Home Global Village PML-N: out or not-out?

PML-N: out or not-out?

  • 133
    Shares

News Analysis |

Pakistan has seen a series of disruptive demonstrations and some incidents of mob violence in the last three days in almost every big city. Life has been paralyzed. Schools and colleges have been closed. Children are advised to stay at home. But the streets and roads are still not empty. Emotionally charged protesters of religious political parties are chanting anti-government slogans and demanding the resignation of the Law Minister of Pakistan.

Nobody knows much about the real problem but everyone is there to show their love for their beloved Prophet Muhammad (P.B.H), and express solidarity with their brothers sitting in Islamabad. The protesters have a very clear stance; this protest is about faith, not politics. They firmly believe that their presence at the roads is intended to protect the fundamentals of their ideology. A threat to someone’s ideology is, in Pakistan, more disturbing than a threat to someone’s life or property.

If PML-N approaches the third umpire in time and without being political unruly, they are likely to get the decision in their favor.

Political sociology of the nature of the conflict between the state and society at the moment demonstrates that the former failed to assess the nature of the collective interest of the later. Collective interests of a community are not always necessarily material; rather too often they are immaterial.

Read more: Could PML-N be finally thinking about “minus-Nawaz formula”?

Pakistan’s civilian government failed to comprehend and protect the vital interests of the people. It not only failed to safeguard them but, the protesters furiously assert, it went against their interests.

PML-N does not know how it did what it did. But they know where they are right now. Politics goes away, faith comes in. Similarly, politicians step aside, the guardians of faith come in. The game is over? 

In politics, nobody plays with the fire. But Nawaz’s party did it. They not only did this but they remained there to safeguard what they did. This is now making serious problems for the political existence of the party. Will it go? Will it stay? Who will go and who will stay? And should it go…?

PML-N has already become the party of conservative segments of the society as PTI has managed to get the attention of the youth and PPP focused on politically liberal discourse.

The PML-N played a wrong shot at a very wrong time and, above all, without rational political assessment of leaving the crease at critical times. The real question is; is the PML-N really out now? Public narrative or what is called popular narrative in Political Science is against the PML-N. The MNAs, the MPs and the Ministers of the ruling party are not safe even at their own residences. The unprecedented, and unimagined, the societal backlash has simply made it hard for the party to move forward.  The party had lost moral authority in the first instance and now it is about to surrender before the people ‘having links with India’.

Read more: The cornered lion: Troubles are mounting for PML-N

A confused PML-N had a few options to maintain their political presence but they overlooked them either out of ignorance or political arrogance. It could have fired the Law Minister and assured the protesters of a high-level probe into the matter to identify those who tried to pervert the Act. It did not do this for some unknown personal or political reasons.

Moreover, before launching an operation against the protestors in Islamabad the Prime Minister should have called a high-level meeting with the opposition parties’ leaders and top military leadership in order to get them in confidence. But this did not happen either for some unknown reasons.

PML-N does not know how it did what it did. But they know where they are right now. Politics goes away, faith comes in. Similarly, politicians step aside, the guardians of faith come in.

If the PML-N had done one of the above-mentioned things it would have not to surrender before a newly formed religious political party. Nor would it have faced these existential threats. Above all, it would have been enjoying a politically dignified status at the moment.

However, politics in Pakistan, like cricket, always has a ‘third umpire’ who generally decides the fate of the batsman and of the fast bowler. In this case, the political survival of PML-N depends largely upon the decision of the third umpire.

Read more: PML-N’s controversial Elections Act challenged in LHC

The third umpire in Pakistan is generally one who is not interested to declare outs or not-outs but his only interest is to control the game. If PML-N approaches the third umpire in time and without being political unruly, they are likely to get the decision in their favor.

But the image of the party as a political entity has been damaged to a great extent. PML-N has already become the party of conservative segments of the society as PTI has managed to get the attention of the youth and PPP focused on politically liberal discourse.

Pakistan’s civilian government failed to comprehend and protect the vital interests of the people. It not only failed to safeguard them but, the protesters furiously assert, it went against their interests.

The ongoing conflict between the state and society in which faith is likely to dominate politics, PML-N will probably lose its conservative (religio-political sense) voters who traditionally support the party. Some politically bold moves like the hanging of Mumtaz Qadari and Model Town massacre by the Nawaz-led PML-N are likely to determine the future of PML-N in upcoming elections.

But the role, and the intention, of the third umpire, cannot be overruled at this critical juncture, even at the time of the general elections in 2018.


  • 133
    Shares

1 COMMENT

  1. Its wonderful and correct to the point in reality analysis of the political scenario in Pakistan, unbiased and impartial; for the first time, I accessed this site and found it very very useful and beneficial.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.