Often people ask me why I decided for Lahore over Karachi. And every time I present the same answer that it’s the law and order situation which is better in Lahore. Whenever I receive a call from my parents they ask each and everything but the state of affairs. On one of the sunny days in June I was busy at my college when I received a call from my brother advising me to reach home as soon as possible. Such calls were very common back in Hyderabad and Karachi but not in Lahore. This made me worried. When I converted my concerns into a question he replied that Police has shot some 10 workers of PAT in Model Town and the situation is about to get tense! The distance between my college and my home is around 15 Km. Throughout the way no single shop was closed and not a single road was jammed. I breathed comfortably that day. But not so in August. Since there has been a political unrest and the day since Azadi and Inqilab March have started their journeys, my friend and foes have stopped asking me that frequently asked question!
Nine days have passed in this erratic drama. These nine days have been full of pejorative speeches, equivocal reviews and opinions, heavy containers and countless U-Turns. Apart from these amusements Pakistan is suffering serious blows. The 100-index is declining as the situation is worsening; Dollar is again showing its strength against our rupee; friend-nations are cancelling their visits; investors are reluctant to invest and news channels are not showing the commercials (this must have daunted their finances!!).
During this entire political muddle every political and ‘non-political’ leader has enlightened the importance of negotiations to the government, Imran Khan and Dr TuQ. It is heard that someone may have actually ‘threatened’ someone to negotiate as early as possible! In every negotiation you have to lose something in order to gain what you desire the most. But here the point of concern is that no one is ready to give-up any of his wish! The wish to talk from any party is followed by a contrary statement from the same party within minutes. Hence the deadlock persists. In the daytime it seems democracy is as strong as never before but as the sun sets things change.
Those who say that Imran and Dr TuQ are practicing the politics of 90s may have forgotten the language of Shehbaz Sharif against the then President Zardari. This is the seed sowed by PMLN which is erupting flowers from the words of the duo and PMLN has no idea how to arrange these flowers in the vase of tolerance. But the time is ticking away and this is the reason why the Sharifs have called the best practitioner of reconciliation to help them.
Asif Zardari has a bright history of resolving the problems with the bag of tricks. Whether its the art of tackling Q-League or ending TuQ’s sit-in; Musharaf’s exit or the smooth transition of power; Asif Zardari is on the crest of the wave.
Today, Zardari has accepted luncheon invitation from Nawaz Sharif (scheduled tomorrow). Before the marches started he advised elder Sharif to show some flexibility. Tomorrow, when there will be salty and sweetie dishes on the table there would be some hard talk. Although he will try to clear the air, trying his best to save the system and the democracy for the restoration of which PPP has suffered the most, but he would be straight as an arrow with Sharifs against all the odds in confronting the situation. PPP has also been clear on the resignation of younger Sharif so it’s evident that this would hurt the feelings of Sharifs if Zardari demands himself. As far as marches are concerned, Imran Khan and Dr TuQ have gone too far in this battle. They have raised the expectation of their followers to an extent of no return. Zardari may present a way out for their face-saving too. His discussions at this time with MQM Chief, Governor Sindh and Party Leaders are strengthning him further.
People do remember the famous last-ball six of Miandad. Asif Zardari is all ready for a famous six in politics. People have the confidence that he will hit a six and let the democracy win, but ‘who will lose?’ is still a mystery question! And the only mind having the answer is in his own skull. As “to understand his politics one must be a PhD”. (said Jawed Hashmi)
The author is a member of PPP Punjab Social Media and the views in this article are personal.