Yasser Awan |
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto arrived. He remained prime minister of the country from 14th August 1973 to 5th July 1977 (3 years 10 months and 21 days). Many of us now believe that he was a revolutionary; also believe that hanging him was a historic mistake, by the then military dictator, General Zia-Ul-Haq. One thing that many thinkers and politicians give him the credit of was him awakening the ‘poor’ of Pakistan, the common people.
Donald J. Trump the American president has just said that they are not in Afghanistan for ‘nation building’, but to kill terrorists
He was hanged in 1977 by a military dictator Zia-ul-Haq, after a trial in court. The trial has many question marks which are yet to be answered. Hanging Bhutto hasn’t helped Pakistani democracy much; ONE of the biggest reasons being that people who believed in his vision were kept thirsty. His supporters now have strong point that at least his vision must have been given a chance to be implemented by him.
Many believe that he had enough time to implement his agenda for poor and his vision of democracy; others say that he tried to hold the premiership in 1975 as a result of rigged elections. RESULT; Bhutto’s visions were interrupted and the nation was deprived to witness its fruits, and this all was done by a dictator backed by the mighty military establishment. So this was a dream that couldn’t meet the reality; reasons may be many.
To make Pakistan less divided and more tolerant, a way must be found on the emergency basis to conduct fair elections in the country before it’s too late. Pakistanis must not expect this from the west or America to help them in this regard
The people who liked Bhutto remained in love with his charisma. They remained loyal and elected his daughter, Benazir Bhutto as prime minster of Pakistan on 2nd December 1988. Peoples’ hopes remained high. They had taken the revenge from the military dictator by electing Benazir Bhutto as prime minister of Pakistan. Sadly, to their expectations, her government was interrupted after less than 2 years; alleged by PPP as a conspiracy between the military establishment and military backed political party, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz.
The 1990s saw the battle between PPP and PML and both had two governments each, on average of two years per term. These were the years when both the political parties blamed each other for being involved in mega corruption scandals. Even the husband of Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari, was named as Mister 10% for the corruption charges leveled by his rival political party PML-N.
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After the elections held in February 2008, same Asif Ali Zardari became president. This was the first time PPP or any party in Pakistan completed its full term of government. The people who expected much from Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto were expecting too much from the PPP government led by Asif Ali Zardari. Peoples’ hopes again remained unfulfilled, resulting in PML-N success in 2013 elections.
Pakistanis being alleged ‘extremists’ by the west and America, elected their first prime minister of the Muslim world in 1988
By this time, the disappointed PPP followers (Jialas) had found a new hope in the shape of new political party, Pakistan Tehreeke Insaf (PTI). In the recent past, in 2017, much of the PPP elite have joined PTI. But long before the elite joined PTI, many of the common workers had already joined this party. The 1990s have seen ruthless battles between PPP and PML-N. Both have leveled allegations on each other’s leadership. Both have alleged each other’s leadership of conspiring with the backing of the military establishment.
In nutshell, the 1990s and the incidents that happened during the dictatorship of Zia-Ul-Haq had poured so much hate between PPP and PML-N. The followers of PPP were beaten, sent into jails and were killed extra judicially by Zia-Ul-Haq to weaken PPP. These many years after the judicial assassination of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1977 till the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007, have seen extreme hate between PPP and PML-N.
So as we analyze the arguments remain the same, so the people remain the same. Pakistan remains an unlucky country where even a single election can’t be called as fair one
But when after 2008-2013 PPP government, the followers of PPP saw that nothing was done to improve the life of a common man in Pakistan, they joined and voted for PTI in 2013. So the voter of PTI is actually the voter of PPP, who after being disappointed by PPP have joined and have voted for PTI. So as of now, we observe the extremes positions taken between the PTI and PML-N followers, this actually is the same hate and extreme viewpoints that PPP and PML-N shared among them.
PPP has always alleged that its elections have been stolen during the 1990s by the help of conspiracies hatched by PML-N and the military establishment. Same was alleged by PTI after the elections in 2013. So, the arguments remain the same. Pakistan remains an unlucky country where even a single election can’t be called as fair one.
When after 2008-2013 PPP government the followers of PPP saw that nothing was done to improve the life of a common man in Pakistan, they joined and voted for PTI in 2013
To get rid of these extreme points between the masses and to make Pakistan less divided, the only solution remains the fair, free and transparent elections. Pakistanis being labeled as ‘extremists’ by the west and America, elected their first female prime minister of the Muslim world in 1988. The fair elections will also help Pakistan to get rid of the terrorists who claim to be popular among Pakistani masses. However, these extreme religious groups have never scored majority seats in National Assembly in Pakistan.
The political, military, feudal and the bureaucratic elite have been found involved in ‘buying’ and ‘selling’ elections, and manipulating the results of the elections. To make Pakistan less divided and more tolerant, a way must be found on the emergency basis to conduct fair elections in the country before it’s too late. Pakistanis must not expect this from the west or America to help them in this regard. They must believe in themselves that not individuals but the institutions are important.
Donald J. Trump the American president has just said that they are not in Afghanistan for ‘nation building’, but to kill terrorists. This is the time for the political and military elite of Pakistan to stop playing games with the wishes of people of Pakistan and think beyond their personal cheap vested interests and decide that fair elections must be allowed to be held in Pakistan.
Yasser Awan is working in an organization for children’s vaccination. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and one in Sociology and has interest in international and domestic politics. He tweets at @Yaaser_awan. The views expressed here are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect GVS editorial policy.