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Political Opportunism in Pakistan.

Byline: Zulqarnain Sewag

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce, an American journalist and writer once said that politics is strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The Prince by Nicolle Machiavelli is a classical manual for opportunist conniving for the political gainers who are better known as Machiavellians. Political opportunism is actually influencing the state of affairs in one's favour by hook or by crook at any cost for political prestige, power, support and seizure keeping aside the gospels and principles. Unfortunately, in Pakistan we have Machiavellians not principled politicians.

Saul David Alinsky, in his book, Rules for Radicals, writes that 'in this world, laws are written for the lofty aim of "the common good", and then acted out in life on the basis of the common greed. In this world, irrationality clings to man like his shadow, so that the right things are done for the wrong reasons - afterwards, we dredge up the right reasons for justification'.

This is actually the political realism. But a state, at least, must abide by its constitution treating all of its citizens on equal basis for its own perpetual succession leaving no room for the opportunists.

Political opportunism is not only the tragedy of Pakistan but of the whole world. It becomes lethal when it shapes into everyday culture and trend. And this is the case of Pakistan.

The politics of principles if it was is no more law of this land but of opportunism and deception. Political parties have no national agenda of general welfare, long term infrastructural development and for changing the destinies of people. Their farsightedness is concerned only with how to fulfil tenure, how to grab and grasp national assets and public taxes, and conceited planning to be in the power arena again. Every party is full of opportunists and turncoats. Party leaders in fact sell the passes.

Ghulam Muhammad by dismissing the government of Khawaja Nazimuddin inculcated the basis of political opportunism. Later on, the dismissal of first constituent assembly by him gave birth to the infamous doctrine of necessity which is always seconded by the power hunters. PNA and MRD, in the past were two successful movements of opportunism. Interestingly the former was to wreck a first democratic government of Z.A.Bhutto and the later was to oust a dictator, Zia ul Haq.

IJI or IDA another movement by the right wing parties led by the current PM was to continue the legacy of the dictatorial-religio system. It got opportunity when PPP government was dismissed on the basis of economic recession etc and it also boycotted from 1990 election.

At this juncture time, the sage of Dr TQ revolution is even an old wine in the old bottles. Nothing is new. But it can twist the showground as some of the covert quiescent players are astute. Political parties like PML-Q, PTI, MQM and AML are hands in gloves for solidarity with PAT on Model Town tragedy. It is not mere camaraderie but a political block against the treasury benches.

The saga of election, in spite of passing of one year is not solved up till now. There smells a rat in the intentions of the ruling party. If the incumbent government is true why is it hesitating in the recounting of votes and their verification from NADRA? It means that there is something wrong in the bottom. This flaw is better filled by PTI and its movement can prove irreparable for the government.

If PTI joins PAT along with other likeminded parties as they have issued a common decree in mutual press conference on June 29, and movement becomes multipurpose from solidarity to revolution and votes verification, the days of government may shorten. Government itself is actually asking for troubles.

It has its own axe to grind thus it is cutting off the nose to spite the face. Recent rich friendly and poor-kill budget has further added fuel to the fire and common men even the voters of the ruling party have turned out to be against it. Government is still in doldrums in controlling unbridled price hike and energy crises both points were on the top of its election campaign agenda. All such shortcomings may result in new political opportunism.

Religious parties also leave no stone unturned in jumping into this filthy pool. On one hand they are the major cause in flaming the sectarianism and hatred among the masses and on the other hand immature in political shrewdness. How long the fight is, Pakistan will never become a theocratic state. The main argue behind it is that the clergy has no common understanding of the religion and it is divided into several factions and sects where everyone is claiming of its being true and on the right path.

Different tactics are used in cashing opportunity even political parties do not hesitate to wash their dirty linen in the public. Media too is not left behind in supporting this mucky and grubby fixture. Different political parties use it in pursuance of their haughty aims. Anchors, columnists and channels speak the language of parties keeping at bay the journalistic ethics. Foreign hands too on seeing the feasible and weaken political environment adopt different measures to install governments of their choices and favours.

Political opportunism has resulted in state's apathy toward solving the core issues it is facing. Resultantly, the country is in the whirl of grave poverty, thronged corruption, incompetent leadership, deteriorated law and order situation, ruthless water and energy crises, gaunt and emaciated economy, engulfed sectarianism, protracted terrorism, extensive social chaos and thick national disintegration. We had no such problems today if the political parties would have solely worked for the development of Pakistan instead of filling and fuelling their own stodgy and gluttony bellies.

Pakistan can't bear such opportunism any more. We are at war on many fronts. Time demands national unity, equality, fraternity, cohesion and integration. We should work as one under the national flag like the chip of same block. We should flock together like the birds of a feather. Frank Patrick Herbert an American novelist was very right to say that when religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. And the same was preached by Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the thinker of Pakistan. Our survival depends only upon adherence to such revelations.
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Publication:Frontier Post (Peshawar, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 30, 2014
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