A Broken Promise

The democratic dream dreamt by Pakistan’s people seems to be in a catastrophic state as the PML-N chief and former Prime Minister Sharif withdrew his nine ministers from the Pakistani cabinet. The coalition government, which won the election in February and took the state’s leadership under their wing, is already in a shaky ground.

The step taken by the PML-N chief was caused by Zardari’s broken promise of restoring the suspended judges. Apparently the restoration of the judges who were jailed during the November Musharaf emergence was one of the first task which the PPP candidate Zardari and the PM Guilani had mentioned in their speeches in front of the international press.

The retaliation of the broken promise took place on Monday, when the second deadline for the restoration passed and no action took place. For the former PM, this was not just about a broken promise made by their party’s other half but a question of credibility as the PML had made this issue an election plank.

The restoration of chief justice Ifthikar Chaudhary and other fifty-nine judges would overturn all orders by the President, who was targeted by the parties and was repeatedly asked to resign. But this is more than just concerned with the President’s orders, for PPP it would mean demolition of the amnesty given to Zardari regarding his corruption charges. Another point which needs attention is concerned with the present panel of appointed judges by the President.

The coalition between the democrats was a sign of relief for the citizens of Pakistan as they hoped to see a brighter future. However, the initial jolt received by the coalition is making people wonder how long would this kind of commitment last.

The state of Pakistan has always been politically unstable. After a six year long term of military dictatorship, democracy was restored in the state. No one thought that the coalition would be shaken by internal problems so soon.

Though the coalition remains strong but only time will reveal the damage caused by this initial blow to the ideal democratic utopian dream.

As for Sharif, he is just frustrated and disappointed. For him it was a clear-cut promise made to the people of Pakistan which has not been executed till now. Though the restoration list had been signed by all the ministers of PPP as well as PML-N for its implementation, Sharif is just thwarted that his wishes are being ignored. Although Sharif says that there has been no dent in their personal relations and are still very cordial.

Now with some sort of rift appearing between the democrats, what would the attitude of the governing party be towards the state of Punjab? This is a major dilemma as here PML-N plays the major role while PPP has been subordinated.

Aakanksha Ahluwalia