ELECTIONS in 1970, 1977, 1985, 1988, 1990 and 2008 clearly indicate that the elite has been playing a game of musical chairs. Two or three major political parties and a few families like the Bhuttos, Sharifs and Chaudhrys and other feudal lords and business tycoons have dominated politics. They have been exploiting the people.
The only break in this has been when the army intervened through unconstitutional dictatorships but unfortunately army dictators could also not save the nation. They decided to prolong their stay in power rather than bringing about a real change through fair and democratic elections.
Huge crowds in political rallies of Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri prove beyond doubt that ordinary people are sick and tired of the same ruling families who have taken turns in ruining Pakistan. Masses now want a change and a messiah who can bring an end to their miseries and fast decline in the national morale. The law and order situation, acute energy shortages, skyrocketing prices, terrorism, sectarian and targeted killings have made Pakistan one of the most dangerous countries to live in.
No wonder crowds flock to anyone who promises a change and does not belong to the 3,000 ruling political families. Be it Imran Khan and his tsunami or Dr Qadri with his mission to bring a meaningful reform in election process by strictly implementing Article 62 and 63, which lays down the moral standards and qualifications for election contestants.
If these provisions are strictly implemented, corrupt, unscrupulous and dishonest candidates will automatically be eliminated.
The best course to save the nation is that Dr Qadri and Imran Khan should join hands in bringing about a change. Dr Qadri is a Canadian national. He should, therefore, not contest elections and support Imran Khan in the elections. A completely impartial, honest and competent caretaker set up, comprising distinguished persons whose competence is well-known and proven and whose integrity is above board, should hold the elections under the supervision of Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim, who is known for his integrity and competence.
Only a meaningful and fair election can bring about a change for the better. Imran and Dr Qadri have the same objective of saving the nation through a peaceful revolution which would ensure that honest, dedicated and patriotic people are elected as members of federal and provincial assemblies.
ZAHEER AHMED Islamabad
Vulnerable politicians THE similarity between Pakistani extremists (the Taliban) and most Pakistani politicians is frighteningly uncanny. We know that the Taliban hide behind religion to justify their murderous assault on the state of Pakistan; the politicians hide behind the Constitution and democracy to justify their exploitation, bad governance and malpractices.
The Taliban never talk or follow humanitarian aspects of the holy book and Sharia. Likewise, our self-centred politicians never talk or follow those clauses of the Constitution which establish criteria for persons who wish to be elected and also those clauses which establish rules of conduct for elected representatives and elected government.The arrival of Dr Qadri, for obvious reasons, has created an immense fear of the unknown among all unprincipled politicians. Dr Qadri is not demanding any change but is only demanding that all constitutional requirements of the election and good governance be observed in the next elections.
His demand is logical as in every election constitutional criteria for election candidates are never adhered to which results in a thoroughly incompetent and corrupt parliament. Eager to retain their thrones all status quo and unprincipled politicians have ganged up against him. They have also got some TV anchors who are also taking shots at Dr Qadri and trying to discredit him.
Let us all who love Pakistan wish Dr Qadri and his supporters all the success in creating conditions which will ensure a clean caretaker government and people-friendly parliament in place of present lot which, by and large, cannot qualify under these politicians who feel threatened by anyone who may change the current anti-people system.
These threatened politicians join together against that person and open their coffers so that they may continue to rule. But this time they may not succeed in retaining their thrones and in all likelihood will be washed away from the national political stage. Let those who are critical of Dr Qadri stop talking about his personality which is a non-issue and stop sidetracking the all-important issue of clean governance and let his critics start talking about what he is saying.
SYED OVAIS AKHTAR Karachi