Moeed Pirzada | FB Blog |
PM Nawaz Speech at UNGA was not bad. If anything it was a good balanced speech. Off course it was not written by Nawaz; he would not even grasp some of the concepts or terms -or their real importance – mentioned in the speech. But such speeches are always written by Foreign Policy Experts and in Tariq Fatemi, NS has an excellent Adviser with a balanced world view and we assume it must have been written by Fatemi. But Nawaz Sharif had to approve the gist and the substance and in times of political crisis like these Nawaz had no option but to go with this script and he read it well. He did not misspell, he did not fumble, he did not looked out of touch. Since it was a written script and he merely read it out, and in any case, he is not a very good speaker for such international situations but then in Pakistan who are we comparing to whom? Nawaz read it better than Zardari. He is no Oxbridge or Harvard type but from normal South Asian standards it was fine. (It was better than his performance in front of the PMLN workers in Astoria Waldorf with Ptv camera introducing them as Pak-American community; who was actually waiting for him outside UN).
But speeches are not only about “written scripts” and reading them out. Good speakers – even when speeches are written for them – identify with the substance, mark their stresses and pauses for they believe in what they are saying. For Public leaders of the stature of Prime Ministers it is far more important because you have to bring out a soul of a nation through your words and gestures. From that point of view this speech was lacking in spirit and mental synchronization with words.
Politically speaking, Nawaz’s problems are not increased by this speech – but they are not resolved either. His opponents were banking upon that he will miss out some essentials – say about Kashmir – to please the US or India but it was never possible at this stage. So it was a safe speech, damage control kind of speech, which does not give out much room for lashing at him – unless you just want to lash out at him. (And firing of Hatf-IX and his Military Chief visiting LOC few hours earlier did not give him much room either).
However PM Nawaz Sharif’s problems are very deep; he faces a serious political challenge which he and his close associates have continuously dealt, by design and intention, as a law and order or administrative problem and are still wishing that it will peter out due to sheer exhaustion of his opponents on logistic issues. (money, costs, lack of support from Army, depression due to lack of results etc) Unfortunately for Nawaz & Associates, It is not. If anything the political bug is spreading; the robust demonstration by hundreds of Pakistanis in New York only proves that; with every set back his opponents take stock and are improvising; now no one has any control on these action-reaction political dynamics; the best solution for PM Nawaz is to engage his political opponents in a meaningful way across a table and make genuine concessions; the first and foremost being “Election Audit” followed by new Election Commission and an Early Election under new mutually agreed rules and regulations by early 2015 or late 2015. And planners and killers of Model Town massacre have to be punished. Every other trick will fail. Govt will find it difficult to govern and will soon start to lose out the support of international stakeholders. The inability – or lack of desire or interest or not finding time – on part of President Obama to meet him on the sidelines of UNGA is a pointer in that direction.