In 1971, the Chairperson of the PPP, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, refused to acknowledge the mandate of the people of East Pakistan and prevented a democratically elected government from functioning. Notwithstanding the mess that our “great” army had left us with, it was the PPP Chairperson who had adorned complete dictatorial stature and threatened to break legs of anyone who would attend the assembly inauguration session in Dhaka. Bangladeshis resisted and eventually took up arms and fought for independence. Pakistan had lost its most populous province and split into two.
Today, another PPP Chairperson has engineered a verdict that refuses to give the democratically elected government its right to function. Zardari is doing exactly what Bhutto had done in 1971 – eliminating all challenges that may come in his way to become another “Civilian Martial Law Administrator”. It was Sheikh Mujeeb, the rightfully elected leader of Pakistan, who was the biggest challenge to Bhutto’s throne. For Zardari, it is the rightful Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who will not only revoke the NRO but also put an end to the stretches of today’s corruption.
Similarly just as Yahya Khan had called on the services of the army under the leadership of General Niazi to suppress the resistance, the rangers have been put on the command of Musharraf’s right hand, Salman Taseer.
This is not to suggest that the other parties are angels. Far from it. How can we forget our own history. PML-N had been dictatorial in its term from 1997-1999, MQM still terrorizes people of urban Sindh and JI still promotes religious hatred and bigotism. However none of them one can match PPP when it adopts dictatorial attitudes in the hide of being democratic.
Let’s hope another separation movement does not start and Zardari is democratically removed before Pakistan splits into two yet again.