Original Articles

From “Qatil” League to “Qabool” League – by Furqan Ahmed

Editors’ note: We believe in open debate and hence are posting an article written by our regular contributor on the topic of taking in the PML-Q as part of the coalition. Though it is a decision which when happens may raise a lot of hue and cry, but most importantly, such a decision will allow the government to pass the budget for 2011-12 successfully and assist in completing the term. Though not an ideal case, however, a minority government is vulnerable. The PPP doesn’t have simple majority and hence has to rely on such partners.

Will they join the government?

It’s been all over the news for some time now. Contacts between political parties that have been rivals in the past is not necessarily a new trend. However, this one seems to take me by surprise to say the least.

After a late night meeting last night, Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar announced that there would be no time frame for the formation of this new alliance and national government but added it should take place soon.  Meanwhile, MQM and JUI-F leaders met with Ch. Shujaat Hussain, Chief of the “Q” league.

Contacts between the ruling party and “Q” league gained momentum after Governor’s rule in Punjab. Naturally both parties have a common rival; Mian Nawaz Sharif and his “N” League to counter not only in Punjab but also at the federal level too, despite the fact that “N” League remains confined mostly to Punjab.

Talks of a National Government at the federal level, comprising of the ruling PPP, MQM, JUI-F and PML-Q have been a hot topic for discussion. It is being said that this “National Government” will be based on the Reconciliation principle. There is still no confirmation as to whether or not the MQM and JUI-F will re join the cabinet.  Even if they do minus PML-Q this a formula that has already been tested. How can all these different parties, with different ideologies, different manifestos and totally different bases of support sit together for the betterment of Pakistan?

Not to mention the past bitterness between the Chaudhries of Gujrat and the ruling PPP. How can one forget how President Zardari referred to the “Q” league as “Qatil” League? Will it be easy for supporters of the PPP to forget that Mr. Pervez Elahi was nominated in Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed’s letter to General Musharraf, stating if anything happened to her he would also be responsible? Will the PPP workers of Sindh forget the brutalities and hardships they faced during the PML-Q rule, specifically under the hands of Provincial President of “Q” Arbab Ghulam Rahim, who was the Chief Minister at that time? Will the Workers of  the PPP be able to tolerate those who till yesterday held them responsible for the fall of Dhaka?

MQM and JUI-F have already had a troublesome time in the federal cabinet, are they ready for that again?

I am all for a broad multi-party based government as long as it is based on some sort of principle and broad ideology.  But I am definitely not for a National Government that is based on compromise of principles and just to adjust to the current political temperature. There is no doubt that in Pakistan’s current scenario no one party can steer the country out of its many crises.

Therefore, if a National Government is to come into existence it should not comprise of just selected parties who have different interests. It should be broad based and should be a real unity government and set a precedent that Pakistan has never seen before.