It seems like yesterday when the Pakistani public, intelligentsia and international partners, basically a majority of the stakeholders in Pakistan, heaved a loud sigh of relief when Musharraf kicked Sharif miyan in the bollocks and seized power. Nawaz Sharif and his brother were reviled by all quarters for the culture of corruption, blatant power grab and attempts to undermine the other institutions of government. If it were not for the US' involvement in Pakistan, the Sharifs would have been shaheed by now. Yet, we read news this week that Nawaz Sharif is welcomed with open arms by Pakistanis and been given the reins of power again. Strangely, the world seems to be celebrating this momentous occasion.
What changed? There are several reports and opinions by analysts that Nawaz Sharif is a changed man and people are rewarding him for that change in him. What crap! No corrupt politician ever changes for good. The only thing that changed is, people are now tired of Zardari and his band of brothers playing musical chairs with the Prime Minister's post. The people looked around, and found a lesser evil lurking in the vicinity. Of course, there was Imran Khan too, but he was never a serious candidate. I mean, he is progressive and determined to bring a change. Who wants to elect a guy like that? The sheep never want change. They just want to nibble at the grass quietly, and wait for the their day of slaughter.
In electing Sharif back to power, the Pakistani electorate emulated other democracies across the world including the US, the UK, India, France etc. They stubbornly defied a third party's efforts to rise above the sludge and provide an alternative to the corruption genetically embedded into the major parties. They chose to go with the tried and tested instead of the relatively unknown. 'Ah, known devil', you can hear them murmur satisfactorily. 'Lesser evil', India said gladly. It still needs to be seen how Kayani reacts to this development. But he probably knew this was going to happen anyway. He must have kept aside a few nukes for the rainy day.
Here's what the choices looked like for Pakistanis in these elections:
Vote for one of the following:
1. Asif Two-Per-Cent Zardari
2. Nawaz not-so Sharif
3. Imran Khan, the wannabe
4. Total reversal in mental evolution, and going back to the dark ages
The electorate, as it appears, chose the option 4. Democracy, unfortunately, gives immense power to the lesser minds. When you have a right to choose, you ultimately deserve what you choose.