After Benazir Bhutto there is nobody capable of real leadership in Pakistan who could also keep the federation intact. In the February elections Punjab voted for PML (N) and Sharif brothers became the king makers there. Whereas in Sindh majority voted for the party of Bhutto. The later is now headed by Mr. Asif Zardari, husband of later Ms. Bhutto. In her lifetime she had rejected him as a political figure and when she returned to Pakistan to take part in elections of January 2008, she wisely ignored Mr. Zardari and left him behind as a liability instead of an asset.
In the last days of June 2008, the prime minister, Mr. Yousaf Raza Gilani allegedly ordered an operation in the FATA (federally administered areas) of Pakistan. The real decision making is however done by Mr. Zardari who has little political acumen as proved by the trail of events since elections. Its ironical that the parliament was not taken into confidence regarding military operation in FATA and the coalition partners of Mr. Zardari are very vocal against this action. The judiciary crises was also mishandled by Zardari and inspite of an accord (the bhourbon accord) with his coalition partners, the sharifs, he couldn’t reinstate the judges in time and instead came up with a lousy ‘constitutional package’ prepared by his cronies. The proposed package has nothing to alleviate the rampant poverty or unemployment or for that matter anything to counter the increasing terrorism in the NWFP. In Punjab also the real power is in the hands of Sharif brothers who have an agenda of their own and its most unfortunate that neither realizes the problems faced by the common man. Increasing prices of all commodities have led to increase in suicide rates, lowering of tolerance, anger, creation of clan like culture in every nook and corner of the country, a totally disturbed social fabric and lack of the writ of the government in controlling anything from prices to terrorism policies. Both Zardari and Sharifs are at a loss to understand the underlying unrest in the country and have bitterly failed the nation. Elections 2008 have therefore done nothing for the masses who voted to remove the dictatorial rule of Musharraf. He is still the president of Pakistan and has no intentions of stepping down.
On June 29, 2008 government allowed a price hike in petroleum products which will cause massive unrest. It has been told that the expenditure by the ministers, including the ones from PML (N), who resigned in protest earlier, runs into billions of ruppees whereas the ordinary Pakistani is finding it hard to make both ends meet. The provincial government of ANP (awami national party) in NWFP at first claimed to resolve the conflicts with local taliban and religious parties of the troubled areas of Swat and FATA but after sometimes there was a U turn and the federal minister, Mr. Rehman Malik ordered an operation which he now refuses to admit and maintaines that its only some steps to counter the tribal terrorism. Common man resents these killings and use of force against so called innocent religious parties. Government doesn’t have effective media policy which would have been instrumental in preparing the nation of the lawlessness of these groups. The prevailing sentiment is that its a re play of “lal masjid” fiasco in which scores of innocent lives were taken by the military operation. A recent interview by retired Gen. Jamshaid G. Kyani has fueled this feeling and the public is entirely against the use of force in tribal areas of Pakistan. No matter how determined the United states of America is, people of Pakistan have their quota of hatred towards their policies and with some very solid reasons and emotions.