Corruption, lack of governance threaten Pakistan government

September 18th, 2010 - 9:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Nawaz Sharif By Awais Saleem
Islamabad, Sep 18 (IANS) Amidst reports of corruption and lack of governance in Pakistan, calls for a change in the government are being raised much more vociferously from all quarters.

The Asif Ali Zardari-led PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party) government that assumed power at the centre after the 2008 general elections has been under attack from the media and opposition alike and the performance, particularly during the havoc caused by floods, has not helped either to improve the situation.

PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) president and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said the government has failed to deliver.

“We have pointed out the follies several times but nobody is bothered”, he told a press conference Saturday. “If there is no improvement without any further delay, a change by constitutional means is imminent,” he warned.

MQM chief Altaf Hussain said “the country is undergoing desperate times and it calls for initiating desperate measures.”

He has also advocated for “the patriotic generals to come forward and make the corrupt politicians accountable for their deeds.”

The chief of JUI-F, Moulana Fazl-ur-Rehman is a government ally but he also believed that “there is no harm in a change if there is a dire need being felt for it”.

None of these parties have yet been able to develop any consensus on the nature of this change but midterm elections or no-confidence within the parliament are being talked about the most.

The PML-Q on the other hand has initiated efforts for unification of several Muslim League factions and an influential religious figure Pir Pagara is patronising all such activities.

“We have no objection in uniting on a single platform to play our role forcefully in the emerging scenario,” said PML-Q president Shujaat Hussain.

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, sitting in self-imposed exile for the last couple of years, is viewing all these developments with considerable interest and is set to launch his own political party Oct 1.

“I’ll contest elections to assume power again because the present government has disappointed the masses,” he said.

With the calls growing louder, PPP bigwigs, including President Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the cabinet members gathered in Islamabad to ponder over the situation.

“I don’t think there is any need to get affected by this propaganda,” Zardari told his men while Gilani believed that “the masses will not support any undemocratic move”.

There are several candidates within the PPP who are flexing their muscles in case a situation for an in-house change arises. “For the time being, the ruling party may go for a cabinet reshuffle and induct some new faces to resurrect the dwindling image,” sources said.

Although Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani was chairing a corps commanders’ meet as the PPP meeting went on but the analysts believe that there is a very far-fetched chance of military taking over again.

“I don’t see this possibility because the armed forces have made a lot of effort to improve their image ever since the ouster of General Musharraf,” said analyst Abdullah Khan.

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