By Raza Ruman
(Pak Destiny) Poor Cyril Almeida is considering himself a too big a media gun that he has started pouring in ‘sympathy’ on Nawaz Sharif after the disastrous interview he gave to him published in Dawn last week.
“There’s little sympathy for the chap (Nawaz) except for this: he’s getting it in the neck from all sides because there’s another chap who folk dare not say anything against and one who folk dare not think about saying anything against,” Almeida wrote to sympathise with Nawaz.
“(Nawaz) Can’t talk about the judge, can’t really discuss the boys and their activities — seen up close, it’s much, much worse than what is mostly whispered — and need to stay the hell away from the kooks and loons acting on divine instruction,” he said, adding and why everyone will struggle. Struggle to win outright, struggle to break opponents, struggle to cross 100 in the NA, struggle to get some kind of mandate.
“It’s too early to know the exact shape the contest will take. The revolving political doors have not yet opened for candidates. The first burst of activity will be soon after parliament is dissolved, the second likely after Eid. But the general problem is already apparent. So, a three-digit code for the three big parties, PML-N, PPP and PTI, and the fourth option, a rabble of independents supported by the boys.”
“It’s like a three-digit lock on a briefcase. One digit is the party, the other is the candidate’s personal vote bank and the third is the grouping and dharra. Only when the three are aligned does the briefcase open. Development can make you lose an election, if you haven’t done any, but on its own it’s not enough to ensure victory.”
So, a three-digit code for the three big parties, PML-N, PPP and PTI, and the fourth option, a rabble of independents supported by the boys. The most complicated constituencies quite obviously will be the four-way fights. Possible for several reasons — infighting causing the usual two groups in constituencies to subdivide; the exit of a habitual winner drawing in new aspirants; an intensely politicised constituency electorate — they’re relatively rare. Plus, you can’t really see the PTI candidate and the boys’ independent going to toe-to-toe.”
“They snatch away Nawaz’s winning candidates. That still leaves him with the party vote. The party vote can also be suppressed, but it would need brute force and polling-day shadiness. That could be costly in other ways.”
Almeida has all sympathies with Nawaz but it seems his lady luck is not with him this time and the PML-N is certain to play a role of opposition in next parliament. – Pak Destiny