06 May, 2021

For A New Spark-Plug

For A New Spark-Plug

No one in Pakistan has mourned the passing of Nawaz Sharif's government. Indeed, a Gallup Poll taken a day after the army seized power reveals that most Pakistanis want an unelected, interim government of "clean technocrats" to rule over them for at least two years rather than an immediate return to unbridled constitutional democracy.

This is perfectly understandable. The political record of the last decade of "democracy" is dismal. Benazir Bhutto blundered from pillar to post during 1988-90. Nawaz Sharif plundered Pakistan (1990-93) as if there were no tomorrow. Then Benazir was caught, along with her husband, with her hands in the till instead of on the steering wheel. So Sharif returned to lord it over a bankrupt country. Then, obsessed with power, and emboldened by an illusion of invincibility, he went for the army's jugular and paid the price for his recklessness.

Gen Pervez Musharraf was hand-picked by Sharif as chief of army staff after Gen Jehangir Karamat was sacked last year for decrying the lack of a consultative process of governance....

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