What the Opposition should have done?

  • Opponents of PML-N often accuse it of being a "friendly opposition". They allege that PML-N did not play its role as the opposition party and shares the blame for misrule of PPP government.

    While some of these allegations may be dismissed as mere political point scoring, there do appear to be people who genuinely seem to believe that the role of opposition is different from what PML-N has been doing for the last four years. This thread is addressed to these critics. Enough political sloganeering is being done on other threads, so instead of expressions of blind hatred or blind faith, I would request some unbiased comments from those who are familiar with political science.

    What do you think is the role of an opposition party? What steps PML-N should have taken as the opposition party and it did not take?

  • Y PMLn didn't elect Hashmi as a candidate of President( after Shujat and Fazul-Rahman's offer) cuz Nawaz wanted to c Zardari as President and wished Zardari would do corruption so his(Nawaz) chances would b more bright in next election..... So in this way he played trick but his trick foiled by IK popularity.......

  • ^^^ Where is it documented that Shujaat or Mulla diesel made such an offer to PML-N? Don't read too much as what these two are yapping from their backsides after four years. We need to dig up news and analysis from 2008 and deduce if a proposal was floated to make JH President and whose candidature would have been supported by PML-Q as well.

    The rest is all based upon one's observation and interpretation of events and could be different from others.

  • But how would Javed Hashmi have been elected? Have Ch. Shujaat or Maulana Fazl ur Rehman ever said they would have supported Hashmi as president? Even if they had supported Hashmi, it would have given him only 152 votes out of 340 in the National Assembly, with little effect in most provinces. Zardari would have still become president as support of MQM and ANP had ensured that.

    PML-N nominated Justice Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqui as he was a non-political personality and all parties could have supported him. Furthermore, he was from middle class and was also an urdu speaking Pakistani from karachi. This could have made it easy for MQM to support Siddiqui as MQM always claimed to be against fuedals and for middle class. So Justice Siddiqui was the best candidate to defeat Zardari.

    But in spite of canvassing by PML-N, both Q league and MQM refused to support this neutral candidate. If anyone should get the blame for electing Zaradari as president, it should be them.

    What else you think PML-N should have done as the main opposition party in the assembly?

  • That seems to be a fairly good start of a thread.

    One thing which is usually taken against N League is promoting and projecting their relatives e.g. Hamza Shahbaz/Maryam Nawaz etc. How would that be justified?

  • There is no justification for promotion of Hamza Shahbaz and Maryam Nawaz. Unlike PPP, Muslim League is not a hereditary party. Historically, it has remain divided in groups but has not been inherited from one person to his children or other family members. Even Quaid-i-Azam did not allow his sister Fatima Jinnah to get involved in party activities while he was alive.

    It may be the personal wish of Sharif family that their next generation comes into politics and takes over the reigns of the party based on a "will", but the party workers may never accept this as hereditary politics is not the history or culture of Muslim League. However, if Hamza and Maryam spend their time as members and mid level leaders of the party and gradually rise through the ranks based on performance, not many will oppose it. After all, political families are quite common all over the world.

    Good thing is that their is some realization of this and in spite of the media exposure, this "next generation" is not given a decision making position in the party.

    But I agree that this is a very valid concern. However, it relates more to the future of the party than the performance of PML-N as an opposition party during the last 4 years.

  • Furthermore, its the masses by and large who are more enamoured and fascinated with the name brand than anything else. The names Bhutto and Sharif sell more than the ideology of the institutes they preside over.

  • Like it or not this a normal Phenomenon in the region and is not restricted to Pakistan only. Look at India, Sri Lank, BD etc. Even in US there are Kennedies, Bush family, Clintons and many more.

    In Pakistan no political party can claim to be free from this phenomenon, be it PMLs, PPP, JUI, MQM (they celebrate the birthday of Altaf's 6/7 yrs' old daughter every year, with all the fidelity), JI (Qazi's daughter was in the last assembly), PTI (JH went to it along with memooona and would be accommodated).

    One raison d'etre is that they have no choice but to continue it in the family lest it divides into factions. In majority of the cases when the party head etc is not decided by the family factor, there is no guarantee that the new leaderwill not make it a family affair.

  • Come on guys.

    We hear criticism on PML-N's role as opposition every day.

    Please tell us what they should have done and did not do?

  • What about demands of certain factions to force the Govt. for interim/early elections. Why N League didn't look like taking any serious move for this. After all it is not against the spirit of democracy.

  • During the 4 years tenure of the present PPP regime, the opposition just played the game of blackmailers.

  • @Easygo Bhai,

    You might as well also spell out as to who those "Certain Factions" are/were. An erudite fella like you should know that these elements are/were out of parliament. Furthermore, why should the onus or a responsibility be fixed on NS and PML-N only when there are dozens of other parties inside the parliament which in one way or the other are not only supporting PPP but are least bothered about interim or early elections.

  • Interim/early elections are certainly not against democracy or constitution. But one needs to assess how much leverage the opposition has in forcing govt to go for early elections.

    The most straight forward way of forcing early elections is if the govt allies leave it and the governing alliance does not enjoy majority in the assembly. This was not possible without MQM and now with Q league in govt, even MQM's departure will not affect the govt.

    One could argue that PML-N should have brought MQM to its side and force elections. But what price would have to be paid to buy MQM? MQM would have certainly wanted more clout and ministries than it is getting from PPP. Would that be good for the country and would that be a principled option? Certainly not.

    The second option for forcing early elections is said to be resignations from assemblies. Lets say that PML-N had resigned from assemblies in 2010. This would have meant bye-elections on 71 NA seats and provincial elections in Punjab. What was stopping the govt from holding these elections? The law clearly allows it. If bye elections were held and govt had managed to get its supporters elected in case of opposition boycott, no matter how low the turn out had been, legally and constitutionally such elections would have been valid. In that case, governing alliance would have got 2-3rd majority and do whatever it wanted with the constitution.

    The 3rd option for forcing the govt to go for early elections would be street agitation and a campaign of civil disobedience. This is a desperate measure and can bring about a national economy collapse. Months of rioting and agitation would have a devastating effect on poor daily wagers. Besides, it could have paved way for military takeover on the pretext that politicians can not behave and are at each other's throats.

    Given the non-practicality of all these options, how could PML-N "force" the govt to go for early elections?

  • @Adonis,

    And it is the 3rd and the only option those "Certain Elements" were trying to exploit. Mass agitation, unrest, anarchy giving the justification for a military takeover and installing a caretaker set-up populated by those "elements" who had originally envisaged the capitulation of this system to their favour and then going to win the controlled election through rigging and manipulation to the detriment of both PPP and PML-N.

  • @ADONIS.

    opposition ko yeh kerna chahiye tha k wo 15th march 2009 ko long na kerti aur nawaz sharif bhi underground ho jate taa k judges restore na hatay. jaisa k janab sangsaar khan underground ho gaye thea.

  • Noon League's participation in constitutional amendments is a positive work.

    It should have presented solutions of power shortage and feul prices and inflation in assembly and had blackmailed government and used all sorts of tactics to ensure government adopt them.

    Noon-League should also have united all opposition parties but it miserably failed to d so and resorted on making lotas instead out of its false egos.

  • @Obaid,

    Buddy, care to illuminate on the other opposition parties in the assembly? Would You seriously contemplate for a second that the henchmen of Altaf Bobby would sit in opposition.

  • @sid,

    If Zardari can get Qatil league to sit with him then why not Noon can get opposition parties to sit with them.

    Noon is pretty hopeless with forming coalitions.

  • @obaid,

    At what cost.....when OBL fiasco was unraveling on 2nd May...these sell-out traitors in PPP and Q-League under the watchful eyes of Shuja Pasha, were wining and dining while the US JSOG was screwing our soverignity left, right and centre. Furthermore, Q-League had been a covert partner of Zardari and PPP ever since the NRO was signed mutually between the concerned parties. Both of them also played a crucial role during the Governor rule in Punjab and hence it was a foregone conclusion that both would be openly making out with each other on any given day.

    As for the Q-League, it has ceased to exist as a party and breathing its last at the moment.

  • What happend with go zardari go?