standing in the way of giving the people a representative government at a lower tier.

In fact, holding local government elections in the province would also demonstrate if Mr Nisar’s hypothesis is true: do the people really want a change in government? A convincing showing by the PML-N in local government elections would strengthen its hand and make a better case for changing the government in Islamabad. The selective focus on the need for elections at one tier of government but not another cannot be reconciled with democratic principles, small or big. Let Punjab vote, and then talk of Pakistan voting may become more pertinent.

So Chaudhry Sahab, we know that the PPP government is not good. It is “kruppt”. It is not “goverrrrning” the country properly. Transparency International claims that Punjab is the least “kruppt” province. Shahbaz Sharif and PML-N’s governance of the province is the best in the country. There is no better leader in the country than Nawaz and Shahbaz. Shahbaz himself throws food bags from helicopters to provide relief. He surprises everyone by riding motorcycles to provide relief to common man. The “Do rupay kee roti” is a roaring success. Please hold the LB polls. That will be the mid-term elections that you so desire and will tell the world that Pakistan needs change and PML-N will give that change.



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