Tsunami Fails to Drown Nawaz
May 17, 2013
The PTI “tsunami” has failed to show any impact in Punjab but was able to wash away the ruling political party in the KPK. The Pakhtoon population which was fed-up with violence in the province voted for PTI and now would be anxiously waiting for an end to the drone attacks and the Taliban threat- a big challenge for PML (N) and the party that gets the mandate to govern the KPK. The Lion remained unaffected and managed to swim to victory. Imran Khan has defeated the mighty Bilour in his strong hold and has started political negotiations with other political parties minus the JUI (F) which accuses him of being part of a Jewish conspiracy. If FazalurRehman does not create hurdles in his path, PTI will be able to form a Government in the KPK. Nawaz Sharif has shown political maturity by assuring that he will give PTI the chance to form the Government in KPK. Unlike KPK, Punjab and Sindh voted for their traditional parties. The PML(N) has emerged as the main political party in Punjab while the PPP and MQM have gained seats in the Sindh rural and urban constituencies. The MQM has re-established its hold on urban areas with a lot of controversy and might have to answer about allegations of rigging on several seats, compelling the JI and PTI to launch street protests. The JI boycotted the polls in Karachi as they could not counter the MQM techniques of manipulating the polls. Polling in Karachi was a clear failure of the Election Commission and the security agencies. Surprisingly the MQM also protested the loss of Layari seat where the Baloch had done their homework to counter the MQM candidate.
The 2013 results are a clear indication of the rejection of the PPP, ANP and PML(Q). The surprising fact is that the MQM which was also a part of the poor Governance and had ruled one of the most violence ridden city in the world survived the people’s anger and have succeeded in manipulating almost all of the expected urban seats. Re-polling in NA 250 will prove if they can win it too despite people want change. While change was observed in the voting pattern in urban areas of Pakistan from Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Multan- it failed to appear in Karachi which has one of the highest literacy. The 30 percent of the population which had never participated in the polls came out and voted for change. PTI won several seats and many political Tarzans with strong political families lost the battle. This change will hopefully keep the political playersin the future on their toes. Nawaz Sharif will be returning with a heavy mandate for the third time but will have to face heavier challenges and responsibilities. The PPP Government while exiting has left numerous hurdles which have to be dealt simultaneously and with speed. Ishaq Dar his Finance Minister will be having a hard time balancing the budget with no money in the treasury. Borrowing money from the IMF and World Bank will be the only remedy. Perhaps Nawaz will be able to activate his Saudi connections and get some badly needed aid to revive the economy. The energy crises, civil war in Balochistan, the drones in KPK and the ethnic violence in Karachi with PPP remerging as a ruling party in Sindh will be his major challenges. The PPP MQM coalition in Sindh will be the main hurdle and a constant challenge for the Nawaz government- both will resist attempts to wipe out their militant wings.
Sharif will also have to face a real opposition in the assembly unlike the PPP which enjoyed his support for four years. The Army which appears to have calmed down will now have to respect the Sharif’s and the civilian mandate. It will take time for Sharif to tame the Army as was done by his counterparts in Turkey. In an interview he had given the right signal that the senior most man will be the next Army Chief . He categorically said that the Army will be under his command and will now not tolerate a Kargil like stupid adventure to sabotage his foreign relations. Sharif’s victory is bringing a thaw in the Indo-Pak relations which hopefully will bring the two nations together and eliminate the threats of war. Nawaz Sharif has been voted in as PM, his five years tenure and the pattern of Governance will decide if he will be affected by Khan’s Tsumani in the next polls. Sharif now has a strong opposition and big challenges to deal with.