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Déjà Q

May 28, 2011


I will be honest that I really do not get the huge amount of anger and resentment in some segments of the society over the PPP and PML-Q alliance. The criticism, how ZA Bhutto would be horrified at an alliance with the house of Zahoor or how it is some sort of a bizarre and unjustified marriage of convenience, is very, very flawed.

I disagree because one has to look at it from two perspectives. The first is the political; the PPP is a major political party lacking a majority which needs an ally to pass the budget. PML-Q is facing disintegration provincially in its power base of Punjab and divisions in the centre due to a combination of the fall out of their defeat in the 2008 elections and its composition of constituency based politicians. If you take all that into account, the alliance makes perfect sense in the world of realpolitik.

Another perspective is historical; the PPP has a long history of allying with various factions of the PML. In the 1970’s it was allied to the PML-Qayyum faction, during the MRD movement the PML-Qasim faction and in the 1990’s with the PML-Junejo faction.

There is a real challenge though many of the constituency based politicians have the short term challenge of wanting ministries they can dispense patronage from (usually Federal ministries with resources) in the medium term many of the MNA’s are in competition with the PPP and its allies. These are not insurmountable objectives, but the Q League also has limited options.

So what is the bad side to all of this? The real negative is the damage the actual deal is doing to the process of devolution and electoral reforms. This June, several more Federal ministries are supposed to be devolved to the provinces, with Raza Rabbani’s resignation these maybe stalled. More worryingly the crucial part of next stage reforms, electoral reforms appears to be on the backburner.

Zalan is a freelance writer based in UK. He blogs at A tale by a takhalus.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.