The General yesterday decided to hold in his sagacity a wide open court for all the foreign journalists and media people (the pesky lot which asks too many questions) to query him on what they deem fit.
He sat there in his impressive well tailored suit, every inch the statesmen answering most of the questions with the ease of a well oiled machine, and with considerable wit and charm. We often wonder why the west is so appreciative of his ways, well the answer was before us in full splendor yesterday. This guy speaks their Medias language eloquently. Like the generals of our past he does not command, he requests. When asked a blunt question or two he smiles away the anger. He does not display any chinks in him, he even maintains his cool when directly charged with murder. Let us give credit where it is due, our General has come a long long way since his soldierly days as a speaker and a statesmen. However as a politician he failed on quite a few counts as noted by my humble eyes.
He failed to explain the reason why the crime scene was washed away within the space of half an hour. Even if it was as he sweetly put to clear traffic, why was there no forensic evidence gathered?
He also failed to justify the fact that there was no need to call Scotland Yard in the first bomb case on Oct 18th but now suddenly he thinks it is important to reach out. His claims that we have some talent for investigation were a bit of a joke as well all know how great the â€œinvestigative powersâ€ of our police departments are.
His power in wooing and convincing people is considerable but he failed miserably in pulling the wool over many sheepâ€™s eyes yesterday. Personally he may be a man of great courage, wit and conviction but as a politician, day by day he is coming across as a man desperate to stay in power. No where was this fallacy at more of a display then when he spoke of Aitizaz Ahsan, who he claims is kept indoors due to him wanting to start agitation? If such is the case Beloved Leader then who did the agitation on Karachiâ€™s streets while Aitizaz was tucked away I wonder?
Even despite of all his faults, I for one still think he is the better of the options available today. Because no matter how great our sympathies for the fallen BB, they cannot soothe over the tone of â€œThe Fuedal In Chargeâ€. His ranting was by far the worst display of politics I have seen in life. Same goes for the Chaudries who are trying like hell to get some sort of seat or say in on the elections about to happen. We the people know their stand in the political arena amounts to nothing save a few seats in Punjab. They can blame and point fingers and try to fan any fire they want, the result will still be the same come Election Day, when their crony setup will be voted out of power.
The less said about the great Bald Hope the better. For he has fallen along with his party quite unceremoniously by the heels of the PPP. Allying oneself with the rising sun is one thing but subjugating your own manifesto to another contender is something else altogether.
As far as election preparations go, on a purely political standpoint the MQM is quite well positioned to dominate their constituencies and areas by a large margin. They have kept mostly silent during this whole mess, apart from the bawling of the Don of London on TV to much hilarity. Their workers are well motivated and their election hopefuls both educated and well spoken. Many fingers are pointed at this party but no one can deny that it is the most well formed and organized one when polls come around.
To me the result seems to guarantee a coalition of some sorts between the winning parties and the end result of that too will be sheer confusion. I seriously doubt if the PPP will be able to maintain its unity in the long run or that it can go into an alliance to form a government with say the MQM.
So as we head towards Feb 18th and that fateful day, where the nation is supposed to decide its future, all I can feel is dread. Uncertainty in the form of an eager west and risk in the form of militancy will be looming on the horizon as we cast our ballots. I pray that somehow we emerge from this with hope for our future.
May god help us all.