Mir Zafarulah Jamali, a feudal lord from
Baluchistan is been elected as prime minister of Pakistan today on
21st November 2002 by the national assembly in Islamabad. After
months of planning to install a puppet government, the military
regime had at last just succeeded. Jamali was able to fetch 172
votes, the required numbers that was needed to show a majority in
the parliament. Thanks to the break away group of 10 from Pakistan
peoples Party of Benazir Bhutto, Jamali was able to cross the
Mir Jamali is formally from a pro Musharaf conservative Muslim
League (Q) group. The group is been set up with the massive
support of the military regime. MLQ is a split from Muslim League
of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Nawaz Sharif was overthrown
by the present military ruler General Musharaf in a bloodless
military coup in October 1999. General Musharaf has enhanced
himself as president of Pakistan with an unprecedented dictatorial
Mir Jamali is a known wrecked feudal responsible for the killing
of its 10 peasant tenants in the seventies. In 1977 during initial
era of Zia-ul Haq, he deprived the Peasants from the land allotted
by the previous government. The peasants initiated a movement that
is famous PAT FEEDER Hari Tahreek. Mr. Jamali along with other
armed persons attacked on peasants and 10 peasants were killed in
the attack. Many political workers from Sindh and Baluchistan sit
on hunger strike as protest. They were arrested and jailed n Much
Jail by Zia-ul Haq regime. He also dissolved a provincial assembly
in 1988 while he was chief minister of Baluchistan assembly. He is
perfect choice of the military ruler, who could be trust worthy in
any crisis period. Mir Jamali in his first speech after being
elected as MP declared its full support to the economic and
political reforms of the present regime.
It has been a long list of the feudal lord who ruled Pakistan
since its independence in 1947. Although, half of the period since
independence is been ruled by the military generals. There is very
strange mixed up of feudal and the so called local capitalists.
The feudal would like to go hand in hand with the capitalists and
vice versa. The military generals have also become themselves as
feudal. In fact they are more feudal than the original feudal. The
feudal lords’ history goes back to the 200 years of British
colonization of the Indian Sub Continent. The land was allotted to
any one who sided with the British in crucial and critical times.
The fundamentalist Fazal Rehman came second with 86 and the
Pakistan Peoples Party candidate for the post of prime minister
came third with 70 votes. Nawaz Sharif Muslim League with 18
members in the house supported the religious fundamentalists.
A lot of criticism of the military regime is been expressed by PPP
and MMA, the main alliance of the religious fundamentalists in its
first two sessions of the newly elected parliament. But the
opposition PPP and MMA has not said anything about the economic
reform agenda of the military regime. As a matter of fact, they
have supported it on different times. The MMA had been saying a
lot against American imperialism. But when asked specifically by
the Western diplomats about privatization and other reforms after
their unexpected victory in the general elections, they said they
are in favor of it.
The religious fundamentalist MMA is riding high among the people
as they are putting up at least in words a face to defend
democracy, the constitution and the sovereignty of the country.
They are seen as an anti imperialist force by many in all the four
provinces of Pakistan. They are likely to govern the two
provinces, the North West Frontier Province and Baluchistan. Both
are next to Afghanistan and were host of over three millions
refugees from Afghanistan for over 20 years. The MMA got over 14%
of the total votes but were able to fetch the most seats in the
The popularity of the religious parties was seen at the time of
the funeral of Aimal Kansi in Quetta Afghanistan on 19th November.
The funeral was said to be the largest in the history of
Baluchistan. Over 70,000 attended the funeral procession. Aimal
Kansi death sentence was carried out in US last week after he
pleaded guilty of killing two American CIA agents in 1993.
Labour Party Pakistan had anticipated these political developments
in the past. The meeting of National Committee of LPP held in
March 2002 expressed these views. LPP was unable to change the
course of history with its participations in the elections.
* Musharaf regime would like to install a puppet civil government
through the elections to be held in October. Several initiatives
have already been taken by the regime to ensure the victory of
those politicians who are closely linked with the regime.
* it seems that a no political party will be able to have a clear
cut majority in the future parliament but the religious
fundamentalist if contesting independently may have the balancing
power. For that reason, the military regime is continuing its
relationship with religious parties as normal.
* General Musharaf would like to continue as president of Pakistan
and would like to take some sort of approval through a referendum
that could be announced before the elections.
* Religious fundamentalism will carry out their activities in one
or other form despite the recent so-called crack down by the
military regime. The regime would also like to preserve the card
of the religious fundamentalists that will be done by having a
very soft corner towards some of the serious religious parties.
The military wing of the fundamentalist may have been pushed to go
deep in underground but the religious fundamentalist will remain a
considerable force in future as well. While there seems no
possibility of religious fundamentalist coming back to state power
but they will remain as force in the political field. it was
agreed that religious fanaticism can not be rooted out until the
social reasons for the harboring of fundamentalism is been cut.
* The economic crises of the Pakistan will continue despite all
the promises of the Western aid to the military regime. There is
going to be no dramatic change in the economy in coming period
under capitalism. The military regime while implementing the
conditionality of IMF and World Bank is winning a lot of
heartedness of the masses. The policies dictated by the
international institutions are bringing more poverty and more
unemployment for the masses of Pakistan”.
The new government would be proved a very weak and unpopular among
the masses. Masses see no change in their suffering after the
installation of the new government. They see it very rightly the
continuation of the present regime but with a more civilian
participations. The MLQ was able to win the majority with a very
open rigging of the elections. Such was the level of rigging of
the elections that despite the full support of the imperialists of
the present military regime, none of the international observers
declared it as fare and free. The European Union pointed many
irregularities in the election process.
The new Jamali regime will carry out anti worker and anti peasant
policies dictated by the IMF and World Bank. Despite all the
claims of the Musharaf regime that economy is on the right track
and a new era of economic development has started, it has made no
improving effect on the lives of the working class in Pakistan.
According to one research, over seven million were moor poor
within three years of the Musharaf regime because of the so-called
reform agenda. Over 40 percent of the total population lives under
poverty line. Less than 20 percent are literate. More than 80 per
cent of the total annual budget goes to repayments of the debts
and defense expenditure.
The Jamali regime will not be different from the previous civil
governments who were installed as a transition to democracy. Half
hearted attempts by the military regime to change the face of the
government from military to civil always bring new contradictions
between themselves. General Musharaf has brought all the necessary
amendments in the constitution to continue as president of
Pakistan. He has more dictatorial powers than any other dictator
of Pakistan. Despite all these safeguards, there is no guarantee
that he can rule his full five years as president. So is the case
with his puppet civil government.
A new era of political uncertainty has started already from the
first day of Jamali regime. Many ask the question how long this
government can last. With the presence of the strong religious
fundamentalists in the parliament and a rather strong group of
PPP, there is not much room of maneuvering on the part of the
The prospect of more popularity for the fundamentalist is very
much there. The fundamentalists have changed from pro imperialist
force to an anti imperialist force at least in words. That is
paying back. There is an absolute heartedness against the
imperialists. Despite the governments in two provinces, the MMA
will cry that they do not have power at the center. They will use
the argument to cover up their inability to solve anything.
Both religious fundamentalists and imperialist had to be opposed
by the progressive forces in Pakistan. A support for one against
the other will not bring any happy news for the masses. Both are
anti people and anti workers forces. LPP in its National Committee
meeting discussed the possibilities of forming a broad base
alliance of progressive forces against the imperialist economic
and political agenda and against the religious fundamentalist.