Not so promising after all

So we have a new government in place. But the proceedings so far don’t seem too promising. Is the new government ready for the innumerable changes ahead? 

Among the elections campaigns, we heard a lot about PML-N being the target of criticism for having a soft corner for Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) terrorists but just before the elections it masterfully silenced the issue. Now when they have the government in the centre and Punjab will they order a full-fledged operation against these terrorists? The Hazaras of Quetta and Victims of Abbas Town, Karachi want justice more than the Metro Bus Service. Asghar Khan case is still a skeleton hiding in the closet, will the government act to punish the culprits or will we see a petition submitted in the Supreme Court soon urging the government to take action against these culprits? Pervaiz Musharaf is another issue which demands sensitivity. Will Nawaz Sharif, who has been accused of taking a soft stance against him recently, come out strongly against the man who over-threw his government in 1999?

It will be good for PML-N government to learn from its own mistakes of the past and those of the PPP in the last few years. Nawaz Sharif will have to curb the tendency of claiming to be a caliph of sorts in order to gain popularity among rightists. He will also have to stop hiding terrorists in Punjab and start taking serious note of those in the province accused of terrorism. And, unlike the beginning of his rule, he will have to stop strengthening the Ziaul Haq-inspired laws, which have made the lives of minorities and women hell in this country. 

His biggest challenges will be dealing with terrorism and the generation of power. The first will be very difficult since he, too, has been insisting in the past that this is not Pakistan’s war. And in this, Nawaz Sharif needs the help of Imran Khan. If there is one man who can convince Pakistanis that the war against the terrorists is their war, it is Imran Khan. Will Imran rise to the challenge or will he discredit Nawaz leading to five more years of random explosions? 

23:24 hours
Saturday 8 June 2013

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