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Long march call versus election


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WHEN it seems that for the first time in the history of Pakistan an elected democratic government is about to complete its five-year term and the country is moving towards the next general election, all of a sudden Allama Tahirul Qadri appears on the scene with a number of plans : (a) to topple the government by staging a long march, (b) to form an interim government, (c) to have electoral reforms before the general election.

Athough one agrees with his ideas, one totally disagrees with the procedure of implementation which he has given. There are a few questions which need to be answered: Why did it take the Allama five years to decide on the long march as the government is being run the same way since day one?

In what capacity is the Allama calling this march when he has no stake in assemblies-- he has no constituency nor has he any seat-- when all political parties are on same page of holding the general election on time? Everything is being done so far with a sense of right and wrong: the best example is the appointment of the chief election commissioner. If after that anybody has any objection, he can always go to court. With such a vigilant court, this demand of the long march seems totally unjustified as it can create chaos and can lead to derailment of the electoral process.

Instead of spending money on advertising the long march, this money should be spent on educating the people of Pakistan and let them decide through the ballot what is good for them and what is not. If anybody thinks he can lead Pakistan in a better way he is more than welcome to come through the electoral process.


Extraneous forces at work? TWO loyal subjects of Queen Elizabeth II — Tahirul Qadri and Altaf Hussain-- have undertaken it upon themselves to teach 190 million Pakistanis how to govern their country. I am very sceptical, about Tahirul Qadri’s sudden qualms of conscience, about correcting Pakistan’s electoral system, on the eve of elections, after living in Canada, for a few years in plush semi-retirement. There seem to be some extraneous forces providing a nudge. Altaf Hussain has decided to support Qadri’s long march against a government of which the MQM has been a part of for the last five years, even holding ministerial berths in the government. This is perhaps unique to the history of collective responsibility, a sine qua non of a cabinet form of government, in a parliamentary system.

The MQM, in my opinion, can still take a U-turn and leave the good doctor in a lurch before Jan 14.

Another ally of the government, the PML-Q, led by deputy prime minister Pervaiz Elahi, is also not much behind, in its hypocritical politics. Short of pledging their support for the march, a PML-Q delegation called upon Tahirul Qadri and congratulated him, according to press reports. I wonder what warranted these congratulations.


Comments (4) Closed

Tahir Jan 10, 2013 10:38am
Mr Akbar Jan Marwat, please do not blame QE II for your country's pitiful situation. By now, the people of Pakistan should be strong and intelligent enough to diplomatically or otherwise outwit any suspects or insurgency from outside.
Malik Tahir Saleem Jan 10, 2013 11:51pm
This is awake-up call. It's on time, that we show our involvement concerning Pakistan, people and the children who are the future of Pakistan. Time for Qurbani. People are sick and tired about injustice, killings, corruption. We cannot be fool for ever. The change must come. I think people of Pakistan deserve the result, that this long march will succeed or not. Well my message is DO OR DIE
Ahmer Jan 10, 2013 04:56pm
While the author raises some valid points, the point still remains that an election without the reforms that Dr Tahri is advocating will just bring in the same or another set of luteras to loot whatever is still left in the country for another five years. And that is why both set of these luteras are united in opposing the long march.
Syed Ahmed, Canada. Jan 10, 2013 04:03pm
Unpolluted gray matter is required to understand Allama Tahirul Qadri