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EditorialKhan's my way or the highway approach

Khan’s my way or the highway approach

For the last six months, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran has been making a demand for snap elections as he was removed from power through a no-confidence motion in April this year. After his latest call for an agitation drive against the incumbent government, which he has termed “the real freedom movement”, an atmosphere of uncertainty has been created. The government has started barricading Islamabad and closing down routes leading to the Red Zone and announced a tough stance to counter any agitation drive.  The PTI chief’s demand for early elections may be legitimate but ground realities demand that he needs to soften his stance in the best national interest. Looking at the situation in the country in the wake of unprecedented floods, this is not the most opportune time for protests. Millions of people are living under the open sky and need help on an immediate basis. The economy is shattered and inflation has reached an all-time record high. Under these circumstances, the PTI’s agitation will only exacerbate the situation. Arguably, for a country where all resources should be directed to help deal with the biggest humanitarian crisis and havoc these floods have caused, Imran Khan needs to rethink his way or the highway approach. Moreover, the expiry of the five-year constitutional term for holding new elections is almost a few months away; therefore, the PTI chief needs to demonstrate some patience. He also needs to pay heed to the Supreme Court’s advice wherein the PTI lawmakers have been asked to take part in parliamentary affairs by rejoining the Parliament.
Street protests and any confrontation can bring disastrous results. It could derail democracy and the poor economy of the country can face further turmoil. Already, the Pakistan rupee is undergoing a downward slide and losing its value on almost a daily basis. The past history shows that our political parties have never been sane enough to play a responsible role in national politics during any crisis. They go to any extent in pursuit of power. Why could they not sort out their differences in a peaceful manner without putting the lives and properties of the general public at risk? At the same time, such adventurism facilitates undue interference by a third force legitimating their involvement in political affairs. The best way for all political parties is to engage in dialogue and find amicable solutions to their problems. Wisdom demands that all political parties need to sit together and resolve all issues in an amicable way. They need to understand this simple logic that infighting will take them nowhere. Political chaos is not in the interest of any political party or the country. Due to the political uncertainty, our country is descending into an economic crisis and any move by the opposition can derail the democratic set-up. Time is cutting short for politicians. They have to bury the hatchet in the best national interest. They need to jointly strive for a smooth transition of power with a strong political set-up. Political manoeuvring, publicity gimmicks, putting the general public at risk and challenging each other every single day with new scandals will take them nowhere. Think for the country before it is too late.

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