Elections are a funny thing in Pakistan. We don’t have them that often. When we do, they tend to be fixed. When we don’t, well…, we have Generals and Field Marshalls for those occassions. The current General in charge, President Musharraf, has “appointed” a Prime Minister. Shaukat Aziz, whom I introduced here, is due to take office later in the summer. Mind you that Aziz has never held public office or even ran for one. After this decision by the General, Aziz submitted his papers to stand for election for the Provinicial Assembly in NA-59 Attock. He is not from Attock but akin to Hillary Clinton, he can be a carpetbagger.
The opposition is bringing out the greatest hits against him:
- He is a Stooge for Bush! says Maulana Fazlur Rahman.
- He is Not A Pakistani! says the Senate.
- He is Not a Muslim! says some other brianiac.
Of course, Aziz is none of the above. He is simply an economist who has lived and taught in the US (with Wolfowitz as a student), a civil bureaucrat working with the World Bank and IMF, and a decent enough fellow. However, as a response to all the above, he is out there saying idiotic things designed to showcase him as a hardcore Muslim and a true patriot. He is pandering to the worst possible crowd: the Mullahs. The repeal, or at least, reform of Hudood Ordinance is the first real test of the post-Jamali Cabinet and, already, Aziz has made all the wrong noises. Predictions are that he will be just another cog in that giant tar-pit of politics in Pakistan. Yes, against all hopes.