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[- IKRAM SEHGAL -]
Presidential Election or Selection?

According to the schedule announced by the Election Commission, the election of a new President will take place on Sep 6. Direct elections would have been far better, the imperfect indirect process really does not really reflect the combined will of the people. Both in the Presidential form of government where the Office is all-powerful or the Parliamentary system where he (or she) is a figurehead, attributes and behavior of the symbol of the Federation is critical for its health. The person has to be non-controversial, someone of national stature commanding respect among the peoples of all the Provinces. The Head of State should preferably be a non-Party person, from a small Party and/or not a Party-activist, belonging preferably to one of the smaller Provinces, ie. NWFP or Balochistan. .....more

Freedom Means “WithoutDependence”

Sixty one years into freedom from British rule we are not only prisoner of the circumstances created by our leaders, because of their incapability, selfishness, greed and lack of vision, we are in serious danger of losing whatever independence we have left. Instead of recounting all our failures and lamenting our mistakes which have brought us to this sorry plight, it is time to lay on the line the vital steps the leadership in each strata of our society must take for the sake of a country that we all love, or prefer to love, but one which is in grave danger of fast becoming a place we would hate to live in. The meaning of independence is to be free, not dependent upon others.....more

Presidential Elections

PPP’s nomination of Asif Zardari as their Presidential candidate should have been no “surprise”, the numbers made the election a done thing! The PML (N) had enough reason to finally walk out of the Coalition when the superior judiciary was not restored and nominate a non-controversial, non-party person of stature, Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui as their candidate. PML (Q’s) nominee, my good friend Mushahid Hussain qualifies on all counts and would make a great President. Given the permutations and combinations thereof I assume he will eventually sit this one out as PML(Q) gravitates naturally towards merging with PML(N), giving Justice Siddiqui their support.....more

Now the Hard Part

The day before Pervez Musharraf resigned as President, considerable venom was directed at me by a PML (N) leader whom one considered a good friend and had lot of respect for. He challenged me, “why don’t you go on TV and defend your friend now?” One is sorry that like his leader he turned out to be like the wind. As everyone knows, the wind cannot read! One can certainly not boast the closeness many others had with Musharraf, unlike those who were beneficiaries of Presidential largesse and have jumped ship, today when he is not in power one would be crass to claim he was not my friend. What is more of serious concern is the lack of tolerance for objectivity by a seasoned and educated politician who should know better, this does not bode well for the future of democracy.....more

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