Quietude

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Things have quietened down in the country as contesting forces are taking a breather but even in such a quietened state small sparks keep on flying negatively affecting national existence. It is expected as things are unraveling in the country as many forces that were kept under leash are now emerging with a vengeance. In a single-dimensional country like Pakistan the inrush of plurality is causing deep discomfiture to deep entrenched forces of entitlement. It is widely expected that resentment supported by resistance will confront the nation in the coming days.

It is also being witnessed that political elements in the country do not suffer from spinelessness anymore that was considered their hallmark just two decades before. They appear now convinced that democratic struggle for ensuring supremacy of elected representatives cannot be waged without them being in exile. The leading political figures have therefore come back to the country and are facing adversity without vociferously complaining. They have realised the advantage of being present inside the country through thick and thin and now appeared determined to stay, come what may.

While being inside the country, the political elements have slowly started to galvanise their popular support quietly instead of proclaiming their actions in the media. The outcome is to give the impression of inactivity with a view to spread false sense of quietitude. It suits the vanquished political elements who now are waiting for the government to commit mistakes and then to capitalise on them at an opportune time. They know that time is on their side whereas it is fast running out for the ruling party.

This strategy shows the matured approach of political elements that have been through the stormy days of the last quarter of a century. The lesson they have learnt decisively is to remain patient and not to be provoked by aggressive steps taken against them. They know that the current political set-up will avoid taking punitive action against them to any extent possible as it realises that its conduct is now equally under review and may be used against it in future.

Political elements are aware that their respective party set-ups have not been badly dented and even the government functionaries they worked with have not broken down. This is an encouraging development for political elements that are beleaguered but not helpless. They perceive that their political following is intact and they can depend on its support once the need arises. They are quite confident that their parties are aware of the relevance of their leadership and do not want to contest it as it would be harmful for their own political prospects.

The optimism of the defeated political elements is not greatly misplaced as the new dispensation has fallen way short of expectations. That it was a motley crowd was not hidden but that it was an unruly congregation bent upon opening awkward fronts in reaction to prudent advice was not foreseen. The mutual intensity of action and reaction increased as the tendency of the new rulers to counter real or imagined slights became harmful. The attempts to counter the wayward conduct of the party in power gained momentum as it was apparently decided that counter-punching would serve the purpose but to no avail.

The issues confronting the country are serious enough to bear the quiet confrontation as it has all the potential to break-out into the open. But the wounds inflicted in the distant and recent past are equally painful enough to let bygones be bygones. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism in the country to assuage feelings of resentment and to work out a mutually agreeable solution as any such effort is never devoid of covert intrigue and expectation of selfish results. The country has witnessed many such reconciliatory ventures in the past that ended up in battle lines drawn once again sooner than later.

Sane observers believe that fault lies with all stakeholders in the decision-making and implementing segments of the country. After more than half a century of consistent struggle no unified and long-term solution to the ever-increasing lack of political harmony has emerged in Pakistan. On the contrary the situation points out to an ultimate showdown in which no stakeholder will emerge victorious.

Any nation-state is a composition of contradictory aspirations and the success of political factors is measured by their ability to devise a mutually accommodating modus operandi. On the contrary, Pakistan has never come out of the circular repetition of past actions that makes no sense to the national matrix. The pluralistic concept emphasises convergence of divergent interest through an accommodating and mutually acceptable code of conduct. It is earnestly expected that the divergent interests in Pakistan will soon realise the delicacy of the situation and arrive at a formula ensuring fair and judicious coexistence so that the country proceeds ahead harmoniously.

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