By Raza Ruman
As the military leadership has declared itself out of the political arena all eyes are on the political leadership to settle their issues on their own.
President Arif Alvi of PTI held five meetings with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar of PMLN in recent weeks to find a solution to make PTI and PDM sit on one table. But still no breakthrough is insight.
A major political sticking point should be overcome without new controversy or ugliness from either side. It would appear that the success of that earlier interaction has now given the two enough confidence to start talking on the other major issues on the table, and it is encouraging to note that both see a chance for its success.
According to President Alvi, Mr Dar, who has been acting as PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s personal representative, deliberated with him the various options on the table for both sides and promised to get back to him on certain suggestions after consultations with his party leaders.
The president, recounting the broad contours of the meeting in a TV interview, said the possibility of early elections was also discussed. Though he understandably wanted to remain circumspect about revealing what was discussed, it is quite clear what cards the PDM and PTI hold.
Dawn also writes that PTI appears to be using the weakening economy as leverage and can continue to give the government grief till the end over any painful measures it takes for course correction. The PDM seems cognisant it cannot solve the economic crisis without damaging itself, but it also holds significant executive power as long as it is in the federal government and is unwilling to squander it by capitulating to the PTI. Therefore, we have its demand for dialogue without any conditions attached.
“The economy is thus providing the grounds for the negotiation. Neither side can be blamed solely for where things stand at the moment, but both must acknowledge their role in precipitating the current crises. If, after that, they can jointly negotiate a course to guide the economy out of its current crises, we can hope for smooth sailing to the next election, whenever it is held.
If they do not, for whatever selfish reasons, they will be imperilling the well-being of this country’s citizens. It is time for both sides to show flexibility and realise that the future of more than 240m people is at stake. The PDM and PTI must come to a mutually acceptable arrangement over the path to the next elections and set new rules for their political engagement in the future,” it writes.
It is largely seen that if PTI doesn’t budge from it’s stance and not sit with PDM….things will be difficult for it. PAK DESTINY