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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Surviving Amidst Chaos

A month before national elections, the caretaker government struggles to fulfil promises

Surviving Amidst Chaos
Surviving Amidst Chaos
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
AS the Pakistani electorate halfheartedly braces itself for the February 3 elections, President Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari finds himself in something of a quandary. He and his handpicked caretaker government have failed to deliver on the much-hyped accountability agenda promised after Benazir Bhutto was sacked. And uncertainty continues to cloud the political horizon of the country. With just a month to go before polling, even the most serious of candidates still harbour a distinct scepticism about elections being held on schedule.

The fate of the caretaker set-up is also under deep scrutiny. The December 23 meeting between army chief General Jahangir Karamat and Leghari has given rise to speculation that the president could go abroad on a long medical leave, paving the way for Senate Chairman Waseem Sajjad to take over and conduct the February polls.

With each passing day, the regime is becoming more and more controversial. If the president is at a loss to find a way out of the quagmire he has landed himself in, caretaker Prime Minister Malik Meraj Khalid is making daily confessions about his government's failure to even get started on his anti-corruption operation. To make matters worse, amid recurring rumours that the caretaker government was about to break up, Law Minister Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim resigned from the cabinet—thereby reinforcing suspicions that all is not well in the Leghari camp.

Ibrahim, who resigned in protest, said the election law was amended to protect the former prime minister and chief of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), Nawaz Sharif. Ibrahim's exit and outspoken remarks were not only an embarrassment for Leghari but also for Pakistan's Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah. Ibrahim claimed that Shah was interfering in executive functions.

According to Hussain Naqi, a leading columnist who works for the Human Rights Commission of...

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