Election buzz is on and political maneuvering has got full potential. Turn coats are leaving and joining the parties and new alliances are on the cards. With every passing day political temperature is rising. Tahir ul Qadri gimmicks show the intensity and wary of forthcoming elections.
Qadri was planted by establishment or ruling party to score a political mileage is another question but sudden appearance of Tahir ul Qadri on political landscape and attempt to derail the democratic process indicates that few elements suffering from paranoia of defeat looking some short cuts to garb the power. However Qadri’s retreat is a clear message by democratic parties that any attempt to derail smooth power transition would be foiled. On the other hand masses are much more cautious about the upcoming election for PPP left no room for them to repeat such blunder again. PPP has read the writing on the wall because of its Poor governance and lack luster performance.
The time to garner votes on the basis of “Baradri” system is over. People are much more mature and sensitized about their current problems and challenges Pakistan facing both at national and international fronts. People are going to vote on the basis of performance this time and a number of political parties are going to become a chapter of past. A comparative analysis of performance delivered by different political parties in different provinces may help to draw a conclusion.
Balochistan is at verge of destruction, since PPP came into rule, law and order situation is abysmal. Aghaz.e.Haqooq.e.Balochistan package and several other incentives- the last ditch effort- proved futile. It may bear some fruit but rampant corruption among PPP cadres left Balochistan in a shamble. The apathy of PPP government in resolving the issues of Balochistan motivated several separatist groups to lead different movements. Balochistan is the only region in Pakistan which has witnessed a rise in terrorism related fatalities in 2012. The Province witnessed 954 fatalities, including 690 civilians, 178 Security Force (SF) personnel and 86 militants in 418 incidents of killing in 2012, as against 711 fatalities, including of 542 civilians, 122 SF personnel and 47 militants in 294 incidents of killing in 2011, according to partial data compiled by SATP. The first 13 days of 2013 have already recorded 144 fatalities [these numbers are likely to be underestimates, as access to media and independent observers is severely restricted in Balochistan]. While overall fatalities recorded an increase of 34.17 per cent, civilian fatalities rose 27.30 per cent; SFs, 45.9 per cent; and militants, 82.97 per cent.
Performance of PPP and MQM is no less indifferent in Sindh. I would like to quote UNDP report that People have expressed “dissatisfaction” with the performance of the Pakistan People’s Party-led government in Sindh over a range of policy issues including energy crisis, food security, housing, health, natural resource management and education services, according to a survey conducted by the United Nations Development Programme. Target killers have been unleashed by several interest groups in Karachi even the members national and provincial assembly are not safe. Extortion continues unabated, there an atmosphere of fear and trauma.
KPK government is not behind in championing the race of corruption and poor law and order situation. KPK government failed to resolve the electricity issue, while unemployment further increased in the province. Furthermore, the ANP chief Asfand yar Wali Khan detached himself from the public for a long time after a suicide attack on him at his hometown which fuelled public criticism. There is wider public perception that when KPK failed to protect its own ministers how it can guard layman. ANP seems to lose grounds for future election victory.
The remaining Punjab province witnessed best ever governance by PML-N. Shortcomings are there but overall performance of PML-N remained exemplary. The Punjab government increased its budgetary allocations of major social sectors, including education, health, water supply and sanitation and infrastructure development during last four years, while funds for development of southern Punjab were enhanced more than five times as compared to 2007-08 budget. Punjab Government increased education budget from Rs 11.807 billion to Rs. 111.278 billion while budgetary allocations for health has been increased from Rs. 11.37 billion to 71 billion. Similarly law and order situation is not that deteriorating as in other provinces. CM Punjab deserves felicitation for his control over dengue epidemic. World Bank sanctioned more funds for Punjab and at the same time Transparency international report fortifies PML-N all rounder performance. PML-N critics still adamant to accept that in extremely non-conducive situation PML-N have stolen the show.
PPP performance is characterized by lack of political acumen, myopia, corruption, nepotism and absence of politics of principles. Balloon of PTI has been pricked out and it has also lost its grounds. At present PML-N is only political party that has political acumen, experience and individuals that can reign in the mammoth problems of Pakistan.
By showing excellent governance in Punjab, PML-N proved it can change the fate of Pakistan.