T h e

K a s h m i r

T  e  l  e  g  r  a  p  h

Eighth Edition

A Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

December 02'

I N S I D E


Spotlight 

Romeet K WATT

 

Black & White     

Sushil Vakil

 

Guest Column  

Sunita Vakil

 

Essay 

Romeet K WATT

 

InsideTrack        

Romeet K WATT

 

Comment

Romeet K WATT

 

Potterism

Romeet K WATT

 

State Craft

Romeet K WATT

 

Total Recall

Romeet K WATT

 

View Point

Sushil Vakil

 

Side Lights

Romeet K WATT

 

Last Word

Romeet K WATT

 

 


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 P O T T E R I S M 

Pakistan’s new PM: Old wine, new bottle

Romeet K WATT


General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, is a pleased fellow these days, after all, his poster-boy, the 58-year-old Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, is the chosen one, to play second fiddle to him in his capacity as the new Prime Minister.

 

Musharraf, hereafter referred to as You Know Who, to borrow Harry Patterism, has facilitated this turn-about-of-fortunes, by murdering with a borrowed knife, after all, that is what he is good at. Splitting the PPP did not prove to be very knotty, even though in the given scenario, it proved to be time consuming. All is well that ends well, and the eventual outcome pleases You Know All, as much as it does (shrub-grown-to-) Bush, sitting pretty in US of A. For the MMA, the religious alliance, and tactical irritants, the hatchet is officially buried.

 

A thousand dreams came crashing down for Rehman, the Prime Ministerial candidate of the MMA, who was till yesterday sitting pretty, and at one point of time was even pronounced the PM of Pakistan (sorry Mr Dependable, PTI, you jumped the gun). The installation of Jamali to the top post makes You Know Who invincible and to underestimate him, is a gross injustice to his latent talent.

 

In the first place You Know Who tried his level best to broker a deal with Benazir Bhutto, through their mutual American friends, however no sooner did PPP start exploring a possible tie-up with the untouchable, MMA, than You Know Who put his state machinery into an overdrive to bring about a split in PPP.

 

However, if Jamali’s initial statements are any bench mark, he is not going to step on You Know Who’s toes, and will merrily follow his policies, not that he has much choice. External affairs, Kashmir, and security of Pakistan are issues, which are beyond his domain, and he would do his best to toe his benefactor’s line. Any deviation would not be good for the health and spirits of the new Wazir-e-Azam.

 

You Know Who kept ace up his sleeve by establishing the National Security Council (NSC) by decree before the election to serve as a forum for consultation on strategic matters pertaining to the sovereignty, integrity and security of the State. This institution, many believe, is central to his and the army's strategy for keeping control over national security and foreign policy, and over major aspects of domestic politics.

 

Jamali, an inveterate party hopper is known for his placatory sound-bites, aimed at pleasing his masters, who keep on changing from time to time. Military rule has always been bliss for You Know Who’s chosen boy - first General Zia, and now another benefactor in the Khaki uniform. During Zia’s regime, in 1985, he lost the post of Prime Minister to Mohd. Junejo. Jamali knows exactly how to extract his pound of flesh, and his chameleon like quality is his ‘magic weapon’ and effective one too.

 

Hailing from Balochistan, Jamali, has always been strong figure in the southern part of the province, and was elected the Chief Minister in 1988, 1990, and once again in 1996. During the tenure of Z A Bhutto, he was his ardent admirer, however no sooner was he toppled than Jamali, switched loyalties to General Zia, and was rewarded later with the berth of a federal minister in the Junejo’s cabinet.

 

He has also identified himself with Nawaz Sharif’s, PML, but then party has never been his preference, post is, so it did not come as big surprise, when he jumped the bandwagon of You Know Who’s, PML (QA). So, contrary to what we have been led to believe, working under the shadow of a junta regime, will in no way prove to be difficult for Jamali, who has over the years, time and again, proved that he, and he alone is the right stooge for the converted post.

 

He also shares a rare distinction - if one may take the liberty of calling it that – with You Know Who. Both the gentlemen do not belong to the all-powerful tradition Punjabi section of the populace, which has been over the years throwing up people for the top posts in Pakistan. While, Musharraf is a mohajir, the new Prime Minister was born in the Jamali tribe in Baluchistan province. But as long as he enjoys the pleasure of the all-powerful army, these trivial things are of no major concern in the given dispensation.

 

Joke that is doing rounds in Islamabad these days is the hullabaloo surrounding the Constitution of Pakistan promulgated first in 1973. While the anti - You Know Who brigade argue that they took oath under the original version of the Constitution, the Pro - You Know Who lobby among the parliamentarians insist that the same was done under the amended version, with the Legal Frame Work Ordinance - issued by You Know Who, just before the elections – an integral part of the scheme of things.

 

With Jamali taking over the mantle of governance, many believe that You Know Who has acquired a lethal weapon, a front strictly speaking, to carry out his unpopular decisions, which also gives him an effective alibi for plausible deniability, should things deviate from the set course.

 

The installation of Jamali, in nut-shell poses little danger to You Know Who’s dominance of decision-making but in the long term, MMA, the vocal opposition in the National Assembly, could have an important bearing on Pakistan's domestic stability, sectarian violence and radical clout inside the armed forces.

 

You Know Who is just another in the long line of ham-handed opportunists – military and civilian alike – who have reigned Pakistan over the past five decades. And You Know Who will be able to hold on to power as long as he desires, unless he is eliminated, but will not be able to clean the country. And for the time being, Jamali, is more than perfect to serve him to his satisfaction.

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