When history is repeated, it is the sign that lessons have not been learned. When a player, setting aside the rules of the game, keeps using the old tricks, it is a sign of confidence about the opponent’s persistent inability to fight back. Such inertia kills the spirit of a nation that, at the end of the day, has to deal with terror activities that massacre hundreds of people and with individuals of numb conscience who would fulfil their deprived needs of power, sex and honour, even if it requires using children. Every three decades later, we are told that the country needs new leadership not through a natural process of demise and regeneration, but through a deliberate attempt to break the strength of one at the expense of another party. It is being said that the current system of democracy will be wrapped up by mid-February. It is also speculated that the Senate election would not be held. The aim is to clip the wings of the PML-N so that their flight does not rise above those who have the paranoia of seeing in every soaring flight their descent. The politics of agitation in the manner of Dharnas (sit-in) has so far been a successful strategy to weaken the government. Tahirul Qadri (TUQ) is the Trojan horse used for the cause. He has a unique way of rallying all the others partners of his species. From the fall of the PML-N government in Balochistan, one thing is confirmed that, the politicians could be easily used. Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) grabbed the chief minister’s slot with only five seats in the house of 65. And if Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi wants us to believe that he had gone that far without using extra-constitutional means, then we might also believe that the PML-Q league was never the kingmakers’ party and that their leadership had not vowed to support Pervez Musharraf to their last drop of blood. The tragedy of the state of affair is that even now the politicians are the weakest link in the governing structure of the country. They can be bought and sold without much hassle. What needed are a right bid and a smart auctioneer. To date, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) has seen three of its top slots getting empty. First, the prime minister was ousted by the apex court. Then law minister Zahid Hamid had to resign after an extremist group had brought the capital on a standstill. Later, Sanaullah Zehri, the Balochistan’s CM had to step down. Wednesday’s sit-in in Lahore was about the resignation of Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif and Rana Sanaullah, the Law Minister Punjab. So far the Punjab government has been able to keep passions from running wild among the religious parties standing behind Pir Sialvi, however, that luck is impossible to work in the case of TUQ. It’s painful to say, but let it be said that, those killed in the Model Town incident are lucky to have been remembered. Otherwise, this country had seen blood drained from millions of innocent lives either by burning them alive or torturing them to death after abduction. If Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi wants us to believe that he had gone that far without using extra constitutional means, then we might also believe that the PML-Q was never the kingmakers’ party and that their leadership had not vowed to support Musharraf Lawlessness and police’s incompetence is a problem across Pakistan and not just in a single province. If the political forces along with TuQ and Imran Khan want police reforms, they should pressurise the government into introducing legislation instead of demanding resignations. And it goes without saying that the best forum for that would have been parliament. When the opposition press for resignation and not for reformation it smells foul. Will the system change if the Sharif family is ousted from power? PML-N can be weakened but cannot be rooted out. Neither can it be narrowed down to the sphere of a provincial party like PPP in Sindh. New leadership, from a new caretaker setup that may last longer than the usual term, would be the product of this very system, surviving on the colonial-era legal edifice where accountability is used as a bargaining chip. In corollary, the repetition of the 1985 experiment is just going to make us end with the likes of more Zardaris and Nawaz Sharifs. The political scheming will hardly be of any use. The plotters have to come up with something new, if they are really interested in Pakistan’s survival. Replacing corruption with more of it will be insanity, because it will produce the same results. In all honesty, the remedy to this malice lies with the political forces. Unless they decide not to be played in the hands of the extra-constitutional forces, and aim at making the political system strong, this rigmarole of sending the system packing in the name of restoration of democracy, constitution and now justice will never end. The writer is a journalist; she can be reached at [email protected] Published in Daily Times, January 18th 2018.