We are done with the elections or are we. Nothing is entirely cut and dry in our country and it isn’t over till the fat, or should one say plus-size, lady sings.
Despite all the reservation, one party has come out as the clear winner. As the French philosopher Descartes famously stated: "I think therefore I am".
Though perhaps technically not correct, one can find no better example of this then the "Kaptaan". After more than two decades of struggle he finally sits at the helm of affairs of the country.
Of his determination, persistence and unwavering struggle, for more than two decades, there is no question: even though nearing the end, he had to cut some corners.
In any case, ‘change’ is here. The initial acceptance speech was gracious and appeared genuine. The overtures to the opposition and neighbouring countries were appropriate. The recognition of grave economic and foreign policy challenges faced pointed to realistic grasp of what needs to be grappled with.
The hard-earned job will not be easy by any stretch of the imagination, a rather sticky wicket to play on. All one can wish is that the country is at least put on the right track and that the slated incumbent ready to play a Kaptaan’s inning.
While this was on the winning side, the scenario on the other side remains quite muddled and fluid. With the two other main parties, the PPP and PML-N, apparently willing to sit in opposition in parliament; the fate of the other smaller players remains in the air. Most seem to be moving towards boycotting the assemblies.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case a picture and television coverage of the league of disgruntled or ‘All Parties Conference’ was truly enlightening.
The gathering was comprised of who ‘is’ who, or ‘was’ would be more appropriate, of Pakistani politics for, as far as one can remember. All the luminaries appeared to be in a bit of a huff with the sole exception of the former Punjab CM, who seemed to be a hostage and in haste to leave the proceeding.
There might be some validity to the allegations levelled by combined opposition but some food for thought: the major parties complaining of irregularities are willing to form provincial governments for the sake of safeguarding democracy; many of the bit players including some newly inducted parties, including religious ones, were supposed to be creatures of the establishment, yet could not, in some instances, garner a single seat; despite mass engineered migrations and all sorts of legal hurdles the PML-N still managed to emerge as the dominant party in Punjab; the historically unprecedented return of the incumbent party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, could not be achieved without some bases in past performance. All valid questions, to which no one appears to have clear answers.
Perhaps another theory applies: the demographics of the country are progressively getting younger. This combined with the social and electronic media, has created the requisite awareness among people for them to recognise the existing political status quo.
They seek economic mobility; desire basic educational and health facilities; the patriotic element in them does not wish to see their country shunned by the international community; they want an end to corruption and terrorism; and do want these elements defining their identities. However tentative and elusive, yet if nothing else, they have a right to dream.
Maybe the new government is not the panacea to all ills that assail us but at least they talk a good game. We can but hope!
The delivery by the government will in a large part be determined by who holds sway over ‘Takht-e-Lahore’: the power games are underway.
With both parties trying to sway the independents, the edge may be slightly with the PTI, courtesy PML-Q and the significant number of independent candidates. —(AmLahori@gmail.com)
Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2018