Bilawal iftar causes stir, but can it really be a goal-getter?
Bilawal’s Iftar party did create ripples, but can it really realize its goals is difficult to predict for the moment at least. Yet it could safely be categorized as a wake-up call for Imran and his 9-month old
government. How the two sides frame their strategies, alone can help deliver substantive result.
To describe it as prognosis will be too unrealistic an assessment, although some murmur to that effect has been heard, giving it ahead for now, will be stretching the point too far. On the surface, the
situation looks grim. Grimmer it can turn if already blurred economic scenario remains unattended, Urgent attention is needed to lift the crisis from the present morass. The challenge is far too great to be
taken lightly, but those at the helm, must realize that they will have to stand up, and start the rescue operation.
That has to be done before time runs out. While Sunday’s Iftar at Zardari House has received the publicity it deserved. Bilawal and Maryam Nawaz, meeting the first time, formally, and or a purpose, if
satisfied from the initiative, need not be undermined. Their first meeting was just a courtesy compulsion which Maryam, the Kinnaird College studied lady, had to fulfill for Bilawal had come to her house to condoles her mother’s death.
Viewed purely from an academic angle, the gathering of front and second line leaders from 11 major or smaller parties, in itself, was a major development. Honesty demands such an acknowledgment, else it could easily be dismissed as blurred eye view. Media gave it ample coverage, for this was un-ignorable event, though descriptions differed from person to person. Such a conclusion cannot be called un-natural, for there is obvious and undeniable polarization among journalists, but leveling allegations against any TV anchor, or columnist, should be desisted. Each and everyone in a civilized and democratic society has the right to his or her viewpoint.
While the assembly of such vital import has its own significance, expecting unanimity at the starting stage, will be pointless. Differences of opinion among leaders, each one having his or her own
mindset, characteristics, approaches and attitudes, political training, level of affluence, can come to terms only when they persevere with their objective. Enthusiasm and demands coming forcefully from hawks, naturally, was bound to have to its own counters, which was evident from the post-meeting press conference, jointly addressed by the host, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Maryam Nawaz, Aftab Sherpao, ANP representatives (absence of Asfandyar Wali was acutely felt, but there must be cogent explanation for that). The end result of the massive meeting of minds was agreement on staging an all-parties conference (APC) after Eid-ul-Fitr. Its date remains to be determined. But Noon league stand was unambiguous, reflected from the street agitation against the government. The main goal will remain elusive, till such time question of leadership of the planned movement is decided, and modus operandi determined in unambiguous terms.
Lack of consensus, on modes and timing of agitation within the parliament, and on the streets, should be a sigh of substantial relief for the prime minister’s party, which faces innumerable challenges, in
the economic field especially. The shocking rupee devaluation of almost 80 percent in just two to three months time, growing unrest among people because of price hike, and the disappointment expressed by business an trading community against the highest interest rate of 12.5 percent in recent years, will all be worrisome for the party in power. But knowing Imran personally well, it could be easily surmised that his integrity, and a much greater focus on issues, than hithertofore, should help him come out of the crisis. His new financial management team, of Hafeez Sheikh, Baqar Raza, and Shabbar Zaidi, are all men of
tremendous integrity, rich in experience in their respective fields, and should deliver, provided the time frame for the formulation of policies, their execution is clearly set before them, and relentlessly pursued.
If Turkey and Thailand could recover from the abyss they found themselves in at their hour of peril, why can’t Pakistan and Venezuela too can attain that goal. All that is required is the cool-headed approach,
relentless pursuit, and ceaseless efforts. Imran is known for his fighting capabilities, He is a warrior and if could remain glued to the mission for 22 years to attain success in the end, he could also turn the tide now.