It probably is rather unique that journalistic circles are exhorting political elements to stand up to the gradually increasing aggression of the state aiming at obtaining free-hand to carry out executive policies. The approach taken by the media circles is directly opposite to the one followed in the past where politicians always impressed upon the print and electronic media to lend their hand in strengthening democratic political process.
The change in emphasis is clearly the result of the strongly renewed efforts of permanent structure of the state to deliberately weaken political set-up by playing up the popular corruption card and drag opposition politicos to incarceration through parallel judicial outfit cleverly designed by them in the past. To ensure the success of arbitrary actions, the judiciary was lured into providing assistance on the assurance that its actions will be implemented in letter and spirit. It should always be borne in mind that judiciary also owes its independence to the initiative of the permanent state institutions.
The electoral exercise conducted last July was a daring effort bringing to the helm a dispensation considered amenable to the conveyed instructions. All segments of the polity were made to tow the line with a view to resurrect the status quo prevalent four decades before without realising that situation has altered radically and there are elements in the polity that have evolved as potent units having important stakes in the country. The very fact that the consciousness to alter social matrix is dependent upon political forces that play the part of essential agents of change, the multiple stakeholders are now trying to put pressure on apparently subdued political elements to start struggling against the forces of status quo. The effort is led by the media and there are emerging signs that some parts of trade and industry are also supporting the drive.
To the chagrin of over-centralising forces, PMLN and PPP are still able to attract substantial public following that appears incomprehensible to the limited vision of the regimental thought-process. The unwieldy socio-political process is certainly not restricted by the notions of order perceived by operatives of simplistic disciplined segment. The regressive drive undertaken in the country has succeeded in resuscitating PMLN and PPP and the sign of media egging them on to mount resistance is the most visible sign of it. The change-over also reflects the increasing failure of the tailor-made dispensation indicating that such practices could not be resorted to anymore.
The decisive difference is resurgence of so-called discarded political elements is their resolve to come back home and face adversities thereby wrong-footing the entrenched forces. They were rightly advised that struggling for democratic rights is never enduring when done from abroad. The result is that all major politicos are now inside the country lending tremendous credibility to their cause. In such a scenario the quietude of Nawaz Sharif appeared inexplicable compelling the battle-hardened journalistic community to goad him into asserting his role as the preeminent political presence in the country.
It appears probable that PMLN and PPP were waiting in the wings for the current dispensation to fatally err and become an easy target but the consistent support given to it by the forces of status quo has propelled other stakeholders to ask them to come in the open. From the angle of political parties it was not altogether misplaced to wait as they consider political game as a long haul and wanted to regroup before coming into open but the disarray experienced by the country owing to the doddering government and the excessive zeal of its supporters have emphasised the need for taking ground early. Politicos were afraid of the fear itself but have come to realise that they have many more supporters in the milieu not very pleased about what is currently happening. They also witness the pressure on judiciary-executive combine exerted by other factors who have gained in stature over the years.
The combined pressure has spurred major political operatives into action as is seen by aggressive stance taken by the leaders of the PPP. JUIF is making its presence felt through public meetings. Nawaz Sharif is also spreading his wings as was witnessed by his statements after his court hearings. It is a matter of time before Maryam Nawaz also goes viral again. It is interesting to see Pakistan change positively as it is healthy to observe weather-beaten elements chastised by the realities of power-dynamic to assert their independence and shun short-cut path to power. It is earnestly expected that the forces of status quo will also realise their limitations and correspondingly alter their perception. They should acknowledge that as an integral and well-respected part of the system they are required to coexist by providing relative space to other segments of the polity for national development.