By Dr. Mubashir Chaudry, Freelance Political Analyst from Sugar Land, Texas
Much energy has been seen in recent weeks before and around Texas primary elections amongst Obama and Clinton supporters. However, the fight continues and it seems that the nomination for presidential candidate will be decided between August 25th and 28th, 2008 at the Denver Democratic National Convention (DNC).
Clinton, being the first woman presidential candidate, never knew the fact that she can ever face stiff competition from â€œObamaâ€, an equally unique first African American presidential candidate, who has come to the surface so quickly once the Year 2008 arrived.
About foreign policy, both the Democratic presidential candidates have spoken not too much about the situation in Pakistan, although they know it well that this region is the key to success for United States. Iraq remains the center of focus for debating purposes for Democratic candidates as well as the Republican Party nominee Senator McCain. The recent visit of Senator McCain to Israel proved the US path to future being lead again by a Republican candidate and to uphold the policies in reference to Iraq by continuing enforcing troops in the foresaid region.
On the other hand in the more strategic and salient region of South Asia, the heat of Ms. Bhuttoâ€™s assassination seems to be fading away with the success of fair and transparent elections in Pakistan. But the attacks on the Pakistani Army continues as seen not too long ago with the mortal assault on Surgeon General Baig, who was very well respected amongst the armed forceâ€™s officials. In addition, there was a heavy attack on the Federal Investigation Agencyâ€™s headquarter at Lahore.
While dilemma of instability in Pakistan prevails, Mr. Zardari (PPP Co-Chairman) with his bared major party leader Mr. Sharif (President PMLN) seems very happy with the election outcomes. It would not be wrong to take the final outcome of army guarded elections in Pakistan as a clear message of rejection to President Musharafâ€™s regime. However the election results of Pakistan were heavily influenced and contributed by Ms. Bhuttoâ€™s assassination, Nawaz Sharifâ€™s long term exile, throwing out of supreme judiciary of Pakistan and Lal Masjidâ€™s â€œOperation Silenceâ€ July 2007.
For a long time in Pakistan due to military rule or armed forces influence in politics, the sympathies are mostly with the political parties sitting in the opposition. The previous opposition is now elected and has clear majority, but due to past experience, the stability is not yet guaranteed, even though these were most fair and transparent elections.
As President Musharrafâ€™s position has weakened, it has resulted in him and his sympathizers to strategize and try to create make and break situation among the coalition partners. At present the coalition of the winning political parties share the same objective of bringing the supreme judiciary back in order with independence and then to file and get a judgment against President Musharaf, who has been elected just before this new assembly by the outgoing national assembly for the next five years. That election of Musharraf has been stated by political activists to be against the constitution and that may warrant another petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. However before that happens, it seems very much likely that President Musharafâ€™s will like to leave himself. Questions remain that, if there is any safe exit available for President Musharaf and letsâ€™ say he is allowed to depart without any repercussions under some package deal, some political analysts are asking if the present coalition remain be united, since presently the agenda of ousting Musharraf may be keeping them together?
While President Musharaf is left isolated after these general elections, the recent visits of US officialâ€™s visit to Pakistan does not seem to be helping the overall situation, which has compelled PML (N) Leader Nawaz Sharif to give the clear message that all the issues will be decided in the â€œParliamentâ€. None of the party could object as the understanding amongst all party leaders is very clear that this is the only chance of correcting our path to democracy, as well as to keep Army out of the Pakistan politics by voting against the 17th amendment. And which brings to light the point that this coalition is not just looking to oust Musharraf: Their task is to overhaul the system of governance in Pakistan.
The scale of violence and terrorism in Pakistan is something new to experience; however it will be disappearing after the nationâ€™s leaders are in the Parliament. The escalation of suicide bombings with attacks on armed officials over the past one year is a clear indication of nationâ€™s lack of representation in a long time.