Instead of moving forward we slid back

Battle of the flyweights

: PM vs president

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is on a high these days. He wants to be taken seriously, which perhaps explains his current favourite phrase “enough is enough”. Chafing at the bit, he wants to be chief executive not only in name but also in reality.

This is the Junejo syndrome all over again: someone chosen for being his master’s voice wanting to break out of his confines and take on the conductor’s baton himself. The presidency, as it takes little https://www.canadagooseoutletcanada.ca genius to figure out, is far from being amused.

canada goose Gilani’s outburst at LUMS, in answer to a student’s question, that this system was half partridge and half quail, neither presidential nor parliamentary, pointed to some canada goose outlet michigan of this turbulence seething within his bosom. canada goose

buy canada goose jacket In private, it is rumoured, the prime minister is yet more outspoken. Three or four newsmen who else? are his privileged confidants. In their company he unburdens himself more plainly, leaving his interlocutors bemused. Islamabad, dedicated since its founding to nothing so fervently as rumour and conspiracy, is living up to its reputation once more. buy canada goose jacket

India has a strange effect on Pakistani leaders. We thought, or we were encouraged to believe, that diminutive Lal Bahadar Shastri was no match to our tall and strapping Ayub Khan (self appointed Field Marshal) at the Tashkent Conference in 1966, convened under Soviet auspices to clean up the mess left by the 1965 war. Shastri died of a heart attack during the conference. But in political terms it was Ayub who never really recovered from that war and its aftermath.

canada goose uk outlet Pervez Musharraf canada goose kensington parka uk went to Agra in 2002 and after reading a lecture on Kashmir at breakfast to some of the best and brightest of India’s editors and TV superstars the memory of which still causes red faces amongst India’s brightest thought he had conquered India. The cult of infallibility which Musharraf later cultivated, with disastrous consequences for Pakistan, started from that inauspicious beginning. The then Indian leadership may have recovered from Agra, Musharraf never did. canada goose uk outlet

Now we have another conqueror on our hands, Prime Minister Gilani, who after the joint statement he signed canada goose outlet black friday at Sharm el Sheikh with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in triumphant mode. The statement says that the composite dialogue and action against terrorism should be kept in separate compartments, a formulation which, in the prime minister’s circle, has been hailed as a signal diplomatic canada goose outlet store new york victory for Pakistan.

Strange how we the inheritors of one of the oldest civilisations on the planet get carried away by such things. Claims of victory should rest on more solid foundations. More to the point, we would show a far better face to ourselves and the canada goose outlet houston world if we learned to live with each other (we have no other choice) and to conduct ourselves in slightly more mature fashion.

cheap Canada Goose It was on his way back from Sharm el Sheikh that Gilani spoke to Hamid Mir of Geo and Jang, saying, in effect, that henceforth he would be his own man, reshuffle his cabinet on the basis of merit and not “somebody’s liking or disliking”. He ended by saying, “I want to make history”. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that this was the prime minister’s declaration of independence vis a vis President Asif Zardari. cheap Canada Goose

Not all that Gilani has been saying in private has been reported in the press. Credible sources go so far as to quote him saying that he has “strategic differences” with Zardari. This of course could be true but coming from Gilani, hitherto not known canada goose outlet washington dc much for strategic formulations, is not without a touch of the quaint.

Canada Goose Jackets But strategic differences or not, Gilani has shot down Zardari’s choice as ambassador to France and he is increasingly behaving like his own man. But he is stopping short of open rebellion. He is honing the skill of fretting and fuming but he is canada goose outlet store quebec yet to take the plunge and put the axe to Zardari’s favourites in the cabinet. canada goose sale uk Perhaps Gilani is cleverer than most people take him to be. Canada Goose Jackets

Zardari picked Gilani as prime minister because of his perceived pliability. Now he must be ruing the fact he picked Gilani and not Amin Fahim, a far more amenable and laidback figure. And Fahim, one can safely bet, would have a thing or two to say about Zardari’s discomfiture.

canada goose coats Some things never change. General Yahya Khan was Ayub’s handpicked favourite as army chief. Yet when the chips were down for Ayub it was Yahya who eased him out of power. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto thought he was being smart in selecting a junior general like Ziaul Haq as army chief, someone so effusive in displaying his loyalty to Bhutto that at time he looked more clown than aspiring general. Yet Zia sent Bhutto to the gallows. canada goose coats

Zia thought that in choosing as prime minister someone as faceless as Muhammad Khan Junejo he was picking the perfect subordinate. How wrong his calculation was soon became clear as Junejo defied Zia and reduced him to a state of utter helplessness. Nawaz Sharif and the coterie around him thought they were being clever in promoting an Urdu speaker like Musharraf as army chief. Yet Musharraf, sooner than most people at the time could have foreseen, turned out to be Nawaz Sharif’s nemesis. Musharraf favoured the Chaudrys of Gujrat and raised them to heights they could scarcely have imagined. Now both sides cannot abide each other. Hazrat Ali’s words are worth pondering, “Beware the strife of the man thou hast favoured”.

But there is the other side of the hill as well. Under Zardari the presidency presents an aspect that many people find frightening. Tales of cronyism and corruption are rife. The charge of inadequacy is easily hurled at the incumbent. For many people Zardari as figurehead president would be an affliction relatively easy to endure. But Zardari as the republic’s prime mover and shaker is an image which sticks in people’s throats. As such it is virtually an invitation to conspiracy and rebellion. This accounts for the general suspicion that Gilani is not alone, that there are interested quarters who are firming him up, not only putting words in his mouth but putting in backbone where there may have been very little to begin with.

We are passing through a delicate phase which requires caution on the part of all those who can make a difference. Yes, Zardari’s wings must be clipped. The present hybrid system is an anomaly which must cheap canada goose be corrected. The power to appoint service chiefs and governors must revert to the prime minister and, by extension, to parliament. The National Assembly must not be guilty of more delay on amending the 17th amendment. It is meeting on August 3. The most urgent item on its agenda should be the 17th amendment.

But we must not lose sight of past experience. All the instances mentioned above of subordinates rising up against their masters were not smooth affairs. They resulted in upheavals which cost the nation dearly. Instead of moving forward we slid back. We must see to it that we don’t end up in a similar situation this time. Clipping Zardari’s wings should not lead to the wholesale destruction of the present democratic order.

So Gilani has to be extra careful. He can fashion a new constitutional equilibrium if he is up to this historic task. But for this to happen the PPP has to be with him every step of the way and for this it is necessary that Zardari be with him. This is the paradox Gilani has to live with: without the PPP he goes back to being a local politician from Multan.

uk canada goose And accuse Gilani of anything but he is no one’s fool. Which perhaps explains his daughter’s maiden, and rather breathless venture into journalism, in praise of “the next generation of Bhuttos and Zardaris”. Titled ‘A leader with a vision’, it is worth reading. It is about the sweeping qualities of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, qualities that the heir to the throne may not readily recognise himself, in headlong, adolescent prose that should bring a blush to anyone’s cheek, not least Bilawal’s that is, if he has not been wasting his time at Oxford. But then there is little point in being hard on such literary endeavours. After all, what is a politician worth if he can’t play both sides of the street at the same time?Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is on a high these days. He wants to be taken seriously, which perhaps explains his current favourite phrase “enough is enough”. Chafing at the bit, he wants to be chief executive not only in name but also in reality. uk canada goose

This is the Junejo syndrome all over again: someone chosen for being his master’s voice wanting to break out of his confines and take on the conductor’s baton himself. The presidency, as it takes little genius to figure out, is far from being amused.

canada goose clearance sale Gilani’s outburst at LUMS, in answer to a student’s question, that this system was half partridge and half quail, neither presidential nor parliamentary, pointed to some of this turbulence seething within his bosom. canada goose clearance sale

In private, it is rumoured, the prime minister is yet more outspoken. Three or four newsmen who else? are his privileged confidants. In their company he unburdens himself more plainly, leaving his interlocutors bemused. Islamabad, dedicated since its founding to nothing so fervently as rumour and conspiracy, is living up to its reputation once more.

India has canada goose outlet montreal a strange effect on Pakistani leaders. We thought, or we were encouraged to believe, that diminutive Lal Bahadar Shastri was no match to our tall and strapping Ayub Khan (self appointed Field Marshal) at the Tashkent Conference in 1966, convened under Soviet auspices to clean up the mess left by the 1965 war. Shastri died of a heart attack during the conference. But in political terms it was Ayub who never really recovered from that war and its aftermath.

Canada Goose Outlet Pervez Musharraf went to Agra in 2002 and after reading a lecture on Kashmir at breakfast to some of the best and brightest of India’s editors and TV superstars the memory of which still causes red faces amongst India’s brightest thought he had conquered India. The cult of infallibility which Musharraf later cultivated, with disastrous consequences for Pakistan, started from that inauspicious beginning. Canada Goose Outlet

The then Indian leadership may have recovered from Agra, Musharraf never did.

Now we have another conqueror on our hands, Prime Minister Gilani, who after the joint statement he signed at Sharm el Sheikh with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in triumphant mode. The statement says that the composite dialogue and action against terrorism should be kept in separate compartments, a formulation which, in the prime minister’s circle, has been hailed as a signal diplomatic victory for Pakistan.