Gilgit Baltistan Elections and Future Politics
Abdul Shakoor Shah
Politics is the art of looking for troubles, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying wrong remedies. G. Mrx. Gilgit Baltistan Elections are going to be a curtain riser for future politics in Pakistan. GB Elections will pave the way to future governments just like The PTI’s Lahore Show did. The political pundits of Pakistan and AJK are looking forward to the results and seat adjustments in GB. Along with future shaping and reshaping of national politics, it will put the cat of PDM out of the bag. The three streamline Political parties are polls a part ideologically. They may sit on the PDM stage and meetings for political chanting, but they can no longer run their cart unanimously. The opposition is playing a double game on and under the surface. Under the surface they have given a green signal about merging GB as the fifth province of the country and on the surface they are showing cosmetic political opposition to the existing govt. Certainly, the opposition’s willingness to favor PTI on GB move is not thoroughly on national interest grounds, they have dipped their fingers in the pot. GB is also going to be settled like FATF on which the opposition bargained though not up to their expectations yet something is better than nothing. The Indian act of abrogating 370 and 35A has compelled the national security establishment to make GB as a constitutional part of Pakistan. The GB elections delay and season selection is also very important when there remains little mobility. All parties’ conference held in Islamabad chaired by PM AJK passed the resolution showing their reservation regarding GB as an integral part of the state of Kashmir, but it is no more effective than paperwork. The Chinese and Iranian factors in GB elections cannot be excluded. The Shias are convinced through Iranian influence and the Sunis are dealt with Chinese. Some of the opposition leaders are tagging it as pre-poll rigging just to camouflage their political hollowness in the masses. If they consider it a pre-poll rigging then why have they started political campaigns over there in GB after nominating candidates. The political pundits argue that GB elections are going to usher a new roadmap for future politics and it will also forecast about the future ruling party. Certainly PDM is not going to start a joint political move against PTI in GB, as they are physically side by side but ideologically, politically and mentally they are not united on PDM platform. The silent reluctance of certain political leaders from PML N after their Leader’s grudging against national institutions is no more hidden from the public. The Lords of the Ring are fully conscious of their vested interests. The PTI is more scuffled by price hike than PDM. If PTI looks deep into the crux of the matter and enchains the giant of dearness, there is no danger from PDM because a man in the street is not interested in any coalition; he just wants to make both ends meet. PTI must refocus its point to public welfare rather than running behind the shadow of Nawaz Sharif. Masses are concerned about wheat, sugar, petrol, gas, electricity, unemployment, safety and security, law and justice, health and shelter rather than bringing someone back from London. Mr. Khan has urged to bring back Mr. Nawaz Sharif from London, so only he is not only to bring back, there are certain others who are noticed by the respectable court to be presented before. There is a tremendous political shift in the lower sections of AJK Politics. They are looking forward to the GB elections as change maker. GB election results will clear away the political fog from the scene. Certain political sections are awaiting GB results and December. The Molana of Politics has given a new twist to Neelum politics through his six days visit to his hidden right hand Peer Mazhar Saeed Shah the ex-candidate for AJK assembly. There will also be a new twist in PDM after GB results. Ultimately the opposition is not going to be a man of steel against making GB the fifth province of Pakistan. Mr. Khan seems quite serious about it by announcing GB day. Mr. Bilawal has also chanted about giving GB people equal rights which shows PPP’s willingness. The opposition is utterly aware of the fact that it will not only be tagged pro-Indian but will also lose their politics in GB. The PMLN has played the wrong card at the wrong time by targeting the establishment, if it continues; the political situation for PMLN will be worsening. GB election is also not going to be a win a win election. No party seems to be sweeping clean; there will be either coalition set up or strong opposition. The PPP and PMLN are mostly playing with the ex-cards, while PTI is the third competitor with a chair in Islamabad. If we talk realistically, PTI is no more a public cake in view of their performance.
(-The writer is Prof. in English and Freelance Columnist, based in Lahore. )