The rise of senators to respond to their conscience

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Mukhtar Ahmed Butt
Mukhtar Ahmed Butt : The writer is a freelance journalist and defence Analyst.

The game is over who ditched whom is not a rocket science. The stage was set for change of Chairman Senate; it was well planned but badly executed. With 64 Senators with clear cut majority the stage was set for change so much so leading TV Channel declared opposition candidate as chairman in advance soon had to offer apology, this is what happens when agendas are blindly followed. In the entire game government is the beneficiary as they were sure of their defeat, they are equally surprised on the outcome of the result.
Actually there was no need for opposition to plan a move to change the Chairman Senate. Since majority of the opposition leaders are facing mega corruption charges just to release pressure by government in utter frustration this drama was staged which flopped badly. Now the other episode is in the shape of million marches by Maulana Fazalur Rahman sometimes in September to lockdown Islamabad. Such announcements have also come in the past but could not be materialised due to differences amongst political parties. We have seen 126 days Great Dharna by PTI when fall of Nawaz government was predicted but state machinery came in and rescued him.
Coming to defeat of opposition in this great game what happened during secret balloting is a million dollar question. It was sad when Hasil Bazenjo after losing election blamed DG ISI helping government. This allegation is devoid of logic as no one can interfere with in secret balloting. But one must find the reasons as to why opposition was defeated by their own Senators. Be members of National Assembly or Senators they have been deprived of expressing their opinion on national issues and show dissent on party matters in front of their leaders, if they do so they may lose the seat. That is the grand gift of 18th amendment. It is known to everybody that there are deep conflicts and differences in the two major political parties PPP and PML N and this has been amply voiced in public but due to hold off top leaders on their party members they were snubbed. The only course of action was to express their dissent when voting for new Chairman Senate.
Statement of senior leader of PML N Khawaj Asif is very meaningful when he said he was not in favour of his party cozing up too much to the PPP. That shows mistrust between the two parties and defeat in unseating Chairman Senate is now end of camaraderie between PPP and PML N. In any case it was anticipated their love shall not last for long period, they joined hands just to put pressure on Imran, little realising Imran has embarked on a journey where there is no looking back come what may. To be very frank the alliance between PPP and PML N was otherwise unrealistic as both parties have different agendas.PML N is against the establishment’s role in politics whereas PPP has soft corner. In PML N perhaps Choudhry Nisar’s political wisdom was no match when compared with other party leaders, he has always been advocating calm with the establishment but Nawaz for unknown reasons never agreed and the result is before us. Nawaz always behaved like a monarch, his own MNA’s had no access to meet him. Bilawal Bhutto has announced that he has received resignations of all Senators belonging to PPP means nothing while commenting he said they have back stabbed the political party and voted against their conscious is a political gimmick, he has no authority over the party, all shots are called by Asif Ali Zardari.This issue has died down and shall be buried for ever
Unfortunately PML N is now wounded party wants some sort of help by making some alliance with other opposition parties to stage come back, whereas PPP feels it is now their turn to rule the country in next elections as per charter of democracy. Imran should have no fears except that danger is from within party on account of poor governance and making irresponsible statements against opposition leaders. Since PTI has no immediate threat what they need is to provide some sort of relief to common man instead of raising prices of POL that only hits poor and it has multiplying effect on other commodities. People are not interested in their juicy statements they just want relief. Collection of taxes is the need of hour but in a country where there has been no system for 70 years, traders cannot be motivated in overnight to make a queue and deposit taxes. Defeat of opposition in Senate elections simply reflects that still our legislators are not up to the mark to represent people. All those Senators who voted against the party wishes deserve great appreciation in showing guts to vote to government candidate. It was in fact a revolt against party leadership’s dictatorial approach. This shows that they love and believe in real democracy where they can express their opinion freely without any fear. With this latest action by few Senators it will go a long way to strengthen fragile democracy.