Humayun Gohar reflects a certain view point. And his ears are to the ground. His reflections on the forthcoming elections are interesting, specially now that the NRO is dead. - t
Old wine in old bottles
Old wine in old bottles
| Zardari has shown flashes of good behaviour, but his foot-in-the-mouth statements are dominating. His recent contention that he could be prime minister because all other PPP leaders are nobodies has raised many hackles. It shows utter contempt for his colleagues and is a foretaste of the divisions to come. Zardari is not contesting these elections, but he could later be elected to the National Assembly in a bye-election. But what will he do for a graduate degree? Then, his stated intention to shift to Lahore has not made the Sindh PPP nor the Lahorites happy. They look upon his migration with trepidation.|
Nawaz Sharif denied for years that he had done any deal or signed any document to get out of prison and go into voluntary exile to Saudi Arabia. At the time his party felt abandoned, especially those languishing in prison. He was diminished when it transpired that he had indeed done a deal and signed a document. His insistence that his deal was with the Saudis and not with Musharraf and was for five, not ten years looked facetious. This damaged him no end. He returned only one day before the filing of nomination papers was to end and he and his brother were disqualified. They did not get enough time to reorganise the party, galvanise their workers and plan their election strategy. This will tell. That is why one finds only the Muslim League's campaign in full swing. The other two are still to get going.
People forget that both Zardari and the Sharifs have Damocles' swords hanging over their heads. The NRO lapsed on February 5 and all cases against Zardari are live again. If he goes too far - wham! Some say that the NRO cannot lapse as the November 3 emergency sanctified every law and ordinance preceding it. But the emergency is gone and the constitution is back in force under which every ordinance has a time limit; after that it either has to be renewed or the legislature has to pass it into law. The president hasn't renewed it and there is no legislature yet to pass it. No legislature worth its salt would.
The case against the NRO is still pending in the Supreme Court. It is highly unlikely that it will approve an ordinance in which people are not equal before the law. Nawaz Sharif's pardon was conditional. There are other cases against him and his brother and both could be rearrested. They know that. We have seen that Nawaz cannot abide prison for long. Musharraf has the ability to bend them all if needed, depending on whether they have won enough seats to matter.
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