During his recent visit to Karachi, while castigating PPP-led government for lack of good leadership, as a result of which national institutions are on the verge of collapse, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif inferred that things would get from bad to worse if Pakistan Peoples Party insisted on completing its tenure. He also referred to the precarious situation in Balochistan and ruled out any interference by the establishment in political matters.

MNS suggested fresh elections as a solution to the problem and asked all parties to sit together, evolve an agenda for the future of the country and deliver on it, no matter whosoever wins the election. So far so good, but going by PPP statements, it seems unlikely to call early elections and in these circumstances, it is incumbent on MNS, being the leader of the second largest party, to take some practical measures to put into effect what he seriously believes in, and thus prevent the country from the oncoming disaster that he sees just round the corner. As suggested by some, there is nothing to stop his party from resigning national and provincial assembly seats, which will necessitate fresh elections because in order not to spoil their chances at the next elections, other parties are also likely to jump off the sinking boat and make the demand irresistible.

MNS also stated that had his party been voted to power for five years, a journey from Peshawar to Karachi would have been covered in 8 hours. I believe given a bit of luck, subject to availability of a plane, and it's not developing a fault during flight, it could still be possible to travel from Peshawar to Karachi, even in less than 8 hours, though not by road as meant by MNS. Outpacing South Korea would seem a bit far-fetched, because we simply did not have the resources to build and/or expand the network of motorways and other infra-structure required for the purpose. I remember at the time of abrupt end of MNS rule, the forex reserves of the country had virtually been exhausted and even foreign exchange held legally by Pakistanis in their foreign currency accounts was confiscated by the government and rupees equivalent given later. The government had even opened bank accounts at home and abroad for Pakistanis to give donations for Pakistan. No doubt all parties exaggerate their achievements and potential, but a sensible thing would be to keep these within reasonable bounds.


December 24.