The Future Pakistan Deserves

The Future Pakistan Deserves
By Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Washington Post, January 1, 2008; A11

LAHORE, Pakistan -- There is no law and certainly no order in my country. What happened this past week has shaken every Pakistani. Benazir Bhutto was no ordinary person. She served as prime minister twice and had returned to Pakistan in an effort to restore our country to the path of democracy. With her assassination I have lost a friend and a partner in democracy.

It is too early to blame anybody for her death. One thing, however, is beyond any doubt: The country is paying a very heavy price for the many unpardonable actions of one man -- Pervez Musharraf.

Musharraf alone is responsible for the chaos in Pakistan. Over the past eight years he has assiduously worked at demolishing institutions, subverting the constitution, dismantling the judiciary and gagging the media. Pakistan today is a military state in which a former prime minister can be gunned down in broad daylight. One of my own political rallies was fired upon the day Benazir Bhutto was killed.

These are the darkest days in Pakistan's history. And such are the wages of dictatorship. There is widespread disillusionment. At all the election rallies I have addressed, people have asked a simple question: Criminals are punished for breaking laws, so why should those who subvert the constitution not be punished? Those who killed Benazir Bhutto are the forces of darkness and authoritarianism. They are the ones who prefer rifles to reason.

Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and my own Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) have traditionally been political rivals. We fought each other through elections. We won some. We lost some. That is what democracy is all about. Whoever has the majority rules. Bhutto and I both realized while in exile that rivalry among democrats has made the task of manipulation easier for undemocratic forces. We therefore decided not to allow such nefarious games by the establishment.

I fondly remember meeting with Benazir in February 2005. She was kind enough to visit me in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where I lived after Musharraf forced me into exile. We realized that we were fighting for the same thing: democracy. She, too, believed in the rule of law and rule of the people. A key point of the Charter of Democracy that we signed in May 2006 was that everyone should respect the mandate of the people and not allow the establishment to play dirty politics and subvert the will of the people. After the Jeddah meeting we regularly consulted each other on issues of national and international importance. On many occasions we tried to synchronize our strategies. We had agreements and disagreements, but we both wanted to pull Pakistan back from the brink of disaster.

And while the PPP may have been our traditional rival, it is a national asset whose leadership has inspired many Pakistanis. Political parties form part of the basis on which the entire edifice of democracy rests. If our country is to move forward, we need an independent judiciary, a sovereign Parliament and strong political parties that are accountable to the people. Without political parties, there will be hopelessness, and authoritarianism will thrive. Dictators fear the power of the people. That is why they pit parties against each other and then try to destroy those parties -- to further their own agenda. This is what has happened in Pakistan in recent years.

So, what is the way out of the depths to which Pakistan has been plunged? First, Musharraf should go immediately. He is the primary and principal source of discord. Second, a broad-based national unity government should be immediately installed to heal the wounds of this bruised nation. Third, the constitution should be restored to what it was in 1973. The judiciary should be restored to its condition before Nov. 3 -- countering the boneheaded steps Musharraf took under the garb of "emergency" rule. All curbs on the media should be removed. Finally, fair and impartial elections should be held in a friendly and peaceful environment under such a national government so that the people are able to choose their representatives for a Parliament and government that can be trusted to rebuild the country rather than serve the agenda of a dictator.

These are the only steps that will give the country a semblance of stability. If Musharraf rules as he has for the past eight years, then we are doing nothing but waiting for another doomsday.

The world must realize that Musharraf's policies have neither limited nor curbed terrorism. In fact, terrorism is stronger than ever, with far more sinister aspects, and as long as Musharraf remains, there remains the threat of more terror. The people of Pakistan should not be antagonized any further for the sake of one man. It is time for the international community to join hands in support of democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan. The answer to my country's problems is a democratic process that promotes justice, peace, harmony and tolerance and hence can play an effective role in promoting moderation. With dictatorship, there is no future.

The writer is head of the Pakistan Muslim League and was twice elected prime minister of Pakistan.

Also See:
BB Showed Way to Future - Rasul Bakhsh Rais
New Footage of Benazir's Murder at Channel 4


Anonymous said…
Excellent article by one of the most corrupt, incompetent leaders of Pakistan. This is like the Devil quoting the Scripture. This guy bankrupted Pakistan, terrorised the population and had his goons assault the Chief Justice of the Pakistan Supreme Court.He is believed to have looted the Pakistani treasury of at least four billion rupees during his corrupt rule. He is as much to be blamed for Pakistan's present state of affairs as Mushraff or Benezeer. This article by him reminds me of an excellent urdu proverb which succinctly describes him: The cat is going to piligrimage seeking forgivness after killing nine hundred mice!
Anonymous said…
Mr. Sharif,
Who are you fooling? You and the late Benzair Bhutto (may her soul rest in peace) during your respective terms as prime minister, weakened the judiciary so much that it could not stand up to a dictator. All those false charges that you filed against her when you were prime minister are the reason, she had to stay away form her country for 8 years. Do you know who Musharraf’s attorney general is today? He is the same man who was a judge of Lahore High Court and was hearing your fake case against Benazir, when you sent your law minister to ask him to ignore the evidence and opine against her, and he did. I don’t want to say any thing negative about Benazir because she is now dead. But you and most of Pakistan’s politicians are unprincipled, power hungry goons. If Musharraf appoints you as prime minister, you would suddenly become his friend. You and Benazir became friends because you both wanted to attain power. It was not for any lofty principle. So stop fooling us. You talk about a strong judiciary? You were lucky that your were not punished for sending your goons to assault sitting justices of the supreme court as they were in the midst of hearing a case against you. You are a traitor just like Musharraf. The difference is that he has army’s force so he gets to stay in the president house while you bite the dust all over the country. Have mercy on yourself and on Pakistan. Take your ill-gotten billions and go back to London or your terrorist Saudi friends and enjoy the rest of you life, and let Pakistanis take care of themselves. You think that you can fool the world by an article that I am sure you did not write? I would be surprised if you could sign your name on a piece of paper without someone’s help. And this eloquent article (albeit, full of concoctions)? No way, you wrote it.
Anonymous said…
Would SOMEONE please slip a Polygraph on THIS Dude! He is my prime suspect!

Unity Government?

So the Taliban get a Voice there "Conservative"?

Yeah, that is who Nawaz Sharif represents! Bhutto was pro-Persian and fellow Shias!

Both groups are very much-Anti US! and ANTI Moderate!

Put a very BIG cork in it Nawaz, untill YOU exonerate YOUR possible involvement, under verifiable Screening, I will always remember the FIRST place you headed was Waziristhan!
Your Comments On...

The Future Pakistan Deserves
As long as President Pervez Musharraf remains in power, terrorism will remain a grave threat.
- By Muhammad Nawaz Sharif

CommentsNoCashNoHope wrote:
By the Way Sharif Sahib,Do you or your family own 400 NYC Taxi Madellion? That's what any NYC cab driver of Pakistani origin will
tell you. It need lots of Yankee Dalla eh. Pakistan is poor country.
12/31/2007 10:16:09 PM
Recommend (0) Report Abuse Discussion Policy

NoCashNoHope wrote:
Mr. Sharif and Late ms. Bhutto was give ample chance to prove themselves, and what Pakistan got was Nepotism, corruption, Kleptocrats one like Sharif and Bhutto's who looted the country's wealth in broadday light. The taliban florished in their tenure. Now Sharif and Zardari Bhutto are demanding investigation by American FBI and Scotland Yard. Let me ask Bhutto Sharif if they are also ready to be investigated by FBI/Scotland yard the Kleptocracy, Corruption, nepotism etc. etc that happend during thier tenure, and if found guilty? They should be reday to face The American Justice.
As Pakistani American let me say:
In American We have Chenny Bush, Jonny Cash and Bob Hope, In Pakistan they have Bhutto Sharif No Cash and no hope.
Pakistan Deserve someone Better than Bhutto Sharif.
Anonymous said…
Mian sahib is obviously high on some good bhang! A good friend!!! I can't believe my eyes! Now that she's 6 feet under and no longer a threat, maybe. An independent judiciary?! Make sure the gates to the new supreme court are high enough to prevent unwanted MNAs from climbing over them!! Does this man think the country has collective amnesia?!
What kind of professor is Rasul Bakhsh Rais?
Thanks goodness I went to Helsinki Business School and not Lahore University of Management Sciences.
No wonder the Finns are sooo much ahead of us.

With all due respect prof. sahib:
Is ko kehte heen Jab Raat ho ayse matwali phir subah a alam kia hoga.
Dare to raise your voice for the voiceless people of Pakistan, help to empower the Pakistani people - the country belongs too.

Since the creation of Pakistan the Pakistani people are left at distant from the corridor of power so that the ruling elite can do what they wanted to do in favour of their interest, leaving the Pakistani people at the mercy of circumstances. As this policy is denial of right of Pakistani people to rule their country according to their aspiration and desire to built this country, which can provide equal opportunity to all without any discrimination for the establishment of welfare society. Only the society base on tolerance, equality and justice can be the real guarantee for the prosperous and strong Pakistan there for your intention is invited to the crucial movement which could be the point of distraction or disaster.

We have already lost the major part of Pakistan in 1971 simply to save the centralised sole power to exploit this country by the ruling elite they let the country break in part then allowing the masses to rule this country democratically. In the present circumstances we are again dragging our sovereignty at stack for the external interest in the name of national interest, instead of our interest i.e. the interest of Pakistani people at large.

The only way out of these crucial circumstances is the only way to empower the common Pakistani at grass route level i.e. the change of system. This change is inevitable for the prosperous Pakistan .As a citizen of this country I have try to provide an alternate socio-political system to empower the masses at grass route level for rapid industrial and agriculture development with transparency and accountability in the system. Along with basic guarantees for the creation of welfare state, where in public representative and institution shall be answerable and accountable to the masses.

Kindly see web site…

Kindly acknowledge with your comments.

Ilyas khan Baloch
Organizer Islamic Democratic Party

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