Islamabad– As Red Mosque continues to haunt Musharraf on the floor of the House, claimants of his legacy continued to hatch another plan in the chambers of the prime minister to keep the President in the line of fire. Plans are afoot to ensure that President gets the nod required to keep him going in the office for at least another term and a draft bill is likely to come up in the coming session of the assembly to provide the constitutional muscle to their move.
Careful considerations and mood of the judiciary has forced them to review the covers of 17th amendment, therefore, a draft is being prepared bring in something new which would scarp some parts of 17th and may be 13th amendment to ensure that PPP-Musharraf deal is secured and a second term also becomes viable.
However, there is strong belief inside the legal team that 17th amendment would be enough to go for the election of the President as it covers not only the dual role but also the next term. Ironically the same team is working on this plan which embarrassed the President in the Chief Justice case.
Chaudhary Shujaat in his usual strides is making all out efforts to not only drum up the required support for the president but is also making sure that his credentials as a king maker are established. He continues to prey on the faithful Jamali and Maulana Diesel besides working on a deal for the FATA legislators. Jamali is on the job like a faithful workhorse and especially after his meeting with the President he is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that he proves his loyalty to the King so that he can get his own league rolling in the future.
Moles are of the view that religious parties have already agreed and the resignation of Qazi Hussain Ahmed was just another way of befooling the masses. After enjoying full term of the assembly, Qazi, who is also nearing the end of his party tenure wanted to drum up some support for himself and his party in the coming elections, commented a senior Jamaat-e-Islami legislator, who does not want to be quoted because of ‘party discipline’.
As for JUI is concerned, its diesel energy is still very much intact and despite all hue and cry and joining hands with the so-called democratic movements, Mullahs are finding it hard to break their alliance with the military establishment for the sake of few more votes. Maulana Fazalur Rehman was heard by all and sundry when he proposed to provide a safe passage to the President.
For the religious parties its better to fight for anything under the umbrella of army than to face the wrath of Americans. By pushing the army against the wall, religious parties would feel much like a fatherless child, observed one analyst. Since Americans are, in their routine terminology, ‘damn serious’ about taking the war on terrorism to ultimate conclusions, therefore they are building up pressure against Musharraf to deal FATA and PATA on his own otherwise, they are ready to go for it.
Though things look murky at this stage because of all the pressures and socio-political gaffes of the present regime, Musharraf camp seems quite contend with the lessening of PPP’s credibility after Abu-Dhabi round of talks. But as many analysts believe that though they see a silver-lining in it for themselves yet somehow they are underestimating Nawaz League and are made to believe by the army establishment that once out of political quagmire, FATA and PATA would be tamed militarily.
Nawaz Sharif seen by many as a rightist minded politician and believed to be so by our establishment, has shown an in-build tendency of blowing the wind out of religious parties throughout his two tenures. Nawaz’s operation against Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing in Lahore is an example while he managed the Jihadist elements to the best of his limited abilities. Given the animosity, Nawaz Sharif is sure not a choice for the military establishment but in doing so Nawaz Sharif is gaining political ground. How far he would be able to capitalize on this is something quite questionable.
Coming back to the third day of debate on law and order in the House, the anger, venom and frustration of the speakers was nothing but an afterthought. Neither any political party nor any religious party was ready to take up the red Mosque issue when it was brewing up since early 2006 and neither they were ready to take themselves to the streets when the operation silence was looming on the heads of Ghazi brothers.
But by revisiting the whole issue, religious parties seems to have done no favour to themselves but have given rise to the suspicion of the Americans that fundamentalists are gaining strength in a Nuclear Pakistan. And this suspicion is indirectly also helping Musharraf to prolong his tenure by becoming the only choice, unless some ambitious planner decides otherwise.