Editorial - The times change - Saturday, February 26, 2011

Source : http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=33156&Cat=8

In an eloquent speech, marking the decision after a meeting of top party leaders, to finally part ways with the PPP and oust its ministers in Punjab, the PML-N Chief, Mian Nawaz Sharif, has narrated how, since 2008, he has repeatedly been deceived by President Zardari and his team. He has spoken of agreements being violated, well-meaning offers being scoffed at, courts being used to oust him and Mian Shahbaz and the late Punjab governor being used against his government. The description of events highlights many years of patience – but it is clear this has now run out. He has also spoken of mismanagement and dishonesty leading to many of the crises we face now. The failure to implement the 10-point agenda came up too, as did failure to implement even a single aspect of it.

Uncertainty over the future of Punjab is over; the hurricane that has raged on for weeks refusing to let things settle down or for anyone to find a firm footing has finally petered out. Many will be relieved. Soon after Nawaz Sharif conducted a key meeting in Lahore to discuss plans to push PPP ministers out of cabinet slots in the province, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had met with a high-powered PML-N delegation led by Shahbaz Sharif to try and settle matters. But it was clearly too late by then; the mood within the PML- N has been angry for weeks. At his residence, Nawaz Sharif, while meeting groups of workers from various parts of the country, made no bones about the fact that he felt he had been let down. Clearly, he is unwilling to take any more chances and has also stated that, in his opinion, the PML-N will be able to lead the country out of its condition of crisis more successfully than the PPP. We certainly hope this will be the case. The key to the whole matter is of course held by that 47- member group of PML-Q MPAs calling itself the unification group. An alliance with it would allow the PML-N to secure government in Punjab. The PPP response is awaited. Punjab Senior Minister, Raja Riaz, has threatened to take the matter of separate seats for the unification bloc to court. People are, for obvious reasons, tired of watching the game of to-and-fro that has been going on for so many months. Those in Punjab, like their counterparts elsewhere in the country, have, for months, been desperate for change. They seek an end to the merciless price-hike and the general sense of disorder. It is not known if change in the province will bring this their way, but it may give hope of the possibility of change that has so far proved elusive amidst continuous chaos. People seek good governance. The PML-N must now deliver it or risk disappointing its many supporters in Punjab and elsewhere.

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