It is amazing how the political realities in Pakistan are changing, day by day, literally. The blotted period that fell between Nov 3 to Dec 15 last year, which by the way only maximised the effects of the equally blotted polity that continued to exist before Nov 3, seems like light years behind us.
With 'Bolta Pakistan', Hamid Mir's Capital Talk and Kashif Abbasi back on his television screen, the impact of these new realities could not possibly have been lost on the common man in this country.
The picture perfect handshake between the democratic forces, besides bringing a sense of relief to the people, does a lot more: It brings a sense of optimism and hope and promises to bring an end to the fears and uncertainties. Suddenly the insurmountable political problems, the seemingly permanent constitutional distortions, appear almost irrelevant. The rightful repository of people's will, the parliament, seems capable of taking care of them all. And why shouldn't it?
In stark contrast with the outgoing rubber stamp parliament, one that completed its tenure with the singular distinction of doing nothing significant in five years, this one exudes promise at the very outset. It is a sign of changed times that the most brilliant legal minds of the country are all geared up to remove the anomalies, right the constitutional wrongs and have a consensus among themselves that things must get right. Some of them are writing anonymous columns in newspapers, others are meeting political parties to advise them on the modalities of bringing this change. The doubts about judiciary's reinstatement appear to have thinned. The movement is all set to bear fruit as it should.
The politicians appear optimistic, fully conscious of the burden of their own past and the huge challenges ahead for the country. They realise there is no time or scope for political bickering or working as separate entities. Although they are each other's ideological opponents -- natural adversaries -- this is not the time for solo flights because the federation cannot afford that. They must stay together and bring in systemic changes, and they seem ready for it. Conciliation is the buzz word and what a relief that it is.
A sovereign parliament, a free media, an independent judiciary and maximum provincial autonomy are brilliant goals indeed. They must agree on this common minimum programme because they have to redeem their own image as mature politicians who understand the grave threats faced by the country.
But new realities must sit with some of the old ones. In our context, the two most important are: the military's role in politics reflected in the close connection between the presidency and GHQ -- the two institutions sometimes co-exist in one individual; and US role in shaping Pakistan's politics. These two, or three shall we say, have worked at cross purposes with the representative institutions, especially in the last eight years when Musharraf had the full support of US administration in not just making a mockery of parliament but also in finally getting rid of the independent chunk of the country's judiciary.
While these are the two realities that the politicians will learn to live with and tackle in their own way (the word 'establishment' has been deliberately ignored), the United States must realise that the Feb 18 verdict is not just an indictment against Musharraf, it is also a visible rejection of the way the US engaged with Pakistan which was personified in Musharraf as president. This needs to be categorically stated in view of the press reports about US envoys meeting politicians and, reportedly, trying to convince them to work with 'their man'.
The media must feel proud in the new scenario that unfolds and justifiably so. A lot of what has been achieved was possible because of the positive role it played in shaping this country's destiny. Indicators are that the media itself is conscious of its responsibilities and the constructive role that these sensitive times demand.
And lastly, this is a soul-searching time for those who advocated and followed boycott of elections as a strategy and persisted with it far longer than they should have. They appeared to have been unmoved even by the election results. In the spirit of the times the boycotting political parties must openly accept that boycott was not the wisest of strategies (its worst impact being felt in Balochistan) and should not put undue pressure on the newly elected assemblies.
The three major parties geared towards government-formation may be facing some teething problems but are together on one point -- rule by national consensus
By Aoun Sahi
The people in Pakistan have given a split mandate to the political parties. Pakistan People's Party (PPP) with 87 seats has emerged as the largest party in the National Assembly while Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) with 67 seats is the second largest party. With no single party getting a simple majority, a coalition government is very much on the cards in centre.
Unlike the past, the process of government formation this time involves two major parties -- erstwhile rivals to be precise -- and is yet smooth. PPP, PML-N and Awami National Party (ANP is the single largest party from NWFP) have agreed on a one point agenda -- to support each other in the centre and in provinces. According to the agreement "the party that holds majority seats will be given the opportunity to form government both in centre and provinces while the other two will support it". Under the formula both PML-N and ANP have assured their support to PPP in centre while in Punjab PPP will support PML-N and in NWFP, PPP and PML-N will support ANP in formation of new governments.
On paper it seems like a simple formula but is a tough one to implement as all three parties have contested the elections under different manifestos and slogans. PML-N main slogan were the restoration of judiciary and impeachment of president Musharraf; PPP contested election on promises to empower people, to fight extremism and to investigate the assassination of Benazir by United Nations while ANP's main agenda was provincial autonomy and better law and order for the province.
Though the three parties have also demonstrated their parliamentary strength by gathering 171 MNAs at their first joint meeting in Islamabad on Feb 27, there still are many issues to be settled before the formation of new government. In the meeting PPP co-chairman said: "I am standing with this hope that all political and democratic parties will stand with me." He also said that they (all three political parties) have to take the decision collectively. His statement clearly shows that the three parties are facing a lot of problems to form a consensus coalition government and so far they have not agreed on a power-sharing formula.
PML-N is offering its unconditional support to PPP and is not ready to get ministries in the new cabinet while PPP wants it to be full partner with them in the government. "PML-N has assured us of its complete support in the parliament. It is right that they think it is not a workable plan in Pakistan," says MNA Qamar Zaman Kaira, PPP central leader and a close aide of Asif Ali Zardari. He agrees that there are many issues to be settled between the two parties. "It is part of politics and I think everything will be clear in a week's time."
PML-N, on the other hand, seems determined not to become part of the new cabinet. "For us the main problem is that we do not want our ministers to take oath from Musharraf and if we join the cabinet we may have to do so," says Ahsan Iqbal, MNA and information secretary PML-N. According to him PML-N is the only party that has not talked with or accommodated president Musharraf while all other political parties in one way or the other have. Iqbal knows that at present both PPP and PML-N have no option but to support each other "because none of us can work with PML-Q," he says.
PPP leadership does not think that PPP and PML-N coalition is an un-natural one. Kaira thinks that PML-N is a totally changed political party. "Its leadership has totally changed the complexion of the party and now it is fighting against the dictatorship like PPP. Both the parties have a similar agenda -- to change the prevailing system, getting rid of dictatorship, empowering people, restoration of constitution, independence of judiciary, bringing down the prices of goods of every day use and rule of law in the country.". He admits that both parties are still facing problems to work together but the actions of leadership of both parties show that they are heading in the right direction.
"Before Feb 27 meeting, all three parties had a totally different stance on the restoration of judiciary but now they have arrived at a consensus on this issue," he says.
PML-N leaders concur. "There is consensus over the judiciary issue and the leaders have agreed to restore the sacked judiciary through the parliament," says Raja Zafarul Haq senior leader of PML-N while talking to TNS. The three parties have also formed a joint legal committee under Fakhruddin G Ibrahim to study the available options for possible reinstatement of the deposed judges.
"We will not let undemocratic forces to decide the fate of people of Pakistan and all the problems will be sorted out through consultation," adds Haq.
Kaira says as the coalition partners have showed their parliamentary strength, now it's the president's turn to summon the National Assembly session as soon as possible. "Delay in summoning the session can affect the country's political situation adversely. If the political parties are arriving at a consensus the presidency should also realise its responsibility and provide them room to work together for the betterment of country and its people."
The nationalist Awami National Party (ANP) is all set to form a government in NWFP, having secured a total of 33 seats in the House of 99. The assurance of support by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) in the provincial assembly should further encourage the nationalists to form a strong government that, unlike in the past, would have the blessings of the centre as well
Two independents -- Mian Nisar Gul and Amjad Afridi -- recently announced that they were joining ANP. Another independent from Dera Ismail Khan -- Khalifa Abdul Qayyum -- has pledged support to the (possible) ANP government without formally joining the party.
PPP is the second largest party in the House which is being represented by 20 MPAs. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F) has succeeded in winning 10 seats and PPP-Sherpao six seats in the NWFP Assembly. A possible merger or understanding between the two factions of PPP can further strengthen the party that will form the government in Islamabad as well as the two provinces.
PPP and PML-N have floated names who will head their respective governments in centre, Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh, but no name has been finalised by ANP for the slot of the chief minister NWFP. Bashir Bilour is being considered the strongest among the few candidates in the run for the top office once PPP ignored the past enmity of the family with Qamar Abbas, a veteran PPP leader who was shot dead last year. Bilour is also on bail granted by a local court in another clash with PPP activists during his election campaign for PF-3. Other names that are being considered to head the ANP government in Frontier are Amir Haider Hoti, Mian Iftikhar, Syed Aqil Shah, Ayub Ashari and Ayub Jan.
In the words of Asfandyar Wali Khan, "It is up to the discretion of the parliamentary party to decide upon who will head the government."
The future government of NWFP will have to face the worst law-and-order situation handed down from the previous regime.
Javed Aziz Khan
As cracks surface in the leadership of PML-Q Balochistan, the other political parties, especially PPP, become the beneficiaries
PML-Q has bagged the maximum number of seats -- 16, to be precise -- in the House of 65, yet it does not seem to have enough support to form a government in the province. It must rope in at least 17 other MPAs. The party's provincial president Jam Muhammad Yousuf claims to have been "in constant touch with our former allies" (JUI-F and BNP-Awami). However, till the filing of this report (late Thursday evening), the party had not been able to nominate its parliamentary leader for the assembly. A forward bloc in PML-Q has emerged already.
It is expected that the future coalition will contain at least three or four parties and scores of independents. The non-existence of the (former) king's party in the centre is also likely to reflect on the formation of the provincial government.
On the other hand, the PPP leadership has gone ahead and announced that it has managed the required amount of members strength in the Balochistan Assembly. The party's parliamentary leader and one of the aspirants for the top slot, Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani told TNS that his party "is tipped to form the government in the province".
He claimed that PPP had won over a host of independents and also the forward bloc members of PML-Q.
PPP's 7 needs to be backed by at least 26 MPAs if the party has to form the government in the province.
The appointment of one of the MPAs elect Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi as Governor Balochistan could mean that the chances of PML-Q are bright.
It is generally believed that only that party can successfully form a government in Balochistan and also have a smooth run that has established a good rapport with the government in Islamabad. Whether a coalition of 'unnatural allies' manage that, only time will tell.
-- Muhammad Ejaz Khan
With popular mandate wanting Gen (r) Musharraf out of the presidency, and Gen Pervez Kayani apparently not minding it, Pakistan might be witness to a permanent transition from military reign to democratic rule
By Adnan Rehmat
The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line. In Pakistan's chequered political history, the dramatics of which are still unfolding with an intensity that has rarely lessened the pressure on succeeding generations of citizens, the straightest line -- that has ensured that the country has been cursed to keep a crooked path -- is between the Army House in Rawalpindi and the President House in Islamabad.
To keep the equation of power straight, the line is traditionally drawn from the Army House to the President House rather than the other way round. An attempt is underway, however, to digress from this unwritten article of the over-written constitution. This can translate into political upheaval as the changing equation forces new rules of the political game in the country triggered by the outcome of the Feb 18 elections.
Pakistan's power structure has traditionally centred around the relationship between the GHQ, as the army headquarters is ubiquitously termed, and the presidency. Of the 60 years that Pakistan has been around, more than half have been under the rule of the crossed swords that is the emblem of the army and the men who led it. There have been four military rulers -- Field Marshal Ayub Khan and Generals Yahya Khan, Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf. Each one of them assumed for themselves the twin roles of the leaders of the army as well as the nation. Each remained army chief as well as president for various durations. Two spells of military rule were in the wake of the first public-backed national compact between the citizen and the state, fashioned out of broad political consensus -- the 1973 Constitution.
Up until that point, Pakistan's national life was an exercise in political experiments through trial and error, much like someone orphaned young and with no compassionate help from relatives -- a search for a collective answer on what constituted the 'Pakistani way of life' so that the state could move on in sync with the civilised world. The 1973 Constitution seemed to have captured popular, consensual political roadmap forward. This roadmap spelt out a government constituting people's representatives with the parliamentary system representing the collective will of the people. The prime minister chosen by the parliament would be the authority exercising popular will and serve the people. He would be the one appointing armed forces' chiefs, not the president, to ensure a clean break from the past of ensuring there was no straight line between the GHQ and the presidency, which had proved disastrous for the state, but between the parliament and the people.
This was not to be. Barely four years later, the army struck sacking the parliament and reverted to the days of the country being ruled by the army chief. Before he hanged Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan's first popularly elected prime minister no less, General Ziaul Haq had redrawn the line between Army House and President House and for several years there was simply no prime minister or parliament. So, under a General-President whether or not there has been a prime minister -- a hybrid-like Muhammad Junejo, a bumpkin-like Zafarullah Jamali, a joke of a stand-in like Shujaat Hussain or a puppet-like Shaukat Aziz -- the longevity of uniformed rulers can be safely attributed to the fact that there was no need to draw a line between the presidency and GHQ because one man could be in both places at the same time.
What about the instances when there was no uniformed president and hence he could not be in the same place simultaneously? In the post-Zia period, think Ghulam Ishaq, Farooq Leghari and Rafiq Tarar. It is instructive how in such cases the military took out its khaki pencils to again try and redraw the line between the presidency and the GHQ. Ishaq was a safe bet and for the GHQ it was all in the intended stride that he managed to ensure that neither Benazir Bhutto nor Nawaz Sharif stuck around long enough to create political erasers to rub out the straight lines that the khakis love so much. Leghari was promising but, strangely enough, himself drew a line from the presidency to the GHQ. It falls on Tarar, and Fazal Elahi 20 years before him, to emerge as welcome 'political freaks' who were 'pencil-blind' and not amenable to the many-splendoured charms of the khaki. Of course both were kicked out by Messrs Zia and Musharraf who replaced them.
Despite the army of similarities here, the current transition from direct or indirect military rule to full-blown democracy is different from its two predecessors. At the time of the first transition, when the Ayub-Yahya combine made way for the Bhutto era with the 1970 elections, the army was weak and the political parties strong. This resulted, unsurprisingly perhaps, into a popular new compact in the shape of the 1973 Constitution that aimed to institutionalise political control over the military. During the second transition, when the Zia edifice made way for the Benazir-Nawaz 'decade of democracy', the political parties were weak and the army very strong. This resulted in the monstrous freak of an article that was inserted in the 1973 Constitution -- '58-2 (b)'. This proved to be a potent instrument of military's dominance over the national polity that was used to gobble up the people's mandate at least four times with the prime ministerial victims being Junejo and Nawaz once each and Benazir twice.
Tellingly, Nawaz was kicked out by the military because of two things -- he blocked the chances of the line being redrawn once again between the presidency and GHQ and the surgical removal from the Constitution of the popularly reviled 58-2 (b). And now, as Pakistan's third spell of transition from military to popular rule is underway, the original script was to result in a situation where if the army was not stronger than the political parties then at the most -- thanks to the courageous and spirited community of lawyers and judges of consciousness and the ultimate sacrifice by Benazir Bhutto -- both the army and the political parties would have been weak, which in the short term would have eventually resulted in a resurgent army. The results of the landmark Feb 18, 2008 elections, however, have changed that.
There is one crucial difference between the previous two transitions and the current transition: that important straight line between the presidency and the GHQ. In the previous two instances the incumbent in both the presidency and the army house (being the same person) had to go to pave the way for the transition to enable the incoming political forces to elect a new president who did not have a military background. In the current instance, Musharraf wants transition without having to move an inch. The problem for him, which is a big political bonus for the winners of the elections and because of which the former chief soldier is fighting a losing battle, is that the straight line between the presidency and the GHQ is gone.
So, could it be that the people of Pakistan strike it third time lucky at a permanent transition from military reign to popular rule? This certainly represents the best chance yet when all four provinces of Pakistan want Gen (r) Musharraf and the military he represents out of the presidency (ANP in NWFP, PML-N in Punjab and PPP in Sindh. Nationalists boycotted in Balochistan so they've already voted against him) as do these parties who will form a coalition government at the federal level, as in the provinces. They aim to undo the 58-2 (b) and revive the 1973 Constitution. And on the face of it, the Pakistan Army under the leadership of General Pervez Kayani does not seem to mind. In fact it was his diametrically opposed decision to keep the army away from politics during elections that really erased the straight line between the presidency occupied by Musharraf and GHQ controlled by Kayani. This is the first time that this straight line has been erased by the GHQ, even if apparently. The line has not just disappeared metaphorically but also visually: Musharraf may be president but he still resides in the Army House. Even then he can now only wear his uniform inside the Army House.
What can be the final outcome of the third transition -- the result of the first transition being the constitution and that of the second 58-2 (b) -- that is the question. Perhaps it's a new equation: persecution (of the political forces) is out and accountability (of the establishment) is in. Post-Zia all civilian governments have been persecuted and held accountable but not their presidential overlords who played the master. With the mood of the winning political parties, driven by popular public expectations, growing buoyant by the day, it seems like the groundwork is about to be laid for those who called the shots in the last nine years (it was all a one-man show really!) to be held accountable through a massive national mandate.
Even as the straight, short line between the presidency and the GHQ has disappeared before our eyes, a new one between the Prime Minister House and the President House is appearing. It's the end of the line for Musharraf. As in the past transitions, now too will the army chief, traditionally the powerful head figure in the country, revert to professional matters and leave politics to politicians. Even if for the time being. The only difference this time is that there are two persons in this country who think they are the army chief. Only one of them is. And it's not Musharraf.
Whereas Washington's apparently desperate efforts to prop up an ally are perhaps in some ways touching, they go against the wishes of the people of Pakistan
Even before the people of the country could fully take in the result of the Feb 2008 elections, envoys from Western countries have started to make a beeline for those who will be the decision-makers in the new set-up.
In meetings with Asif Ali Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, Asfandyar Wali and others in their parties, the delegations have been urging leaders to work with President Pervez Musharraf. Most vociferous in this bid have been the representatives of the US, with the efforts of a visiting Congressional delegation backed by comments from the US secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Assistant Secretary Richard Boucher. Both maintain that Musharraf still has a role to play in Pakistan's politics, and Rice has even stated the US will continue to deal with him.
Turning back towards the ally whose call for 'human rights and democracy' in Pakistan Musharraf had attacked after the Nov-3 emergency, the President now maintains a US role in the country is indeed essential to democracy within it. With the people, whom he had insisted supported him, showing little evidence of this perceived loyalty on polling day, Musharraf has been forced to look once more to the West to save his crumbling kingdom. Reports that he could be planning resignation have been refuted.
Whereas Washington's apparently desperate efforts to prop up an ally are perhaps in some ways touching, the fact is that they go against the wishes of the people of Pakistan. These people, on Feb 18, have delivered an emphatic vote against Musharraf and his political partners -- with a result so clear-cut that there is no room left for doubt about their opinion. To some extent, the US dictated policy played a part in the downfall of Musharraf, with the ballot effectively stripping him of all but a small handful of allies. The primary reasons for this are undoubtedly linked to the prevailing internal situation. The inflation in food prices, the energy crisis, declining order and increasing terrorism have affected thousands of households and crippled businesses. But there are other factors as well.
US intervention in Pakistan over the past six years, particularly after the events of 9/11; the unjust policies pursued by the US governments in the Middle East; the perceptions of bias against Islam and Muslims and the terrible abuse of rights at Guantanamo Bay and prisons in Iraq have built strong sentiments against the US. Many who would once be seen as the natural allies of western liberalism now fall in the anti-Washington camp. The decline of the Left in Pakistan means it is the forces of the religious right who are seen as most boldly waving the anti-US flag, and these realities have built support for anti-US forces in the country, including those engaged in warfare in northern areas. Combating them has become more difficult because the popular view is that polices in this sphere are dictated by Washington. Certainly, President Musharraf and his team have failed to persuade citizens that defeating these forces is far more important to Pakistan and its people, rather than to anyone else.
This is the task the new governments must set about, both in the centre and the NWFP. The mandate given to the ANP in that province is encouraging in this respect, with the party unequivocally backing a faded vision of a progressive, enlightened province in which the secular ideals of past decades stand firm. The PPP, too, seems clear in its strong stance against extremism -- a strand of thought made stronger within the party given the possibility of such zealots in the death of Benazir Bhutto.
If Washington has any commitment at all to Pakistan, its people and the need to end extremism within it, it must realise that it has to fully respect the mandate of the people. The political parties and the leaders entrusted with the task of governing Pakistan by its people can succeed only if they are able to retain the support of these citizens, take them along with every decision and indeed engage in a continuous process of exchanging thoughts, ideas and perspectives with them. Any notion of US involvement with these parties will only make their task harder and create difficulties encountered by the regime of the past, under whose rule a huge surge in terrorism has been encountered.
There is also another dimension. President Musharraf is now a big part of the problems Pakistan faces. The fact that he is so controversial a figure makes it difficult to build unity and a spirit of cooperation. Forcing political parties to carry deadweight on their shoulders as they set off on their journey towards the many high mountains that need to be climbed will only make their task a far harder one; indeed it may make success impossible to come by.
Pakistan today needs a new start, a fresh beginning. This is what people have voted for. The basic requirements of the democracy that the US so often talks about are that this will of the people must be respected; the voice they have raised must be heard.
For all these reasons, Washington must act as a true friend. It must withdraw itself from any intervention in Pakistan's democratic process. Whereas due to the economic and geo-political factors, it is impossible to seek an abandoning of ties with the US, the representatives of the country so openly attempting to influence political events within Pakistan must quit this dangerous game.
They must realise that by continuing it, they are in fact hindering rather than aiding the quest for future stability in Pakistan and the efforts by political victors to attain an end to chaos. This chaos can only promote more violence and terror. For once, the people of Pakistan must be permitted to play a part in carving out their own destiny -- and not forced to follow dictates from other lands. There is every chance that the choices they make, the roads they follow, will bring better results than those brought about by plans made in Washington.
PML-N seems all set to form a government in Punjab with the support of PPP as the parties have bagged 104 and 80 seats respectively, out of the 292 constituencies whose results have been announced so far. Combined, both the parties will achieve simple majority in the House
PML-N sources confirm that the party has extended its support to PPP in the centre without seeking any share in the cabinet. PPP has also reportedly ensured that it will work for the restoration of judiciary once the parliament is formed.
PML-N wants to steer clear of the challenges the new government is bound to face. However, it is expecting the same kind of support from PPP in the province where it will form a government.
PML-N has also roped in 24 independents including 2 MMA leaders. According to the party central leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali, talks are underway with 7 more independent MPAs in Punjab and with 14 PML-Q members who want to leave their party. If these talks succeed the figure will get even bigger. In his words, the PML-N MPAs will take oath under the constitution of 1973 and Shahbaz Sharif will be the Chief Minister.
The PML-N is not content with the support of PPP alone. It is also struggling to gain a simple majority by itself. On Feb 26, Shahbaz Sharif told the media at a press conference that the party had got the support of 151-odd members in the provincial assembly -- the magic number required to prove simple majority in the house. With the help of PPP he said PML-N could gain two-thirds in the Punjab Assembly.
It is obvious that PML-N seems interested mainly in Punjab and seeks no ministerial place in the centre. By doing so it believes it can avoid various controversial issues the new federal government is most likely to face. For example, it will have to deal with the escalating oil prices, the worsening law and order situation, food shortage, terrorism and energy crisis.
-- Shahzada Irfan Ahmed
As the first round of talks between the leaders of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) ends at Nine Zero, chances of a possible "consensus government" (to quote Prof N D Khan) becomes obvious
PPP, having won the majority seats (68) in the PA, is tipped to form the government in Sindh. However, it is looking for support towards MQM (39), in a bid to ensure stability in the province.
"Karachi is a very important constituency and MQM has a sort of a veto power in the city," says Ghazi Salahuddin, a political analyst. A meeting of minds between the two parties (PPP and MQM) will help both in the long run.
Evidently, PPP wants MQM in the government so that the latter can back the party's demands to repeal Article 58(2)(b) and to launch a UN-led inquiry into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
MQM has not come up with their demands so far and is even talking about sitting on opposition benches.
MQM and PPP share a history of confrontational politics. Having MQM in the opposition in the assembly would mean raking up old enmities. "PPP will, therefore, do its best to keep MQM by its side," adds Ghazi. The Feb-28 meeting at Nine Zero was one such effort on the part of PPP. However, Ghazi Salahuddin insists, PPP's success to woo MQM depends on "the kind of bargain both parties get into".
In case PPP cannot win over MQM, it will end up with independent candidates or otherwise an independent government of its own.
-- Sabeen Jamil