Archive for March, 2008
The performance of the last government was disappointing for various groups of our society. For instance, the poorest people of Pakistan have been victims of the government’s inability to control inflation, while the business community has suffered because of the worsening law and order situation. Furthermore, the previous government was not able to manage the provision of basic necessities. I believe that the people of Pakistan were looking for a change and fresh start and therefore they voted for PPP.
What do you attribute your electoral success to in particular, considering that you defeated the PML-Q’s most prominent leader, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain in your constituency?
During the regime of the previous government, the city of Gujarat has hardly seen improvement in any aspect, particularly the law and order situation and the unavailability of basic necessities such as clean drinking water and a proper sewerage system. For the last five years, I have been personally in touch with the people of Gujarat and am aware of the problems they are facing. Therefore, my mandate is to address these problems and improve the standard of living in Gujarat.
As far as the candidature of Amin Fahim is concerned, it is based on earlier statements of the Party leadership. However, after the elections the scenario has changed and a number of other candidates have been added in the race. Furthermore, the Party has requested Asif Ali Zardari to take the position of the Prime Minister despite the fact that he has informed the people of Pakistan that he is not interested in the premiership. And no, if Amin Fahim does not become the Prime Minister, there will not be a shift in the power base of the party because it is united under the leadership of Asif Ali Zardari.
What do you feel is the most important crisis currently facing the country? How will this new coalition government tackle it?
I consider the breakdown of law and order and the collapse in the provision of basic utilities as the foremost issues facing the country. (which has hurt the industrial sector tremendously). The new political government will tackle the law and order issue through the elected representatives from areas such as Wana and Waziristan. These representatives will be asked to negotiate with the tribal people who are without the basic necessities of life. We believe that through better policies if proper development and employment opportunities are provided in these areas, the situation of law and order will improve. As far as the utilities are concerned, the new government will take into confidence the people who had earlier set up electrical powerhouses. The new government aims to encourage people to come forward and establish such companies on urgent basis by providing them attractive rates and growth friendly policies.
As the government consists of various parties and is going to form a consensus government, all decisions will be taken in the parliament. And there is no denying that President Musharraf ratings have gone down as it is evident by the result of the 2008 elections.
Do you think the PPP and the PML-N will be able to maintain a united coalition despite their historic rivalry?
In spite of our historic rivalry, the magnitude of the crises faced by the country has compelled us to work together for a better future. I believe we need to continue to work together to bring this country out of the problems it faces. These problems are colossal and will take us at least three to four years to properly address and achieve the goals the new government has/will set.
I feel that we lack leadership. We still are running with a personality-based political system without tackling the issues faced by the people of Pakistan. Once we are able to transform the politics of our country to one that reflects issue-based politics, then Pakistan will begin to flourish as a nation. Our organization is constantly trying to foster a new culture among the country’s youth by conducting an array of projects – from those addressing environmental problems to those pertaining to human rights issues. As Pakistanis helping Pakistanis, we are attempting to create a phenomenon that goes above and beyond cultural, political, and ethnic norms. We are creating a Pakistani identity amongst our youth of today for the future leadership of tomorrow.
What role can Pakistan’s younger generation and student activists play in the country’s new democratic era?
If they have a strong desire to be active in the transformation of Pakistan, they should join FLP. Our members hail from different political affiliations within Pakistan, including PPP-P, PML-N, PTI, ANP, etc. We are a diverse group of Pakistanis from different backgrounds and we stand committed to bridging these differences as a group. The youth, being the largest group in Pakistan, must help organizations like ours in changing Pakistan for the better. We believe in diversity because in reality it creates unity. It is our duty as the youth to tackle the issues that were not handled by our parents’ generations. I have a lot of faith in this new generation because they have a desire- a passion to make a difference in Pakistan. They have a passion to see a new Pakistan, a free Pakistan, and a prosperous Pakistan, and we, at FLP, want to be a part of that hope.