the Punjab assembly resolution

OK, now that I’ve whined about the intelligentsia’s one sided portrayal of this whole mess, I would like to say that the Punjab assembly’s anti-media resolution is interesting in that it’s sort of a moment of truth for PML-N. Basically the PML-N of the late 90s which is represented by Senator Saifur Rehman going around raiding Jang group offices, imprisoning Hussain Haqqani, beating up Najam Sethi, etc. is up against the “modern” PML-N which stood by civil society during the long march. Unsurprisingly, PML-N has not emerged well from this moment of truth. On the other hand, it hasn’t done too badly either – I’m not sure why everyone is mocking Nawaz Sharif’s U-Turn. I don’t think ideological change is ever particularly tidy, and his messy U-Turn under pressure is certainly better than no U-Turn at all. Also another thing to remember is that the resolution was supported pretty much across the board in the house although the top leadership of all the parties are now denying it.

So we have reason to wonder given that PML-N may come to power in the federal government in the near future. It’ll be interesting to see the PML-N – a party whose leadership is derived mainly from ex-IJT types, i.e. a party with no ideological foundations for respect for the freedom of the press – handle the media’s criticism when it is in power in the centre. The question is, can they, despite a basic lack of tolerance in their political ideology, be cornered into doing the right thing by the unexpected consequences of their past opportunistic political stances? If so, that would be a wonderful thing indeed and one of the good things about having a splinter of the PML stick around long enough to actually have some sort of collective political history.

4 responses to “the Punjab assembly resolution

  1. Zulfiqar Haider

    It is strange to see the behavior of a few politicians, who once supported and lauded media for having a role in the restoration of democracy and independent judiciary, but now are trying to thrash it because it is showing the real picture.

  2. takhalus

    I am more sure than ever that 2010 will be a year the Sharifs will want to forget..the year they should be on the offensive galvanising support against an embattled zardari has instead turned into one of their worst in many years.

    But you are right the party has matured with time, opposition under Musharraf has united it at its core ..which means unlike the Q league it can show more flexibility and make decisions which the old N league couldn’t do..

  3. It’s strange to see how everyone thinks that Nawaz Sharif is destined to form the next federal government. I mean his is party restricted to Upper Punjab and has shown little in terms of generating support outside this cocoon. That they will pull together a majority in the NA is still an if, not a when.

  4. Rabia

    good point Umair. I don’t think anyone is expecting any party to be able to form a government on its own for a long time – any govt in the near future is going to be a coalition.

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