LAHORE - The government may view it differently, but the present political situation, which seems to be an intended outcome of the Geo-ISI standoff, is being interpreted by some as a move to cut some power players down to their sizes.
For obvious reasons, the PML-N government and Geo group seem to be under tremendous pressure at the moment. While noose is being tightened against the said media group, and pressure is also mounting on the government in the form of protest drive being launched on May 11.
Analysts believe that it has been decided that the two power groups, which had grown out of their sizes, would be made to realise their actual worth. Though, the government and PPP see no real threat to democracy in the wake of what appears to be a gathering political storm, they, however, wonder over the rationale behind this move at this particular moment of time.
“All state institutions believe in continuity of the present system. They won’t allow anyone to derail it”, Federal Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid told The Nation when asked if the government saw any conspiracy against democracy in the planned anti-government movement to be launched jointly by Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri on May 11. The minister said that for the first time in country’s history, the people saw smooth transition of power last year from one elected government to another. This was because of the fact that all institutions were supportive of the democratic process in the country, he argued.
Asked what could be the real agenda of the PTI, PAT and PML-Q, Pervaiz replied, “They are the defeated politicians and know it very well that they could not come to power through ballot. Perhaps, they see a chance to reach power corridors by spreading anarchy. But they won’t succeed as the people and institutions are fully behind the democratic order”, he asserted.
The minister said that the government was also in favour of electoral reforms but Imran should put forth suggestions in this regard in the Parliament. He was of the view that it was quite obvious from the agenda of protest movement that the PTI had nothing to criticise over one-year performance of the PML-N government and also nothing to share about its government’s good work in the KP province where it was in power.
“This means that our government is performing up to the mark while the PTI has got nothing to boast of its KP government”, Senator Rashid maintained.
PPP central Secretary Information, Qamar Zaman Kaira and Pervaiz Rashid were unanimous on the point that if the PTI came up with an Electoral Reforms Bill in the Parliament, the two parties would support it.
Kaira said that protests were part of the democratic process and it would be wrong to assume that a conspiracy was being hatched against the government.
“Is the government and Parliament so week that it would crumble down as a result of the political gatherings”, he asked, adding that the PPP did not see any threat to the system if some political parties exercise their constitutional right to lodge protest. He, however, questioned the very move to bring the people on the streets for an issue which could be better resolved in the Parliament.
Political analyst Hassan Askari Rizvi termed the present situation as the intended outcome of the Geo-ISI standoff. He was of the view that the government was under varying pressures from different sides at the moment. “The TTP-government dialogue has not yielded any results and it was also having tensions with the army over strategy to deal with the militants and also over the trial of General Musharraf.”
According to him, the PTI wants to exploit the present situation in its favour to create more political space in Punjab, the stronghold of the PML-N which was getting gradually unpopular among the masses due its inability to overcome the energy crisis.