The Election League

Whether the SC decides on the available ‘evidence’ and asks the PM to take a short break so he can go out and ask the voters in Punjab to give him ‘one more chance’, the 4th time to be their PM, or whether it opts to ask someone else, like NAB, for more concrete evidence, one thing is clear, the political and non-political parties have started preparing for the next elections.

Just like the fever felt before major international football leagues in countries where football is popular, and played, we are sweating in the heat of a similar fever of anticipated elections.

Just like ‘just before’ a major football league, the way important players are traded, swapped, enticed and bought by major clubs, the political clubs in Pakistan have started trading and buying the players. And just like in those countries, it’s not just the clubs who woo the players. The players are also enticed by corporate entities supporting those clubs. In Pakistan too this parallel is in full demonstration.

Ms. Naz Baloch is the recent big player who made a reverse move from the most-sought-after club to an older club. Some would say many players are not making prudent moves. But in politics prudence has a different meaning than in English. In politics, players make timely and smart moves. Most of the times their moves pay them too, that too in more ways than are known to the naïve observers like you and me.

Not that long ago, we saw certain Islami Jolly Itehad which followed a mass mobilization of big and fat players who were paid by the most prominent and profitable corporate entity in Pakistan who are such prudent and smart match-makers. It’s another thing they have always ended up making marriages of convenience, not happy or lasting marriages.

Since the IJI case is sub judice case, it’s not good to talk aloud about sleeping dogs who can wake up and start biting around. However, it will not be imprudent to ask SC to conclude and close that case to dispel and kill the ugly conspiracy theories that old boots are behind the new and shiny scales of justice.

Two small and side points before we reflect on the moves of the players for the forthcoming Election League. One, it seems the SC will never get ‘concrete’ evidence. Because, in most of the concrete that is available in Pakistan, you will find iron-reinforcements of Ittefaq Foundry.

The JIT had solid opportunity to produce concrete evidence, but like typical Pakistani contractors, they added more sand than the cement therein required and their proclaimed solid report is looking like that majestic overhead bridge of Karachi which collapsed a few days after its inauguration.

The second side point is a thorn in the side of the JIT report, as if the porous report needed more thorns. The legal firm the JIT head hired showed how everyone in a position of power operates in Pakistan. Like a tribe, in times of good and bad need, we all resort to our kith and kin. That’s what the PM’s family did and that’s what JIT’s members did: They all leaned on their friends indeed.

Back to the Election League. Even if the Prime Minister manages to complete his full term, along with the National Assembly, and next elections happen in 2018, that is not too far either! The Panama festival will keep us busy maximum until August, and then Pakistan’s 70th celebrations will take over. Soon after that, it’s the Election League season.

Politics in Pakistan is a play of the powerful, and as implied above, it’s not the political clubs alone who matter. They just go out and play. We the voters follow our favourite players based on local affinities. Clubs to many of us are secondary. Players who jump from one to another club, just in time, are smart professionals. Their first love is with the game, and it’s the game that wins at the end of each election.

This does not happen in Pakistan only. Mrs Trump was a Democrat in 2008 but won as Republican in 2016. So my dear political players on the move, don’t worry about what people say. You’re not only in the big league of successful political player, you are also doing great service to the game of politics.

Well played only happens when you play it well, and continuously. Keep it up. The game must continue.

Arshed Bhatti

Arshed Bhatti

Arshed Bhatti is a typical Pakistani who operates at very high level of confidence with extremely low level of knowledge. Being true Muslim he believes the real life is in the hereafter and urges countrymen to take it easy, and enjoy the talk shows. He writes songs, satire and fake non-fiction. He tweets @CivilJunction