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Analysis Politics

The innocence of Rana Mashhood and Sharif family’s urge for power

Rana Mashhood Khan is a senior worker of PML-N and he is a provincial leader. He has been in the provincial assembly from Lahore on PML-N ticket since 2002. It is hard to understand what made Rana Mashhood give a statement that the next two months are very important on the political horizon and PML-N can form a provincial government in Punjab. He, without naming the establishment, implied that the establishment had understood the importance of Shehbaz Sharif and that they were regretting their decision to bring their selected people into power. I think that Rana Mashhood was asked to give this interview by the party leadership as being in the helm of affairs for the last 10 years in Punjab the PML-N leadership is finding it hard to sit on the opposition benches; also after facing the exile of 7 years, Sharif family was not expecting that they will be thrown out of power too soon. What if one of the brothers and his daughter have gone to jail, the other brother and his political heir is there. Hamza Shehbaz is running the electoral campaign of PML-N in Punjab. He too never expected that they will be thrown out of power after 10 years in a sudden and quick move.

PML-N may have tested the waters but there is a question on PTI’s performance as well

It seems that Rana Mashhood has been used probably by the Sharif family or aliens or by some sea creature. It is possible that Sharif family were trying to get a feeler with this type of statement because there is no doubt that nominating Usman Buzdar as the Chief Minister of Punjab has left a big question mark over the government’s intentions and as long as he is in charge of the office, questions will continue to be raised on his performance. The presence of Aleem Khan in his cabinet and the discretionary powers he has also raises serious concerns as Aleem Khan is accused of land grabbing and also facing cases and inquiries in NAB. Aleem Khan has admitted that he has been given special authority by the Chief Minister. It has also been established after the investigation that Police Chief of Pakpattan Dr Rizwan Gondal was transferred on the external pressure. It has to be seen now whether supreme court, which took suo motu notice of this case, would disqualify Usman Buzdar from his office under the article 62(1)(F) or not.

Rana Mashood did it for his party

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Rana Mashood’s party membership has been suspended. PML-N has disowned his statement. It has to be remembered though, that Rana Mashhood is a senior member of the party and he is also a sitting MPA. So his political views and statements should be taken as the party statements, not his personal statements.

He is not the first scapegoat

PML-N did the same to Mushahidullah Khan when he gave a statement that DG ISI Zaheer ul-Islam was the mastermind of the 2014 sit-in. After his statement, the whole party left him alone and distanced itself from the statement. Even the Portfolio of Environment Ministry was taken away from him. The same thing happened with late Fouzia Wahhab when during the PPP government she had held a press conference and told the media that Raymond Davis had the diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention and hence could not be arrested.

It created a buzz around the media. And her party, instead of backing her in that time, declared that Fouzia Wahhab’s statement was her personal thoughts and that the party had nothing to with that. As a result, Fouzia Wahhab had to leave her designation. Who knows till when politicians like Rana Mashhood, Mushahidullah Khan and Fouzia Wahhab will be sacrificed to serve the interests of their leaders and establishment?

PTI needs to take practical steps

PTI should take the statement of Rana Mashhood very seriously and it needs to show better performance in the center and the province of Punjab. It needs to get rid of wasting its energies and time in auctioning the vehicles and cars of the Prime Minister house and badly needs to make critical decisions in order to implement its political agenda. It will help PTI convince the masses that they have achieved the desired results of their 100-day agenda. Else it will only indulge in politics of confrontation without making any impact or change as promised in its manifesto.

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Fawad Chaudry may be right but mere verbal attacks are not enough

The situation in both the houses of the parliament and especially the verbal attacks by Fawad Chaudhry on the opposition suggests that we are moving towards political confrontation. Fawad Chaudhry, upon the pressure of Senate Chairman apologized with Mushahidullah but soon he started his address in the Senate on the alleged illegal postings and promotions of the brothers of Mushahidullah and Senate Chairman had to call off the session in a bid to avoid further confrontation.

I agree with Fawad Chaudhry’s point of view that the PML-N government was responsible for the destruction of Radio Pakistan, Pakistan Television, Pakistan Steel Mills and also showed negligence towards other government institutions, but instead of accusing PML-N of destroying national organizations and institutions, the culprits should be tried in the courts for their misdeeds and negligence.

If things continue on the same path, people might start liking the ‘Old Pakistan’ again

The government, despite being in charge for almost two months, has not been able to show any sign of progress. In fact whatever decisions were made eventually were taken back as usual. From the appointment of Atif Mian and Governor of Balochistan, and from the cabinet matters to fixing the prices of gas and electricity and making a decision regarding seeking bailout package from IMF, to awarding the key positions to the friends, we have seen the same ‘Old Pakistan’ in this new one.

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Asmatullah Niazi

The author is a senior Broadcast Journalist and can be reached on email: [email protected]

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