Is Egypt Going To Become Pakistan?

by K. Ashraf

We credited Pakistani analysts; commentators and anchormen with the habit of getting carried away with lofty notions like replication of Egyptian events in Pakistan. Now we see some western analysts also expressing identical views. None other than the US Vice President Joe Biden is included among them. Few days ago, he voiced similar concerns. Can events like Cairo repeat in Pakistan ?

There is a remote possibility that Egyptian events will repeat in Pakistan. Pakistan is not following Egypt it is Egypt that is following Pakistan . Pakistan witnessed similar events three years ago. Those events gave birth to present day political set-up—a negotiated democracy.

Egyptians will get a similar set-up once they are done with their march. Hosni Mubarak will leave, but they will get their own Asif Zardari along with a Prime Minister like Yousaf Reza Gilani. They will give similar run around to Egyptians that President Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Reza Gilani are giving to the people of Pakistan. It is not because President Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Reza Gilani want it so it is because of the embedded flaws of the system they agreed to work within. That’s exactly what happens when politicians of smaller countries compromise and settle for negotiated political systems.

At the moment millions of Egyptians are out on the streets in effort to overthrow Mr. Hosni Mubarak. However, their leaders are negotiating a Pakistan like system to replace present political dispensation in Egypt . Their euphoria will start to dissipate once they will have to bear the results of their struggle like Pakistanis.

Reading the signals emanating from Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt PPP, the ruling party, has decided to dissolve the three year old cabinet. This cabinet did not achieve much within last three years. Their replacement Ministers will not either achieve much in remainder of the PPP tenure.

Firstly, a few key ministers of outgoing cabinet will remain part of the incoming cabinet. Those who are leaving and those who remain lacked leadership guidance. The guidance was supposed to come from Party leadership, but Mr. Zardari, who simultaneously holds two offices, the office of the President of Pakistan and Co-Chair of the ruling party, was overwhelmed with the daunting events of previous three years.

Secondly, with key ministers remaining the same the new ministers will become part of the PPP’s political swamp. No matter how good new ministers Mr. Zardari picks with the embedded flaws of the system nothing will be achieved by the end of next two years. The maximum PPP will be able to boast about in next elections would be the passage of 18th amendment, NFC awards and inclusion of Gilgit in mainstream political process. Electric shortages will be as bad as they have been for the last three years. Economic down-turn will continue. Inflationary trend will remain constant. The prices of essential commodities will remain out of the reach of common folks. Criminal elements will continue their activities uninterrupted. Law and order situation will remain bleak. In other words, nothing will change.

So instead of worrying about the repetition of Egypt like events in Pakistan the Pakistani and international analysts should worry about the repetition of Pakistan like events in Egypt, which means a negotiated democracy for the poor Egyptians—a mirror image of Pakistan—a dysfunctional government system.

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