Zardari takes on deserters

APPARENTLY disturbed over large number of party leaders jumping on the bandwagon of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI), PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari while addressing a gathering in Naushahro Feroze on Saturday described them as rotten eggs hoping they would not be given tickets by their new party to run in next general elections. Definitely, the opportunists need to be rejected to promote a healthy political culture that serves the masses, yet we do not see it happening in the near future.
Though former President Asif Ali Zardari has contributed to strengthen democracy in the country by taking steps such as relinquishing presidential powers in his tenure, yet we believe it has not progressed to the level where the parties while rising above their vested interests do politics of ideology and decency. In fact the politics of ideology has been buried deep somewhere for the sake of power. Therefore it would be wide of the mark to assume that Imran will not give party tickets to these PPP deserters, as they must have joined the party after getting certain assurances. Though Imran Khan had raised the slogan of change and declared to free the country from already tested and failed politicians, yet we believe whatever he is doing now is not something odd or new in Pakistani politics. He is also now following in the footsteps of Zardari and the PML (N) just to come to the power. If Mr Zardari really wants to blow the wind of change in the politics, he should personally set an example by not issuing election tickets to the ones joining his party especially in Sindh.
Switching parties is considered a bad sign, and politicians in most democratic countries are labelled as disloyal and selfish, lacking commitment. Generally, their political careers are tarnished and they are associated with untrustworthiness and elusive self-indulgence. On the contrary, in Pakistan, changing sides to gain advantage has become a standard practice which is unethical and unfortunate. Political persons change political sides to gain power, popularity and prestige. Political ideology is dominated by patronage and kinship, resulting into public repression, victimisation, selective application of rules and jaundiced polity coupled with social injustice and rampant corruption. It is notable that the so-called heavy weight politicians are either the product of dictatorship or opportunist feudal lords who are filthy rich, highly influential and powerful. They consider politics as business and tend to invest with political parties from where they can earn better profit. Hence, they quickly join popular parties to maximise their chances of getting elected.
As next general elections are fast approaching, we are seeing same practice of switching of loyalties again. The PPP is facing most desertions in Punjab as space created by its shortcomings is being taken over by the PTI. But we understand the three major political parties have a moral responsibility to promote healthy democratic ideals and traditions not through verbal claims but appropriate actions. They should realise that opportunists who keep changing their loyalties every now and then to get themselves elected can never serve the interests of system and public at large. Such politicians defame entire political system and in this regard people also have a great responsibility by rejecting such elements in elections despite their clout in the area. By getting rid of these rotten eggs, we can pave the ground for honest, committed and dedicated people to join politics and serve the masses.

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