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A step forward

May 21, 2013

AMID concerns over election issues like rigging and mismanagement, some politicians and TV anchors congratulate the nation over the transition to democracy.

So has democracy been transited in a single day? Have we achieved what we had been aiming at? Certainly not, but at least we have moved a step ahead.

To me, this election has remained short of bringing many significant and expected changes. The dynastic party in the centre, with another dynastic party as a major opposition, shows a mere shuffling of positions of the parties in the National Assembly.

Sindh is to be governed by the PPP and the MQM jointly, same as they did for the last five years. Punjab is to be ruled by the PML-N, same as it did for the last five years. Balochistan is in a terrible mess and the messy shadow may still linger on for long. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is in the hands of Imran Khan. Besides Balochistan, the strongest militant insurgency can also surface in KP, where both the PTI and the JUI will engage in sorting out the law-abiding Taliban for Imran Khan’s major corrective stunt of dialogue without any prior suppressive measures.

With all this, the new prime minister has to face very tough challenges commonly known to all. But will the new chief executive be adventurous enough to pursue some out-of-box feats? Will he go for banning the political parties for breeding militant wings?

Will he stop the agencies from carrying out extrajudicial murders in Balochistan? Will he bring all the abettors of Pervez Musharraf to account or Musharraf alone has to bear the brunt?

Will he carry out the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project in the wake of US pressure? Will he improve our declining national image on global radar? Will he make accountability common to judges and generals alike?

In a nutshell, will he steer the country out of the present status quo? Or are we headed for another five years where a poor Pakistani is reduced to problems galore?