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 THE FUTURE ---PAKISTAN DESERVES

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MAJOR(R)KHALID NASR
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Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: THE FUTURE ---PAKISTAN DESERVES   Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:29 am

ARTICLES, OPINIONS & NEWS
Pakistan Pinnacle
The Future Pakistan Deserves
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January 1, 2008

The Future Pakistan Deserves

By Muhammad Nawaz Sharif

LAHORE, Pakistan -- There is no law and certainly no order in my country. What happened this past week has shaken every Pakistani. Benazir Bhutto was no ordinary person. She served as prime minister twice and had returned to Pakistan in an effort to restore our country to the path of democracy. With her assassination I have lost a friend and a partner in democracy.

It is too early to blame anybody for her death. One thing, however, is beyond any doubt: The country is paying a very heavy price for the many unpardonable actions of one man -- Pervez Musharraf.

Musharraf alone is responsible for the chaos in Pakistan. Over the past eight years he has assiduously worked at demolishing institutions, subverting the constitution, dismantling the judiciary and gagging the media. Pakistan today is a military state in which a former prime minister can be gunned down in broad daylight. One of my own political rallies was fired upon the day Benazir Bhutto was killed.

These are the darkest days in Pakistan's history. And such are the wages of dictatorship. There is widespread disillusionment. At all the election rallies I have addressed, people have asked a simple question: Criminals are punished for breaking laws, so why should those who subvert the constitution not be punished? Those who killed Benazir Bhutto are the forces of darkness and authoritarianism. They are the ones who prefer rifles to reason.

Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and my own Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) have traditionally been political rivals. We fought each other through elections. We won some. We lost some. That is what democracy is all about. Whoever has the majority rules. Bhutto and I both realized while in exile that rivalry among democrats has made the task of manipulation easier for undemocratic forces. We therefore decided not to allow such nefarious games by the establishment.

I fondly remember meeting with Benazir in February 2005. She was kind enough to visit me in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where I lived after Musharraf forced me into exile. We realized that we were fighting for the same thing: democracy. She, too, believed in the rule of law and rule of the people. A key point of the Charter of Democracy that we signed in May 2006 was that everyone should respect the mandate of the people and not allow the establishment to play dirty politics and subvert the will of the people. After the Jeddah meeting we regularly consulted each other on issues of national and international importance. On many occasions we tried to synchronize our strategies. We had agreements and disagreements, but we both wanted to pull Pakistan back from the brink of disaster.

And while the PPP may have been our traditional rival, it is a national asset whose leadership has inspired many Pakistanis. Political parties form part of the basis on which the entire edifice of democracy rests. If our country is to move forward, we need an independent judiciary, a sovereign Parliament and strong political parties that are accountable to the people. Without political parties, there will be hopelessness, and authoritarianism will thrive. Dictators fear the power of the people. That is why they pit parties against each other and then try to destroy those parties -- to further their own agenda. This is what has happened in Pakistan in recent years.

So, what is the way out of the depths to which Pakistan has been plunged? First, Musharraf should go immediately. He is the primary and principal source of discord. Second, a broad-based national unity government should be immediately installed to heal the wounds of this bruised nation. Third, the constitution should be restored to what it was in 1973. The judiciary should be restored to its condition before Nov. 3 -- countering the boneheaded steps Musharraf took under the garb of "emergency" rule. All curbs on the media should be removed. Finally, fair and impartial elections should be held in a friendly and peaceful environment under such a national government so that the people are able to choose their representatives for a Parliament and government that can be trusted to rebuild the country rather than serve the agenda of a dictator.

These are the only steps that will give the country a semblance of stability. If Musharraf rules as he has for the past eight years, then we are doing nothing but waiting for another doomsday.

The world must realize that Musharraf's policies have neither limited nor curbed terrorism. In fact, terrorism is stronger than ever, with far more sinister aspects, and as long as Musharraf remains, there remains the threat of more terror. The people of Pakistan should not be antagonized any further for the sake of one man. It is time for the international community to join hands in support of democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan. The answer to my country's problems is a democratic process that promotes justice, peace, harmony and tolerance and hence can play an effective role in promoting moderation. With dictatorship, there is no future.

First Published in Washington Post - United States


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Reader Comments: [post comment]

Ahsan Akbar

Digesting a BIG article is not really so easy for me, so lets take it bit by bit, "There is no law and certainly no order in my country. " Let me remind you that once upon a time, you also attempted to ransack the Supreme Court!! And well by the way, Is it really your country...the country you left a time ago had practically turned into a failed economy...its not your that country which was left with only 30 million dollars due to economic mismanagement, its the country of people of Pakistan which now stands at more than 12 Billion Dollars... And even if you would nod to unemployment and poverty in Pakistan, then , my dear sir, it is the same country where ordinary people were crushed under inflation while you were enjoying the luxurious vacation at Sheikh's Resort, As for the "Unpardonable Actions of One Man..." , I think you are trying to be TOO specific while bashing out your personal glitches with Musharraf...Besides...did you ever even think for a moment while you Dismissed the Commander in Chief Of Pakistan Armed Forces in Absentia and hasted to put Gen Zia in his place to complete your coup against the Armed Forces...Did you ever think of what an unpardonable mistake you were committing by demolishing the entire Morale of Armed Force and God forbid, we could even have landed up in a chaos amongst the rank n file of army leading to unimaginable consequences... It was just that you were not lucky enough and the coup was turned around at you "Musharraf alone is responsible"...but sir, you do not have any moral authority to say such a thing because turning around the argument would raise a question as to who was responsible for bringing Pakistan to the brink of being declared a Rogue State ?? "Over the past eight years he has assiduously worked at demolishing institutions, subverting the constitution, dismantling the judiciary and gagging the media. " Don't you feel that you are averting us back to the 90 's politics by putting such accusations...If my memory stands with me...were it not you who labeled your DEAR SISTER Bhutto as a Traitor and A threat for National Security... "Pakistan today is a military state" Pakistan was equally rather a more military state when you were the CM Punjab in Zia's Days... "These are the darkest days in Pakistan's history" Sir...are you sure you are a leader ??? I just cant believe it !!! My Dear, The entire nation needs some hope to live up to... It is the leaders' role to Give them Hope... a little hope is all we need to come out of crisis... "Those who killed Benazir Bhutto are the forces of darkness and authoritarianism. " Sir, why are you being so euphemistic now...we all know there is only one type of authoritarianism in Pakistan and thats your OLD BUDDY,Mr. Musharraf...I wonder if one day you would remember him as you BIG BROTHER ?? "We therefore decided not to allow such nefarious games by the establishment." You know what, the establishment has got many other and more important headaches to tackle... because the establishment knows that you will do their job all by your own selves, so why to waste time and money on you ?? Don't you remember how you blew to tithers the so called "Chatter of Democracy" "I fondly remember meeting with Benazir in February 2005. She was kind enough to visit me in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where I lived after Musharraf forced me into exile. We realized that we were fighting for the same thing: democracy. She, too, believed in the rule of law and rule of the people. A key point of the Charter of Democracy that we signed in May 2006 was that everyone should respect the mandate of the people and not allow the establishment to play dirty politics and subvert the will of the people. After the Jeddah meeting we regularly consulted each other on issues of national and international importance. On many occasions we tried to synchronize our strategies. We had agreements and disagreements, but we both wanted to pull Pakistan back from the brink of disaster." What a lovely Fraternity and Brotherhood between the "Brother and Sister"...i think you forgot to add one more sentence which usually comes at the end of such fairy tales... "And the Brother n Sister lived Happily ever after..." "Political parties form part of the basis on which the entire edifice of democracy rests." What a Great Democracy and what an Edifice ?? The entire Edifice of Our Democracy rests on Life Time Chairperson-ships and Dynastic Traditions in Political Parties... "Without political parties, there will be hopelessness" and Sir,with political parties , there was Loot and Plunder and what not...then where should the AWAM go ??? "That is why they pit parties against each other and then try to destroy those parties" No Sir, they dont have to ... You are all self sufficient !! What a solution you are presenting ...it should better be re-stated as "First, Musharraf should go immediately." "Second, Musharraf should go immediately." "Third, Musharraf should go immediately." What happens if Musharraf goes ?? You might come in next...but what gaurantees that you wont repeat your horrible mistakes when you are not even willing to accept your past mistakes ??? "Third, the constitution should be restored to what it was in 1973." I wish any political leader in Pakistan has held the Holy Quran in such a high esteem as they do it for the Book of Constitution !! "In fact, terrorism is stronger than ever, with far more sinister aspects, and as long as Musharraf remains, there remains the threat of more terror." You should have explained that what in the world ensures that Musharraf Goes Out and Peace Comes in ...Isn't it too much a Happy Go Lucky story !!


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Mohsin Mahmood

Sir, First of all i wold like to thank you for shedding some light on the importance of democracy in our country. Your points towards a more open and free Judicary and media are valid and are widely understood by the public of our country. What i fail to understand is that why is it so that even in a democratic rule no party has been able to make any noticeable impact on our whole civil and social structure while in rule. We talk about BB and her death and how her killers should be brought to justice we do not see how she was exploiting her unique position she enjoyed with internation anti pakistan cabals and international media to deface our country to get a share of power. I am in now way a supporter of Mr. Musharaf because i do understand the fact that his political doctrine is basedon suppresion and the use of power to attain motives, be them political be them personal but my complain to you is that as a former president of Pakistan what did you do for our country, my country. Your political failure lead to this man who you accuse now to come into power and exploit our weak political system. Be a leader sir be a true leader, accept your failures by understanding the reasons of the failure instead of just going about blaiming people. Our country has seen enough of this power struggle and we are confused on wat is going on, this confusion has caused politicians Generals and our enemies to take advnatage of us the people because we are the ones who in the end suffer. Your political stance would shape the way our nation walks into the future and how other nations come to know us in the future, i hope yu realize that right now it is not the time to blame but to prepare yourself for the upcoming politcal battle. Mohsin Mahmood


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Mohamed

Article speak the truth. But neither the political parties united nor they have a clear agenda all-together. Democracy is must for our country. We badly need to revive our foreign policy. But how to change every thing? The dictator has brought the country to the brink of disaster. But alas! the system of our political parties is also a dictatorship. So, the common people who represent more than 90% of the society, are too much worried that a dictator is destroying the country, while the political leadership is still not united and most of its parties are still playing in the hands of old Masters. Mainstream political parties made many mistakes in the past while ruling the country. But I wonder why they hesitate to apologize from the nation? WHY? If the political leaders have learnt from the cirmstances and are sincere now , then they must apologize from the nation in their every public-meeting during election campaign for their mistakes in the past. May Almighty Allah help us all and our beloved country to come out of crisis and love / respect each other. Ameen


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PakPositive

This article looks like a resume to apply to anti-Pakistan sources for the position vacated by Benazir.





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