March 16 is an ominous days for an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis. In 2009, on this day, Pakistanis realized the power of public protest when the corrupt government of Zardari surrendered before the protesting Pakistanis and agreed to reinstate superior court judges sacked by Musharraf regime. On this day in 2011, Pakistanis had to hang their heads in shame for collective humiliation inflicted upon them by weak Zardari government when they decided to release CIA contractor, Raymond Davis who had killed two Pakistanis in broad daylight.
March 16, 2013 is also a day when an era marked with corruption, misrule, favoritism, plunder and insecurity is coming to an end. This era is labeled by the ruling elite as democracy. People will have a sigh of relief with rising of sun on March 17. The highpoint of this era was reached when families of victims of successive massacres demanded return to military rule for protection of life, property and honor.
The outgoing government was cobbled together by international establishment. Gen Musharraf, who is still dubbed as a military dictator had to sell his soul to devil to come out of the quagmire created by him when he decided to sack and humiliate the country’s chief judge and face stiff resistance and humiliation. His tenure should have remembered for promoting democratic values in spite of he being a military ruler, introduction of free media, relatively fastest economic growth, employment, state coffers overflowing with money and surge of the middle class. However, one misstep of sacking the chief judge, Justice Iftikhar, and lawyers’ community was up against him. He had to deal with, the spouse of the current president of Pakistan, under international pressure. All corruption cases against her were dropped under dubious National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) and she, settled abroad to avoid court trial, was allowed to come back. The deal was brokered by the USA and UK.
She was assassinated when she had addressed a public rally and her party (read: Mr. Zardari) quickly capitalized on her tragic death to bag sympathy votes. Those who were carried away under emotional stress now repent why they chose to elect her party to rule them for long five years.
During these years, governance and well-being of people was not a priority with those voted into power. Corruption, cronyism and plunder was the order of the day. Capital flew out, exchequer bled and hundreds of millions were added to the list of poor. Only those were happy who were busy in making billions while being around the top man. The only achievements that this government boasts of are completion of term, thanks a friendly opposition, indifferent military and suffering masses. Those sitting on making decisions were cheats with forged and fake degrees, foreign nationals overseeing national security. Other achievements are passing constitutional amendments which only aimed of additional political benefits to the ruling elite.
Today, when the tenure of this corrupt government is coming to an end, the people of Pakistan are generally happy. But they are apprehensive too because they have no idea what future dispensation is being put together by the politicians. Their only hope is CEC and the Supreme Court. But they know that given the chance to choose their leaders, Pakistanis always betted on the wrong horses.