So, it’s been ten years now PPP has ruled and (mis)governed Sindh and equal number of years PMLN has ruled Punjab. But the difference of governance and development between two provinces is quite obvious. Today, I feel PMLN not only in terms of governance and development is better than PPP, but it has also established its image as anti-establishment party.
Today, I went to Shahdara – a stream that flows near Margalla foorhills in Islamabad – and got chance to interact with locals and few others. Since election fever is around and political mercury is also escalating with scorching heat of Potohar, so discussion and debate on politics is inevitable these days. I just pretended as if I am a PTI supporter, thus a by-default a pro-establishment “mochi”, started praising about good work being done in Khyber Pakhunkhwa Province. Based on this argument, I contested that PTI will pull out more seats from across Pakistan and Imran Khan will finally achieve his only goal of becoming PM by hook or by crook!
There were four people and all were from different areas of Islamabad. When they started arguing, trust me I was just speechless. One of them who was a bearded man in his 50’s said in his Punjabi accent that if civilians make any remark against the Army is declared as traitor, anti-state and what not, but a retired army general or officer can write or speak anything but they are above all. He further said we have made army as holy cow and we cannot discuss about them even. When I asked, rather probed, as to since how long he has held such views, he replied when Nawaz Sharif was ousted by court in connivance with establishment and it has made my mind very clear that is Rawalpindi which actually decides polls and politics here.
There was another young boy in his early 20’s and he was just F.A pass. I was literally impressed by his political clarity. He also echoed same views and had strong belief that Nawaz Sharif has been removed by army through court. But he was confident that if elections are not rigged and maneuvered, PMLN will again clinch same number of seats. He said whatever commitment PMLN made before polls in 2013, they have delivered. He also gave examples of governance in Sindh and argued that even if PMLN has taken kickbacks in contracts, but still they have invested in the infrastructure development unlike PPP.
I regularly travel in Careem or local taxi and interact with drivers and others. Just to kill time I start discussing politics after making him comfortable through conventional talk on weather. What I have observed during my frequent interaction with them is same what I observed today. There are more supporters and staunch sympathizers of PMLN, particularly Nawaz Sharif. The way Mian sb has been campaigning with the slogan “Vote ko Izzat Do”, I feel his party is not going to lose big number of seat if it cannot pull out same number of seats as in 2013 polls.
Well, exciting times ahead as elections schedule has also been announced after so much engineered mistrust and disbelief created in the political system. I am quite sure that elections will happen as per schedule and if all goes well, we’ll have another smooth transition of democracy. After all, we the supporters and believers of democracy and democratization want triumph of democratic system. Change will only come through continuity of democratic governments and smooth transitions.
Long live democracy!
Contributed by Kapil Dev, a human rights activist and a blogger who describes himself as a three-headed monster, i.e Sindhi, Hindu and Secular. Above all a Proud Pakistan fighting for Equal Citizenship.