Another act of defiance or ……
Islamabad: Custodians of supremacy of parliament over the other institutions want to spend most of their time and energies on collecting the windfall for themselves but seem least bothered to attend the private members day.
Two major bargaining tables; i.e share in the upcoming Senate elections scheduled for March and undermining Sharifs authority in Punjab by dividing it in two or more provinces, remained the main attraction for the parliamentarians from all parties.
Amidst all such give-and-takes of the parliamentarians, Supreme commanders of our judiciary kept ringing their wishful death knell for the government by halting the money-making ventures of one of the top legal expert of the present government, Babar Awan with their suspension orders in a contempt of court case. But like anything else, President Zardari immediately rewarded his legal wizard by promising to return him to his previously held position in the federal cabinet, thus making sure that Black Robes gets another message of defiance from his team.
As this noora kushti (the closest meaning can be a fruitless game) between the serious (and may be wounded) judges and a Memogate plus NRO clouded Presidency marches towards the end of three years, debate about creating new provinces is certainly picking up heat in the power corridors. While debating such things, if Chaudhrys of Gujrat seek a couple more seats in the Senate and Maulana Fazalur Rehman wants a little more chunk of the pie from peoples Party, then no one should be surprised. Because after all that’s what our politics is all about. Whenever it comes to any voting, the coalition partners and independents from FATA, both collectively individually ensure that they not only collect what they had to spend to become a parliamentarian but should also get some extra loads to ensure the next election or selection (depends how you look at our general, party or even Senate elections).
The common buzz amongst the parliamentarians of all parties including FATA members remains that ‘if’ (consider this as a big IF but lets not break their dreams so read their ambitions) elections of the Senate are held, then PPP will win the majority, therefore it’s time to share some Bahria Villas, some contracts plus a seat here (Senate) or a seat there (in future general elections).
It’s one of the main reasons, confided a well placed source in power corridors, that Sherpao, Maulanas and Qazi have started flying in all directions. Partly, it has to do with the Memogate saga but mainly everyone is trying to figure out their political and financial future by agreeing to keep the army away to ensure a complete sway on even empty coffers or in our case resources of the state. Since it is no more a crime to think like that in Pakistani power corridors therefore, should we call it bad or good, I will leave it to all of you. Had it been bad then those getting Bahria villas from FATA or those getting LPG permits from Punjab and other areas might have been NABBED and if not at least socially boycotted but nothing of that happened when they voted in previous senate elections, for presidential elections or on 18th and then 19th amendments.
Anyway about the provincial debate, initially it was thought that all the political parties were trying to divide the Punjab card into at least two if not more pieces. Mainly because Nawaz League was not only becoming too much self centered but also had opened war-fronts with PPP, MQM and ANP all at the same time.
But now it seems that MQM, a party which is maturing into a better bargainer with every new outing since NRO, want to use this opportunity to settle some scores with the ANP by presenting a resolution in the previous session to create not only Seraiki, but Hazara and even FATA provinces. Since that resolution could not be passed despite all pitched battle between Punjabis, Seraiki, Pashtuns and Bhai Logs from across the political spectrum, therefore MQM has formally tabled a bill on the private members day to seek a 20th amendment in the Constitution during the current session on Tuesday. Under their proposed amendment, MQM has sought the creation of at least three new provinces by bulldozing the provincial assemblies consent clause of the constitution and instead use the referendum as a tool for getting the direct consent of the general public.
Whether MQM is serious in this or just want to broaden the spectrum for the sole reason that it becomes impossible to divide even Punjab because if they talk of three new provinces than ANP might start asking for a fourth one in Sindh? Then within Seraiki belt DG Khan and Rajanpur might become more vocal for making a fifth province by taking them away from Punjab and putting them with Quetta. Whether they are doing it by design or by an oversight will be known is coming days but for sure they want to open a Pandora’s box which ultimately might prove worst than Kalabagh Dam saga.