Repeating 1977 in 2014 is Not the Answer – by Shoaib Mir

40After the ZA Bhutto-led PPP swept the 1977 national elections, the 9-party opposition alliance PNA alleged there was mass rigging, and boycotting provincial polls went on to stage a protracted violent protest particularly in Karachi and Lahore (there were no 24\7 80+ TV channels, just PTV). One of the PNA leaders had earlier threatened he would hang the elected PM at the Kahuta Bridge and would not accept an unfavorable election result. To cut the long story short and despite the Government-Opposition agreement on re-election and its modus operandi, COAS Gen Zia staged his most infamous military coup; the rest as they say, is history.

Fast forward to 2014, if you fail to see an eerie, almost unmistakable resemblance to what happened 37 years ago, I’m afraid you cannot appreciate the dynamics of our politics, the character and psyche of its key players, knee-jerk reactions of its establishment and media since then (yesterday) now (today) and in the future (tomorrow).

What We Should Do Now?

Relevant to the ongoing political deadlock, it must be ensured that the following two institutions should be reformed, duly put in place and be made functional as soon as possible.

1. Neutral Non-political Election Commission: EC appointed with consensus should be completely independent of judiciary’s influence; RO’s, officials, etc should have nothing to do with superior courts for mid-term, 2018 or any future polls.

2. Neutral Non-political Judiciary: The present courts are anything but just, fair and impartial. Until the parliament suitably amends relevant clause\s that govern judges’ appointment, no political issue should be referred for arbitration, particularly to this judiciary.
What We Should Not Do?

After four military dictators and three murdered prime ministers, I believe we haven’t learned anything, if we can’t avoid the following like infection.

1. Imran Khan should not emulate Asghar Khan.

2. Gen Raheel should not play Gen Zia. We have had enough of this martial law non-sense.

3. And Nawaz Sharif should neither be physically eliminated nor judicially murdered; he should be dealt with politically; held responsible for his wrongs, not for what he didn’t do.



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