The USG Open Source Center rounds up Pakistani editorials on the formation of a new political alliance aimed at ending military dictatorship in Pakistan. They note that the Pakistan People`s Party is absent from the coalition. Some in Pakistan are talking about the possibility that Gen. Pervez Musharraf will bring back PPP leader Benazir Bhutto to promote secularism and take the pressure off himself over democratization.
"Pakistan: Urdu Press Roundup on Formation of All Parties Democratic Movement
Pakistan -- OSC Summary
Monday, July 16, 2007
The following is a roundup of excerpts from editorials on the formation of a new political alliance by over thirty political parties of the country to resist dictatorship and the Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) absence from it, published in the 13 July 2007 editions of six Urdu dailies: Jang Editorial Says Political Parties Should Unite for Achievement of Common Goals
Highlighting the absence of one of the main parties, the PPP, from the new alliance and the differences among the political parties at the all parties conference, the editorial states: "The opposition parties need to refrain from thrusting their viewpoints on their colleagues and promote the culture of mutual understanding. They should lay a foundation for collaboration on the points on which they are fully agreed. There is still for the host of the all parties' conference, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, to start talks with the PPP and other political parties that are expressing their reservations about the new alliance and chalk out a strategy in consultation with them. The alliance of the opposition cannot be considered as stable until some key political parties are included, and it will fail to yield credible results in not so doing." Nawa-e Waqt Editorial Sees Bhutto's Absence Due to Deal Talks
Highlighting that Bhutto's absence from the all parties' conference and her failure to join the new alliance will be detrimental to her political future, the editorial remarks: "The reason given for Bhutto's non-participation in the all parties' conference and her refraining from joining the new alliance is that she cannot sit down with Muttahida Majlis-e Amal (MMA) on any platform. However, the real reason seems to be her bid to make herself acceptable to the United States and President Gen Musharraf in her bid for power, for which the promotion of the US philosophy of secularism and the recognition of the philosophy of enlightened moderation is a prerequisite. Under the thinking of the United States and other anti-Islamic forces, it is also necessary to dub the spirit of jihad among Muslims and their freedom movements as terrorism (to become a ruler in alliance with them)." Jasarat Editorial Says Bhutto not Ready To be Party to Efforts Against Musharraf
Maintaining that Bhutto still hopes that matters will be settled with President Musharraf, due to which she has been hesitant to become part of the active opposition alliance, the editorial says: "Nawaz Sharif is correct in asking when the political parties will make their stance clear if they fail to do so at this time. It is hoped that the PPP will realize the ground realities and join those making a joint struggle; otherwise, it will suffer great loss. It is possibile that the people and the country may also suffer loss due to this behavior. However, Makhdoom Amin Fahim's position that he was not given a mandate to announce PPP's participation in the new alliance cannot be contradicted. It would have been better if consultations had been made beforehand (with the PPP on the formation of the alliance)." Khabrain Editorial Questions Success of New Alliance
Discussing the stance of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader, Mian Nawaz Sharif, that PPP's absence and contrary stance will make no difference, the editorial remarks: "The statement of PPP leader Benazir Bhutto that no new alliance can be formed without the permission of the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) should be given consideration. What is the status of the new alliance, the All Parties Democratic Movement, in the wake of this statement? Even its formation seems to fraught with difficulty. What guarantee can be given for the success of a movement launched from the platform of such an alliance?" Islam Editorial Sees PPP Exposed
Referring to the rumors and conjectures of a deal between Bhutto and President Musharraf and the former's support for the latter for launching the Lal Mosque operation, the editorial comments: "Due to the latest developments, the policy of the PPP and its deepest stance has been exposed before the nation. On this juncture, the leaders of the alliance should maintain their unity at all costs and not sacrifice it for the sake of expediency and the doctrine of necessity. This will help in realizing the objectives that the alliance has set forth. The nation also will get rid of the status quo, and the masses will get their rights." Express Editorial Says PPP To be Isolated if it Stands Firm on its Policy
Exposing the wavering of the PPP in chalking out its future course, the editorial remarks: "Political analysts say that the PPP may not join the new Movement if the MMA remains part of the alliance because it terms itself as a liberal party. Another reason for PPP's staying away from the alliance is that the party may still be nourishing hopes that it will be able to strike a deal with President Gen Pervez Musharraf. However, those monitoring the political situation closely say that if the PPP fails to strike a deal with the president, and it fails to become part of the All Parties Democratic Movement, it will be isolated in the near future. In such a situation, the movement can dominate the political scenario." "