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Tuesday, May 17, 2022
EditorialProbe commission — a futile exercise

Probe commission — a futile exercise

The government’s announcement to form a commission to ascertain the alleged ‘foreign conspiracy’ based on a letter on the demand of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan is likely to be a non-starter, and a time-wasting exercise. Playing to the tune of the PTI, which blames the ‘foreign intervention’ for their ouster from the government, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb announced the formation of an ‘unbiased’ commission to investigate the letter’s content. The government confirms the commission will be headed by someone who “no one will be able to point fingers at.” The PTI took no time to reject the offer, saying it only wanted the formation of a judicial commission, whose terms of reference (ToRs) should be settles by the chief justice of Pakistan, whereas the government-initiated commission will follow the ToRs instituted by the cabinet. The information is hopeful of the ‘transparency’ of the working of the commission that once the report is shared with the nation, everything will be accepted by the public. The offer hit impasse as the PTI chairman says the commission must be formed under the chairmanship of the chief justice of Pakistan as he’s the best person to oversee the probe. The country has seen the formation of several judicial commissions, and their reports going nowhere. We remember that this was Imran Khan’s demand to probe into alleged rigging in the 2013 elections through a judicial commission, and once the commission was formed, and its report cleared the election, Imran Khan was the first person to reject the report. Just as the country’s governing bodies and their affiliates are engaged in discharging all their duties in accordance with their oaths, so too, as a Pakistani, every individual must follow them. Propaganda based on suspicion or pointing fingers at the performance of these institutions or officials is tantamount to deviating from the constitution.

The ‘lettergate,’ which former prime minister Imran Khan spoke about on March 27, has been discussed twice in the National Security Committee. According to Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations Maj-General Babar Iftikhar, no foreign conspiracy was found as per the probe of the intelligence agencies. He also clearly described the change of government as a democratic process in accordance with the constitution and law, rather than a US conspiracy. A letter was later sent to the Supreme Court by the PTI leadership but it did not feel the need to take any action. Several former diplomats have denied that the letter was based on a conspiracy. In these circumstances, the commission made by the government will be a futile exercise. In recent rallies, Imran Khan has demanded fresh elections, as he is not stressing the judicial probe into the alleged letter content and foreign conspiracy. He is again going for a long march on Islamabad. The coming days may see heated clashes between the government and the opposition. For the best interests of the country, it is suggested that both sides initiate dialogues for fresh elections, which should be held at the end of this year, and in the earlier months of the next year. The country should not be run on makeshift arrangements.

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