PPP, PML-N and Musharraf: a merry-go-round of alliances

The rotating alliances of our politicians suggest anything is possible. We can only wage bets on what comes next.

D Asghar October 27, 2010
There is an age old saying, "all is fair in love and war."

It should be amended to say, “all is fair and possible in love, war and politics."

A couple of years ago, when the PPP came into power, the PML -Q or the King's Party (as it was rightly dubbed), was its arch rival.

The PPP's success in the elections was considered to be "sweet revenge" against then President Musharraf and his henchmen (read: PML-Q). Before and after forming the "people's government," Mr. Zardari made tall claims about political reconciliation and underwent several negotiations with the PML-N.

Even his detractors were thoroughly impressed with the friendly overtures of Mr. Zardari towards Mr. Sharif and the now-forgotten Murree Declaration was hailed as a major breakthrough. The nation felt that finally, its much criticised leaders had realised that confrontational politics were of no use and it was time for everyone to turn a new leaf.

Sadly, within a few months, Mr. Zardari reneged on most of his promises and brought the beleaguered nation back to the same old blame game. All the reconciliatory moves between the PPP and PML-N failed. What brought two former rivals to the table were their common enemies at the time: Musharraf and his cronies.

There is no denying that the PPP's popularity is at an all-time low. Many people attribute this lost love for PPP to its wrong political moves: dragging its feet on the restoration of judges, massive corruption and above all, its inept management of the most devastating natural disaster in the history of Pakistan. The idiot box had plenty of self-proclaimed gurus and experts declaring an inevitable military intervention soon after Eidul Fitr.  However, Eid came and went and somehow the signals from army quarters gave those political pundits a really hard pillow to swallow. Martial law was not to come.

When Musharraf decided to launch his political party, the APML, in London, his move carried some substance in spite of his huge unpopularity at the time. His decision to launch a political party was not a mere pie in the sky move and he must have had some assurances of support from his supporters back home. Subsequent to his much-celebrated launch, there were talks of the unification of all the Muslim leagues.  The recent statement by Mr. Sharif, in which he said that he was open to an alliance with the PML-Q, minus the Chaudrys and Sheikh Rasheed, was a signal that he was not going to spare the people who had said that the "Sharif brothers had no space in national politics."

The same PML-Q also leveled its angst against the PPP by stating:
"PML-Q will never reconcile with a party which is responsible for breaking Pakistan."

As I stated earlier, politics is a strange game. Former foes can become allies overnight; it all depends on the situation and circumstances.

The recent move by Babar Awan to bring the PML-Q on board with its "reconciliatory politics" should be observed very closely. There are signs that come 2013, if the elections are held, there will a lot of political maneuvering. Only time will tell who will be friends and foes at that time. The current reading, which of course is subject to change, is that the PPP and the PML-Q will align, to isolate the PML-N. At present, the PPP feels that it is at a competitive disadvantage in Punjab and believes that bringing in the PML Q may turn the table on the PML-N.

With all the present uncertainty, who knows whether Mr. Musharraf will make a comeback, to the presidency after reviving old alliances. Could Mr. Zardari assume the role of the prime minister? Of course, all of this is farfetched, but it’s not impossible. All is possible in love, war and politics.
WRITTEN BY:
D Asghar A mortgage-banker by profession who also loves to write.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (12)

Sadia Memon | 10 years ago | Reply Pakistan Muslim League is loosing patience because of these reasons. N-League never won any election without establishment support. They know if next election going to held under Pakistan Peoples Party government then they have no chance to win, because they will not have full support from establishment. PML-N can not make any progress to get popular support in Sind, Baluchistan and Pukhtunkhawah until PPP is in power. Most Media and judiciary is anti PPP and Noon league want to take full advantage of this thing to weaken PPP government and PPP, to make progress for their future politic. Military establishment make it clear to Muslim League Nawaz that there will be no future role for Nawaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif is blacklisted because of his past attitude. N-League is disappointed from military establishment and now want to use judiciary, media, MQM and other anti PPP forces to destabilize PPP government and intimidate military establishment to make future deal for Nawaz Sharif.
qaisar | 10 years ago | Reply musharraf will be elected member soon inshallah
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