Pakistan at crossroads
AS the people of Pakistan have given their mandate against the military authority and President Pervez Musharraf, the nation is now stepping its right foot forward towards a democratic set up but this general election have put several questions in front of the world. The foremost one: Will the PPP and PML (N) coalition able to take the country in the right direction to restore democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan?
All eyes are now on the new coalition between Sharif and Zardari to take the country forward. With history of rivalry and cynicism between the assassinated Benazir Bhutto led Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (N) by Nawaz Sharif; it is obvious for a common Pakistani to be in apprehension and anxiety.
However, it is now up to the leaders of the political parties to take this people’s will as the only chance given for turning the black era of military rule without taking any kind of hard political bargain, otherwise the ball can anytime move to Musharraf’s hand.
Though Musharraf has categorically denied any intention of his stepping down from the post of President but he still holds the power to dismiss the parliament. However, it will never be easy as the February 18 election was held under tremendous international pressure on Musharraf and it was declared as a free and fair one which was greeted by the entire world.
Musharraf has also expressed his willingness to work with the new prime minister acknowledging the election as a "moment of transition" but still the political picture is not clear considering the grave future challenges.
Despite difference on issues of restoration of Supreme Court judges the new Parliament can impeach the President at any time amending the constitution and that is possible as the President was the first person who grabbed all power through amendment after amendment. So, it is clear that Musharraf’s political future is uncertain and this is the fact that western governments particularly the United States is in constant touch with the leaders of both the victorious parties to work in cooperation with Musharraf.
This is the time to bury the past and realise what democracy can do in people’s rule but there is daunting task ahead to built a new Pakistan with social justice, media freedom, independent judiciary, economic growth, battle against militancy and terrorism with this new revolutionary impulse of democratic clout.
Standing at the crossroad, any decision can take Pakistan, ten steps forward or backward, any decision at this juncture is vital not only for restoring democracy in Pakistan but also for restoring peace process in the whole region.
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