On 11 May 2013, the people of Pakistan spoke with one voice, OUT WITH THE OLD, resulting in the loss of PPP in the elections and a victory for PML-N.

The citizens proved that democracy can work even in this land of the Pak and the Pure. The incompetent and corrupt government dominated by PPP was booted out. Along went The Feudal Lords and the rich and the powerful, who have been the Puppet Masters of our politics for the last six decades. In came the ‘failed twice’ Nawaz Sharif for the third time.

The voters, especially the educated youth, who were perhaps voting for the first time, also backed Imran Khan and his PTI party and made it one of the leading parties in the country. The result might not have been the tsunami that the Great Khan had promised and expected, but after wandering in the barren deserts of Pakistan’s politics, the result was much better than the small trickle stream of the past.

PML-N, its leaders and senior party members had repeatedly taunted voters, that if they found the then PPP government to be corrupt and incompetent, they should not vote for them in the coming elections. And this is exactly what happened. From the ‘Hot Favourite’ of the past, PPP lost heavily and fell to an ‘Also Ran’ position. For the first time in its chequered political history, the PPP had gone into the election campaign without the Bhutto charisma to electrify the voters. Even the party’s TV campaign reflected its desperation, as it clutched at straws and the ghost of its past leaders to appeal for votes.

The party’s desperate attempt to launch the reluctant, young Bilawal Bhutto to infuse some life into the party, failed miserably. His emotional words, that ‘Democracy is the best revenge’, must be haunting him, for this utterance became a reality and led to the party’s humiliating defeat. Its lacklustre election campaign had clearly indicated that the party had thrown in the towel and had admitted defeat even before the polls.

Today, many political analysts feel that this could be the ‘Twilight of the PPP Party’, as it drifts through the choppy and treacherous waters of Pakistan’s politics, without a captain or a rudder to steer it.

And with the Change of the Guard, we also witnessed a change in the dress code of our leaders and parliamentarians. Gone were the expensive Armani suits and ties and “Bally” shoes and in are the simple, but elegant Sherwanis and shoes that go with it.

Now that the old was ‘Out’, what could we have expected from the new government that was sworn ‘In’? All the parliamentarians have optimistically vowed to uphold the Constitution and that no military intervention would be acceptable or allowed.

This, no doubt, was very commendable, but it would have been refreshing if an extra paragraph had been added in the oath, in which all elected members would resolve to eliminate the octopus of corruption, nepotism, the VIP culture. Also they would deny themselves luxury cars, the scandalous ‘mercs and percs’ for themselves and all the other evils that go with bad governance.

The questions that arose were, could the ‘failed twice’ Nawaz Sharif, PTI and all the King’s Men and Horses, be able to put this country onto the World Stage, where it could stand proudly in the League of Nations, as a peaceful, progressive and prosperous Nation?

Would the PML-N government be able to remove the stigma of the Quaid’s country being referred to as the most dangerous nation in the world and a breeding ground for terrorists?

Would it be able to stand up to the challenges of the Hidden Hands and unite this splintered Nation and bring an end to the drone attacks, target killings and sectarian violence? Would it be able to grapple with the looming economic and power crisis and all the seeds of evil that have been sown into our system of governance by the past corrupt and incompetent governments?

Would Mr Sharif take action against all those parliamentarians who have been elected to the National Assembly on false declarations and are loan defaulters and tax evaders or will he allow the NA to become the stable of horses and mules of the past?

These were not easy questions to answer, as many past governments, both civil and military, including Mr Nawaz Sharif’s own past two tenures, did not succeed in this ‘Mission Impossible’ and failed to unite the Nation and establish Good Governance through a clean, corruption free government.

The past election was another defining moment for Pakistan and the last chance for Mr Nawaz Sharif to establish Good Governance, the Rule of Law, bring an end to the killings in Karachi and loadshedding and establish true democracy in the country.

But as we approach the end of 2016, the third time elected Mr Sharif could be running out of luck, as he failed to accomplish all his promises. He has succeeded in establishing peace and stability in Karachi, reduce the loadshedding to some extent in the City of Lights and stabilise the economy, but has failed to introduce good governance and kill the octopus of corruption that is destroying the nation.

Though the performance of the present government is better than those of the past, it has still failed to fulfil the Great Expectations of the Beloved Awam and improve the quality of life of the ordinary citizens. This could lead to countrywide agitation in the coming months, creating a serious law and order situation. And with a new Commander-In-Chief in the US, we could once again hear the sound of the bugle and marching boots and witness the marching of the Yankee Doodle, whistling ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ to make this nuclear nation safe for US.

 (email: trust@helplinetrust.org.pk).