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‘Grand dialogue’ will be a ‘waste of time’

For a nation to progress and prosper, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called for a ‘grand dialogue’ between all stakeholders over vital sectors of the economy. Former ruling party – the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf – has rejected the idea by saying that ‘every’ political party has a different economic model. Therefore, the ‘grand dialogue’ will be a waste of time. This is true because the former ruling party of Imran Khan and other parties have different economic models, but at present, there is a very bitter relationship between them. It seems that ‘fake’ cases against the PTI leaders and workers, extraordinarily harsh and illegal gas shelling and baton charge on the ladies, youngsters and adults participating in the PTI rallies of May 25 have shown what category of people have been imposed on this nation as rulers.

Imran Khan and some members of his party have categorically claimed that a ‘conspiracy’ has been prepared for the murder of the former prime minister [Imran Khan]. They have warned that even if Imran Khan is arrested, it will have devastating effects on the ‘national politics’. The ‘baseless’ and ‘fake’ cases against the former ruling party leaders and workers are just a ridiculous effort by the present rulers, whose government is itself under a big question. There are cases of ‘all’ types of ‘corruption’ against them. If the claims can be made against PTI’s ‘clean-handed’ leaders on different excuses, then much more severe cases must also be registered against the ‘disputable’ rulers. If police and law enforcement agencies are under the control of the rulers, it doesn’t provide any justification to misuse them against ‘political opponents’.

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Suppose, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his coalition partners are serious about starting a process for national unity and reconciliation. In that case, all of these cases registered against the former ruling party leaders – to stop their rallies for early elections – must be withdrawn immediately. We know that one party is on the right and the other on the wrong side in the present political crisis. It is tough to sit with the ‘opponents’ in such a tense situation. Nevertheless, there are many such things on which there is a national consensus, and accepting such things will bring the actual popularity of any one of the two groups. Those politicians who are not ‘stooges’, ‘plunderers’, and ‘traders’ in the garb of politicians must consider these points.

1) All the leaders, ministers, and spokespersons must change their tone from harsh to soft and decent. 2) Political leaders or ministers etc are not owners of this country. They are what they are, only with the claims of humble servants of the people. 3) They are not beasts or Dracula. Politicians must present themselves by word and action as a model of decent behavior. 4) Blame games and baseless stories against each other must be stopped. Ordinary people can understand wrong and right quickly and cannot be fooled anymore. 5) Under a heavy burden of corruption cases and after winning the horse-trading game, the present government has ‘no legitimacy’ to have a desire to have a more extended rule.

6) Those who don’t want to understand the natural mood of the ‘overwhelming majority’ of ordinary people and intelligentsia about the present government and the need for early elections are not loyal to the country. 7) The very responsibility of the present economic problems is only on shoulders of the present government. Still, politicians out of the coalition government should not take a stand to make the position even worst. 8) All ‘responsible’ institutions should help make the early elections possible. 9) The cases of those being tried for heavy corruption and plundering must be decided within weeks, and those who are ‘proved guilty’ should be thrown out of the politics. 10) In the present ‘tense’ environment, the ‘overwhelming majority’ of the people will appreciate political parties’ decisions to avoid long marches and agitations.

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11) The Supreme Court can take quick steps to decide all the constitutional matters related to the present political crisis. 12) People are keeping a close eye on the role of police and other law enforcement agencies. Those officers who, for their benefit, indulge in politics and take illegal and unjust actions should not be forgiven in any case. 13) The nation undoubtedly faces critical problems, perhaps the severest in its history. People need discipline, cooperation, sympathy for each other, patience, and tolerance. They need to be alert against the enemy’s conspiracies to create hatred among our ranks.

 

With 50 years of teaching experience, Professor Dr. Shafiq Jullandhry, a noted writer and author of award-winning books, is former chairman of Punjab University’s Mass Communication Department (now School of Communication Studies); also heads Elaaf Club and Global Media Guild as president. He can be reached at [email protected]

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