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How much Taliban can gain by targeting liberal parties?

May 9, 2013

FARHAN ZAHEER

They warned, and they did. They do what they believe in. They know their business. Yes I am talking about Taliban who said that they will target PPP, MQM and ANP in elections and have proved their word.

While three liberal parties are under attacks, their opponents are quite happy in running election campaigns quite freely not only in Punjab, the only safer province in the country, but also in other three provinces.

These parties say that open threats and attacks are significantly hampering their campaigns and that it will affect their election results. This makes sense. This is one of the biggest pre-poll rigging – a kind of its own where three parties are being sidelined while others are free to flex their muscles.

These elections cannot be called free and fair when the parties who have more than half of the current mandate of the people of Pakistan are virtually out of the game. The biggest political force of the country, Pakistan People’s Party, is not organizing public gatherings that may hurt its vote bank.

Lets talk about the other two players. The continuous attacks on MQM in Karachi may not significantly alter the election results in its hometown but it may in other parts of the country. On the contrary, the continuous attacks on MQM especially the recent attack on its headquarters at 90 may further increase its grip on Karachi in upcoming elections.

But what about ANP in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa? This party has lost over 700 workers in KPK including MPAs and its top leaders and still standing on its own two feet despite the fact that it never receives the support that its deserves especially from the ‘power circles’. ANP may significantly lose its position in its home province.

Political analysts say that this is the election between pro-Taliban or anti-Taliban political parties. To me, the situation has itself demarcated a fine line between pro-Pakistan or anti-Pakistan parties. How can one political party is pro-Taliban and pro-Pakistan at the same time? How can one accept the barbarian ideology of a group that kills innocent children and women in bomb blasts in bazaars and try to justify it in the name of Islam?

Few days ago, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani made it clear that the military and Pakistan cannot accept the imposed ideology of a small group. To prove his point, his soldiers offer dozens of lives every week in tribal battlefields. But for conspiracy theorists, those who are slaughtering our soldiers in tribal areas are non-Muslims who want to discredit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

To convey complex things in simple terms, Army chief reiterated that war against terror is Pakistan’s war. What else can you expect from a professional soldier who sees dead bodies of his subordinates every day? Can you expect him to start addressing election campaigns and public gatherings to tell his nation the truth before him?

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From → By Farhan Zaheer

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