"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: abdulruff
Full Name: Dr.Abdul Ruff Colachal
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Another Crisis in Pakistan: Popular Concerns Ignored


Dr. Abdul Ruff



For quite some time now, a weakened, destabilized Islamabad has been longing for a renewed lease of life, free from foreign occupation and drone terrorism. At the same time, political turmoil has, off and on, added extra worries for the people who continue to face high prices of living. However, the political parties that have close links with USA and UK do not think it fit to ask the occupation forces from NATO syndicate to quit their soil. To make Pakistani politics murkier, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government suffered a severe blow as it has been reduced to a minority by the withdrawal of support by a coalition partner. .

What happened?

As Pakistan is facing yet another  major political crisis after the second largest party in the ruling coalition Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) with 25 lawmakers in the 342-member National Assembly quit the fragile government on 02 Jan and also announced to sit on the opposition benches in the Parliament house following a failed week-long dialogue with the PPP, now all eyes are now on Pakistan's main opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League led by former premier Nawaz Sharif since its support would be needed for any possible parliamentary vote of no-confidence.

The decision by MQM to join opposition at the federal level has taken even the political circles by surprise and has brushed aside the wrong perception about MQM that it had the lust of power and had no heart for the masses. The move will deprive the PPP of its majority in parliament as the coalition has lost a further 25 seats in parliament with the loss of the MQM. Following loss of support from PML (N), PML (Q), JUI and MQM, the ruling party will have strength of 158 against 171 seats. The ruling coalition held 181 seats - including the MQM's 25 - in the 342-member parliament. Without MQM's 25 seats, the PPP's coalition numbers 160 seats in the 342-member National Assembly, 12 short of the 172 required for a majority.


The sudden change in the composition of the National Assembly has rendered it vulnerable. It appears, the decision has been taken on economic grounds as the rampant corruption in the public sector organizations as well as law and order situation have added to the plight and sufferings of the poor of this country. The MQM's departure leaves Gilani well below the 172 seats needed to preserve its majority. The government is now scrambling to find new partners, but that without them, new elections are likely. The PPP has only the support of the Awami National Party in the lower house now.



 Why Happened?


Have the deaths Pakistanis at the hand of the occupying US-led NATO state terror syndicate triggered the crisis? May be, may not be!


Right at the start of the New Year the government has raised the prices of petrol and kerosene oil which is unbearable for the people who are already under pressure from the already high prices. In such a situation, the MQM considers it unfair with the people of Pakistan to sit in the government.



The MQM, which is the dominant political force in the country’s financial capital Karachi, has asserted not to be the part of the government in anti-people decisions especially the exorbitant hike in petroleum prices which it called the worst kind of indirect taxes in the country. The decision was taken by the MQM's coordination committee in a meeting held simultaneously in Karachi and London. MQM chief Altaf Hussain has ratified the decision of MQM Coordination Committee and said that only hard-working and people of poor middle class can save the country. MQM chief said revolution has become fate of the country. In a major blow to the ruling coalition, the MQM made the announcement, days after its two cabinet ministers resigned, and abandoning crisis talks with the main ruling Pakistan People's Party.



The MQM meeting lambasted growing corruption and lawlessness in the country and vehemently deplored the steep rise in petroleum prices, saying price hike has struck the masses hard. It said due to poverty poor people in Pakistan are compelled to commit suicide, and sell their children. It was also discussed in meeting that poverty, unemployment and inflation have made life miserable people while increasing petroleum prices is an atrocity to poor people. The meeting said on one hand government is levying taxes without any reason, introducing mini budgets instead imposing taxes on feudal and landlords and on agricultural sector. They demanded of the government to withdraw hike in petroleum products, control inflation and withdraw unjust taxes, eliminate corruption and take steps for the betterment of law and order situation. While describing the recent increase in petroleum prices as a “petrol bomb” on the poor of this country they said that their party also strongly opposed levy of RGST, unbearable increase in electricity tariffs and other back breaking economic decisions for the masses of this country.


An MQM statement said the decision to break with the coalition was taken because of the government’s fuel price policies. The MQM Quaid said the country cannot be taken on the path of progress and development without elimination of feudal system. The MQM had pulled its two ministers out of the federal Cabinet, claiming that they were given "impotent" portfolios, just weeks after another alliance partner JUI parted ways with the government. He called upon the people to support his party for the better future of their generations.  MQM leaders while announcing the decision said that MQM would not and should not be the party to any action or decision taken by the government against the interest of the people. They claim they believe in serving and protecting the interest of the common man rather than pleasing to the elite, feudal lords and the corrupt that do not pay taxes rather they plundered the public money through a modus operandi of huge loans from banks and got that plenty of money written off by using their influence. They condemn the government’s failure to improve security.

The MQM Chief said political leadership was concentrating over development of their constituencies only and it has ignored the Southern Punjab urging the people of these areas to wake up against the injustice being done to them. He urged the people of Southern Punjab to continue peaceful efforts for achievement of their basic rights. He said that his party has a revolutionary plan for development of country and uplifting of the living standard of its people therefore countrymen should join and cooperate with the MQM so as to take the country out of prevailing devastating situation. He vowed to spare no efforts to eradicate the social injustices and outdated system and putting on track to the country on the avenue of development and prosperity through peaceful revolution.


The political maneuvering in Islamabad was disrupted by the assassination on Jan 04 of Salman Taseer, the governor of the Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province. Taseer was a close confidant of President Zardari and bitter enemy of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). He was shot by a member of his Elite Force police security detail while leaving a market in an affluent Islamabad neighbourhood. The assassin reportedly said that he had murdered Taseer possibly because of the governor’s recent denunciations of the country’s blasphemy laws, including the threatened execution of an impoverished Christian woman, Asia Bibi.



Political Reactions


The PML (N) has also taken an ambivalent stand on the government crisis. The PML (N) and the other opposition parties are also fearful of seizing the reins of power at this point because they don’t want to take the responsibility for imposing the IMF austerity program, or similar “home-grown” measures, aimed at placing the burden of Pakistan’s fiscal and economic crisis on the backs of the country’s workers and toilers.



Pakistan Muslim League-N said it will never lend its shoulder to any force hatching a plot to send democracy packing. In Lahore Prime Minister Raza Gilani said Nawaz Sharif would not let derailment of the democratic system to occur. Pakistan Muslim League-N has an important role to play in the parliament He said that PPP and PML-N could not be merged since they had different ideologies and manifestos. Gilani denied that his government was in danger of collapsing and he reiterated it would complete its constitutional term. He said that PML-N Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif had shown political sagacity on all issues of national importance and he wanted to strengthen democracy in the country. Gilani was to meet with Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif last night.


President Asif Ali Zardari had personally led talks with the MQM in a last-ditch effort which failed to bring the Muttahida back into the fold. Interior Minister Rehman Malik - the party's chief mediator - had earlier failed to achieve a breakthrough. PPP sources said Zardari was weighing several options to tide over the crisis. Options available for Zardari are either dissolution of the National Assembly or an alliance with PML (Q). Zardari's aides are trying to win back the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), a small coalition partner, which left the government LAST month over the sacking of one of its ministers and sat with the opposition. The head of the JUI, Fazalur Rehman, has called for the resignation of Gilani. While there are no signs yet that may happen, rising differences between Zardari and Gilani have raised speculation that the prime minister is becoming vulnerable. Some analysts say Gilani may opt to resign if the pressure on his government becomes unbearable.


PPP said it neither believed in horse trading, nor it had formed any forward bloc, and it would take all its coalition partners on board. To a query about the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s demand that he should resign, Gilani said difference of opinion is the essence of democracy. JUI-F had been coalition partner of the PPP-led government for three years, and it had cordial relations with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Responding to another question, the Prime Minister said that petroleum prices are linked to international market, while OGRA (Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority) controlled and fixed prices of petroleum products. The government is well aware of the hardships the people in this regard, however, in the present economic condition, the government could not give subsidy on petroleum products, he maintained. To a question, Gilani said the Blasphemy Act is a matter of conviction of the entire Muslim Ummah and being followers of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him), they cannot amend this act at any cost. No decision about amending the Blasphemy Act had.


Washington sought to downplay the political crisis in Islamabad, which has provided pivotal logistical and military support to the US occupation of Afghanistan for the past nine years. There is every indication, however, that Washington is actively intervening behind the scenes to press the opposition parties not to act precipitously. The Obama administration fears that the unraveling of the PPP-led government would cut across two key reactionary objectives: prevailing on Islamabad to intensify the counter-insurgency war against Taliban-aligned groups in the country’s Pashtun Afghan-borderlands and implementing a brutal, US-supported International Monetary Fund restructuring program.



What Went Wrong?


MQM has differences with the PPP government over NRO, RGST, corruption and latest hike in petroleum prices. We cannot cohabit anymore. PML-N leaders say they will not support corrupt government and argue against any change in the government through any unconstitutional means. If Pakistan could not be ‘turned back’ in the next ten years, a revolution will become inevitable in the country and then everyone will have to pay the price. They stress the need for using cheaper sources of power generation such as solar and other means rather than going for expensive rental power house. They want the prime minister to take fresh vote of confidence from the Parliament. Gilani said he was unanimously elected, all parties voted for me in National Assembly and he has contacts with all parties, indicating that horse-trading to shore up a new coalition was already underway.


The Musharraf regime immediately blamed Benazir Bhutto’s assassination on an Islamist militia leader, but a United Nations investigation recently rejected this explanation, indicating that the assassination was carried out from within the Pakistani establishment, controlled by the CIA-Pentagon. Pakistan has a long, murky history of political assassinations, arising from the chronic crisis of the Pakistani corporate state and the sordid struggles for power between the various factions of the country’s ethnically-divided political elite and the bloated military-security apparatus upon which the entire Pakistani ruling class depends to uphold its property and privileges, maintain the country’s territorial integrity, and gain international leverage by serving as the Pentagon’s satraps or mercenaries.


During the last phase of Musharraf’s democratization gimmicks, Pakistani leaders and media made the world believe that once Musharraf is removed Pakistan would become heaven, but now it has become a safe sanctuary for the NATO state terror syndicate killing Muslims around. The PPP-led government has been pursuing an agenda of war and market reforms akin to that of Musharraf. The PPP won a plurality in the February 2008 elections, with the PML (N)—whose leader Sharif, portrayed himself as Musharraf’s first victim, since the general had come to power by ousting him as prime minister—finishing a strong second.



And under the PPP-led government Islamabad has intensified its support for the illegal US terror war in Afghanistan on fake threats. Repeatedly the Pakistani military has carried out massive counterinsurgency operations in the country’s northwest, using strafe-bombing, summary executions, disappearances and colonial-style collective punishment. As a result, several millions have been forced to flee their homes and villages, many never to return.

The government has now lost its majority in parliament and faces possible collapse if the opposition unites to pass a vote of no-confidence. MQM would support the government on its positive steps while sitting on opposition benches; however, it would also record their protest on wrongdoing of government. MQM leader Faisal Sabzwari said the government has not done anything to address the issues they have been protesting about. "It has become difficult for us to face our supporters and workers. In the first phase our ministers resigned and now we have decided to sit in opposition. We will stay in Sindh provincial coalition and have decided to quit government at federal level because all these issues are related to federal government”.


The government has now lost its majority in parliament and faces possible collapse if the opposition unites to pass a vote of no-confidence. MQM would support the government on its positive steps while sitting on opposition benches; however, it would also record their protest on wrongdoing of government. "We have decided to sit on opposition benches because," told media persons that the government has not done anything to address the issues they have been protesting about. "It has become difficult for us to face our supporters and workers. In the first phase our ministers resigned and now we have decided to sit in opposition," Sabzwari said. "We will stay in Sindh provincial coalition and have decided to quit government at federal level because all these issues are related to federal government," he said.


Price Rise and Political Crisis


The issue is not whether a partner could dessert the coalition, or whether that is back-stab or whether this or that party is better than the rest but can nation be destabilized by the leadership's wrong policies and faulty approaches. Promotion of corrupt regime has caused severe blow to Islamabad. The need of the hour is introspection by all leaders and give up self centered, corrupt, profit oriented politics and try to approve  the decision of people, in the first place, to give mandate for good governance.



Pakistan has been passing through phases of turmoil of all sorts but no sincere leadership has emerged so far to lead the people to prosperity, peace and true Islam.  The MQM decision means the US-backed government of President Asif Ali Zardari may now collapse because it will lose its majority in the National Assembly. If the MQM sticks to its decision to join the opposition, the government will fall. Forming a new one will likely be a protracted, delicate process. If the government collapses, it could mean a call for early elections, which are otherwise due in 2013. That would plunge the country into political uncertainty and distract leaders from tackling security and economic problems.  It appears the formation of a new coalition would likely be a protracted, delicate process and it was more likely that early elections would be called.



Of course price rise is a global problem but the UN is deaf and  blind. In India also prices of every things keeps skyrocketing, the cost of ordinary onions almost reached Rs 100 per kilo. But parliament is not at all worried about people’s problems. The general impression the political parties give to people is that prices do rise and nothing can be done about it. This means, those who do not have the purchasing capacity would have to perish- but only after casting their votes.



In Pakistan, prices go up exorbitantly, but already crushed by US drone culture and terror effects, the people are badly hit. All sections of Pakistan’s political elite, from the PPP and PML (N) through the MQM, have previously implemented IMF austerity programs and favor privatization and other regressive “market” reforms. Similarly, all support the US occupation of Afghanistan.



The corrupt, puppet regime in Islamabad had borrowed money from all sources, including IMF and WB and wasted most and swallowed some and now the government is unable to repay.  IMF and WB promote NATO terror wars in Islamic world by attaching strings to the credits offered to Pakistan. The current corrupt governmental crisis comes within the context of a long and fractious debate over the implementation of the latest IMF-dictated austerity measures. As a condition for its granting Pakistan the last two tranches of an $11.3 billion loan, the IMF is demanding that Islamabad: eliminate all energy price subsidies; slash social and developmental spending yet again to reduce the deficit to GNP ratio to 4.7 percent; impose a temporary 10 percent flood tax on those with annual incomes of 300,000 Rupees (US$3,500) or more; and replace an existing sales tax with a 15 percent Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) that will raise more revenue because it will be applied to pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, agricultural equipment, some food items, and other essentials that have till now been tax-exempt.


Now the PPP and especially Zardari face massive popular resentment and opposition. The Pakistani economy has been rocked by the world economic crisis. Rapid food and energy price increases are pushing large sections of the population deeper into poverty. Chronic electrical power cuts are not only disrupting daily life, they have become an increasing drag on industrial production. And five months after the Indus flood waters subsided, millions are still without shelter and otherwise in need of emergency assistance.



Pakistani leaders or bureaucrats or intelligence or media are incapable of questioning the logic of US occupation of Islamabad not only because of US terror drones, but more than that, their relatives and business interests in USA and UK.  They always support US occupation and terror operations and question the right of Pakistanis’ right to fight the US terror occupiers.



USA controls not only the Pakistani regime, but even its security system, threatening the very existence of Islamabad as a sovereign state in future. . The murder of Punjab governor by his own security cast aspersions on the usual US terror mischief by suing the locals.


Where to?



It is not easy to pretend that nothing is wrong with Pakistan. At a time when the economy is teetering, public discontent is growing over inflation and worsening, and the United States is seeking to expand cooperation in the war against terrorism. The US-Pakistan military axis continues to thwart the will of the Pakistani people.

It is easy for any outside force to control a corrupt regime anywhere and make it vulnerable. It is an explicit fact that Pakistani political and bureaucratic leadership is corrupt. As a public stunt, Pakistan National Assembly, meeting in special session, unanimously adopted resolutions pledging to uphold democracy, institute “radical land reform,” abolish “feudalism,” and stamp out corruption.



Media share the responsibility to guide the regime towards better governance, but unfortunately the core Pakistani media are concerned more about USA and UK than Pakistan; more about their own welfare and extra cash and free trips abroad than people’s welfare. What is wrong with Pakistani governance, regime goals and people mindset?

In simple language- why bulks of Pakistani elite are pro-USA and pro-US drones, afraid of Islam, against Islam?

Islam stands for equality, while Islamabad created to protect and promote equality among Muslims is undermining the interests of common people. . People of lower and middle classes, comprising 98% of the total population of the country are the lone guarantee for survival and stability of country. The country’s politics was confined to a few families who were ruling the nation generation after generation and do not let legible and sincere people to come forward and play role for development and stability of the country.



Pakistan came into being as a result of untiring efforts of leadership of freedom movement and sacrifices of millions of Muslims but it was matter of grave concern that despite passage of six decades we have not succeeded to achieve the desired goals for which Pakistan was established.



Steering the country out of the prevailing gloomy law and order situation and economic scenario we need to end the culture of hereditary politics and provide opportunity to educated and sincere youth who feel heartfelt grief over sufferings of country and its people.


As Pakistan is busy with internal chaos and destabilization, people are unaware of all conspiracies being hatched in New Delhi against Islamabad. Blaming Pakistan for every Indian terror operations and trapping the cricketers with ulterior motives to ruin their career, are only a few known examples. Now that USA and UK terror twins have made terror India the counter- terror leader, world has to fear the UNSC rogues. It is high time Islamabad realized the Indo-Russo-US-UK trap.


Unless Pakistani leadership collectively make up their mind to ask the occupying NATO terror syndicate to quite their land, it may not be possible for any chance  of peace, stability and prosperity. If Pakistan feels shy of doing this for people, the outcome would be the continued sufferings of people. People will not tolerate the tactful, illegal occupation and the genocides by US drone attacks for long.

 Reply:   Concise article required
Replied by(ammalik) Replied on (19/Jan/2011)

Dr Ruff while u have outtlined correctly the factors prompting the present unrest and the possible remedial actions - but regeret to state that article is too lengthy with reptition of many aspects. It becomes a shade laborious to read. Pl make ur future articles concise and and without repetition of events all so many a times regs am
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