Ayaz Sadiq’s Speech In Pakistan’s Parliament Was Unnecessary And Demoralising
I am among those who are shocked by the statement made by the former Speaker of the Pakistan National Assembly and a leading figure of the PML-N, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.
Beginning with Mian Nawaz Sharif and his close associates who have named and accused the Army and ISI chiefs as being responsible for all the ills of Pakistan, the statement of Ayaz Sadiq has crossed all limits: that the Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa was sweating and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s legs were shaking when the parliamentarians were informed about war being imminent war if the Indian pilot captured by Pakistan after a Mig aircraft was shot down was not returned to India.
I do not speak as some patriot but as a realist. When Pakistan returned the Indian pilot I wrote that it was the right thing to do morally and politically, and Pakistan gained respect after years of losing it through irresponsible behaviour regionally and internationally.
Upon the advice of a dear friend I watched some talk shows, among which one involved my friend Tahir Malik. He spoke with his usual sharp political acumen and his sound understanding of politics. He concluded that Nawaz Sharif had shot himself not only in the foot but in more serious parts of his body. I also listened to an excellent assessment of Ayaz Sadiq’s speech by Rauf Klasra Sahib and found him very well informed, balanced and fair.
Indeed such proceedings did take place Klasra informed us, but whether the Chief of Staff or the Foreign Minister were distraught and that was manifest in their behaviour vividly or were not, was nothing to share with the public. To say this in public is disruptive and demoralizing.
I discussed with some friends if some grand conspiracy is now underway against Pakistan. I argued that I had reservations but no doubt a conspiracy cannot be overruled. Hostile India media channels are no doubt capitalizing on it
Until more information and evidence emerges, I am not willing to speculate. However, at this juncture Nawaz Sharif and his associates have committed fatal errors and I do not think they or their international supporters – if any – can easily destabilize Pakistan causing civil war. Since Pakistan exists and is a legally recognized state in the world it has a right to exist.
However, I must say that the Establishment bears very great responsibility for the current problems of Pakistan. They have made a mockery of the political system promoting some and victimizing others as and when such arbitrary actions suited the Establishment. I think the 1973 constitution including the 18th Amendment alone can bring stability to Pakistan.
The Imran Khan Government should complete its term, and free and fair elections should bring into power a government on the basis of that election.
Corruption must be rooted out but selective victimization cannot be justified. At the same time, Imran Khan should direct his attention to the sky rocketing prices of essential commodities which are breaking the back of the common man and woman of Pakistan.
Unless a government prioritizes the well-being and welfare of the people it has no right to rule legitimately and the people of Pakistan have had enough.
The writer is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University; Visiting Professor Government College University; and, Honorary Senior Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. He has written a number of books and won many awards, he can be reached on [email protected]