Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s secretary general Ahsan Iqbal said, what appears to be politically bizarre rhetoric, that while in office the PML-N had put the nation on track to development and it was making the country what Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah wanted the motherland to be.
He was addressing a party workers’ convention in Khwaza Khela in Swat, where he noted that the PML-N brought over $280 million to the country through the CPEC and $600m more was in the pipeline. “We put the country on the track to development and that is why we are being punished, harassed and threatened by different tactics,” he said.
“We put the country on the track to development and that is why we are being punished, harassed and threatened by different tactics,” he said.https://t.co/h0fWJMxy2C
— Dawn.com (@dawn_com) December 23, 2019
While drawing a questionable conclusion from the incident of East Pakistan’s break-up, the PML-N regretted, saying “Pakistan was divided into two parts as the people of East Pakistan were not given their rights. Unfortunately, we are not learning any lesson from history”.
Prominent analyst Dr. Moeed Pirzada believes that the break-up of East Pakistan was certain due to geographical realities. “it was not possible for a newly established country to control and run a province away from the center and that too without geographical contiguity,” he noted.
Moreover, Ahsan Iqbal’s insistence that his party is following the vision of the father of the nation is, for many experts in the country, misleading.
Read more: Is Nawaz Sharif really an Ideology?
It is pertinent to mention here that Quaid-e-Azam said, “The first duty of the state is to maintain law and order, to protect the life, property and religious beliefs of its people. The biggest curses of bribery, corruption, black-marketing, nepotism and jobbery, inherited from India, should be put down with an iron hand.
To make Pakistan happy and prosperous, we should concentrate on the well-being of its people, especially the poor masses. As citizens of Pakistan, we have equal rights, privileges, and obligations, irrespective of color, creed, caste, and religion. You are free, you are free to go to your temples, to mosques or to any other place of worship in Pakistan. We should always be guided by the principles of justice and the fair play without any partiality or favoritism”.
Nawaz’s politics and his vision of Pakistan
PML-N’s supreme leader, Nawaz Sharif, has been accused of misusing religion for his political gains, attacking courts to get verdicts of his choice and money laundering. He has been convicted in too cases related to corruption and money laundering. On the surface as well as deep down, the statement of Ahsan Iqbal looks overtly exaggerated with from little to no impact.
Wajih Abbasi, an Islamabad-based political analyst, writes “Nawaz built this entirely upon the legacy of Zia-ul-Haq. Indeed, he has often been heard vowing to complete the good General’s ‘mission’. He may talk of the injustice of civilian leaders having their rule interrupted — but he himself has been among the principle conspirators and beneficiaries of the ousting of four civilian governments since 1985”.
Read more: What is Nawaz Sharif’s “Narrative”?
Moreover, while commenting on the nature of Nawaz’s relationship with the superior courts in Pakistan, Mr. Abbasi says, “Nawaz has always had a tumultuous relationship with the apex court. There have been instances of de-notification of scores of judges back in 1995 whom the PMLN didn’t like; the removal of the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Sajjad Ali Shah by pro Nawaz judges in 1997; and then, too, was the Memogate scandal. Yet throughout all this never once did he move to amend article 184(3) of the Constitution, the very same that today gives him so many sleepless nights”.
In a piece, Pakistan’s prominent political commentator, Beena Sarwar, in 1998, wrote that “Pakistan’s government is freely using state-run television to counter growing opposition to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s surprise decision to establish a legal system based on religion. Images of Sharif on pilgrimage in Mecca, hands folded in prayer, are frequently telecast on national TV to convince Pakistanis that the country would be stronger when the Quran and Sunnah (Islamic traditions) are made the supreme law of the land”.
Read more: Pakistan: Dethroning of a king by a court
She further noted that “but the ruling Pakistan Muslim League stands alone in support of the ‘Shariat Bill’, the proposed 15th amendment to the Constitution or CA 15 which was introduced on Aug. 28. Sharif, who is just six seats short of a two-thirds majority in the country’s parliament, has lost all his coalition partners, including the Awami National Party (ANP), who have pulled out in protest. ANP parliamentary chief Asfandyar Wali Khan blasted the Shariat Bill as a “misnomer” in a 45-minute speech in the National Assembly that was heard in almost total silence except for stray catcalls from the ruling party benches.
Accusing the prime minister of trying to concentrate all power in his hands, Khan asserted that “the kind of power he (Sharif) seeks was not even enjoyed by Hitler or Mussolini.”
PTI is yet to respond to Iqbal’s novel interpretation of history and contestable historical analogies.