new PM: Old wine, new bottle
Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, is a pleased fellow
these days, after all, his poster-boy, the 58-year-old Mir
Zafarullah Khan Jamali, is the chosen one, to play second fiddle to
him in his capacity as the new Prime Minister.
hereafter referred to as You Know Who, to borrow Harry Patterism,
has facilitated this turn-about-of-fortunes, by murdering with a
borrowed knife, after all, that is what he is good at. Splitting the
PPP did not prove to be very knotty, even though in the given
scenario, it proved to be time consuming. All is well that ends
well, and the eventual outcome pleases You Know All, as much as it
does (shrub-grown-to-) Bush, sitting pretty in US of A. For the MMA,
the religious alliance, and tactical irritants, the hatchet is
thousand dreams came crashing down for Rehman, the Prime Ministerial
candidate of the MMA, who was till yesterday sitting pretty, and at
one point of time was even pronounced the PM of Pakistan (sorry Mr
Dependable, PTI, you jumped the gun). The installation of Jamali to
the top post makes You Know Who invincible and to underestimate him,
is a gross injustice to his latent talent.
the first place You Know Who tried his level best to broker a deal
with Benazir Bhutto, through their mutual American friends, however
no sooner did PPP start exploring a possible tie-up with the
untouchable, MMA, than You Know Who put his state machinery into an
overdrive to bring about a split in PPP.
if Jamali’s initial statements are any bench mark, he is not going
to step on You Know Who’s toes, and will merrily follow his
policies, not that he has much choice. External affairs, Kashmir,
and security of Pakistan are issues, which are beyond his domain,
and he would do his best to toe his benefactor’s line. Any
deviation would not be good for the health and spirits of the new
Know Who kept ace up his sleeve by establishing the National
Security Council (NSC) by decree before the election to serve as a
forum for consultation on strategic matters pertaining to the
sovereignty, integrity and security of the State. This institution,
many believe, is central to his and the army's strategy for keeping
control over national security and foreign policy, and over major
aspects of domestic politics.
an inveterate party hopper is known for his placatory sound-bites,
aimed at pleasing his masters, who keep on changing from time to
time. Military rule has always been bliss for You Know Who’s
chosen boy - first General Zia, and now another benefactor in the Khaki
uniform. During Zia’s regime, in 1985, he lost the post of
Prime Minister to Mohd. Junejo. Jamali knows exactly how to extract
his pound of flesh, and his chameleon like quality is his ‘magic
weapon’ and effective one too.
from Balochistan, Jamali, has always been strong figure in the
southern part of the province, and was elected the Chief Minister in
1988, 1990, and once again in 1996. During the tenure of Z A Bhutto,
he was his ardent admirer, however no sooner was he toppled than
Jamali, switched loyalties to General Zia, and was rewarded later
with the berth of a federal minister in the Junejo’s cabinet.
has also identified himself with Nawaz Sharif’s, PML, but then
party has never been his preference, post is, so it did not come as
big surprise, when he jumped the bandwagon of You Know Who’s, PML
(QA). So, contrary to what we have been led to believe, working
under the shadow of a junta regime, will in no way prove to be
difficult for Jamali, who has over the years, time and again, proved
that he, and he alone is the right stooge for the converted post.
also shares a rare distinction - if one may take the liberty of
calling it that – with You Know Who. Both the gentlemen do not
belong to the all-powerful tradition Punjabi section of the
populace, which has been over the years throwing up people for the
top posts in Pakistan. While, Musharraf is a mohajir, the new
Prime Minister was born in the Jamali tribe in Baluchistan province.
But as long as he enjoys the pleasure of the all-powerful army,
these trivial things are of no major concern in the given
that is doing rounds in Islamabad these days is the hullabaloo
surrounding the Constitution of Pakistan promulgated first in 1973.
While the anti - You Know Who brigade argue that they took oath
under the original version of the Constitution, the Pro - You Know
Who lobby among the parliamentarians insist that the same was done
under the amended version, with the Legal Frame Work Ordinance -
issued by You Know Who, just before the elections – an integral
part of the scheme of things.
Jamali taking over the mantle of governance, many believe that You
Know Who has acquired a lethal weapon, a front strictly speaking, to
carry out his unpopular decisions, which also gives him an effective
alibi for plausible deniability, should things deviate from the set
installation of Jamali, in nut-shell poses little danger to You Know
Who’s dominance of decision-making but in the long term, MMA, the
vocal opposition in the National Assembly, could have an important
bearing on Pakistan's domestic stability, sectarian violence and
radical clout inside the armed forces.
Know Who is just another in the long line of ham-handed opportunists
– military and civilian alike – who have reigned Pakistan over
the past five decades. And You Know Who will be able to hold on to
power as long as he desires, unless he is eliminated, but will not
be able to clean the country. And for the time being, Jamali, is
more than perfect to serve him to his satisfaction.