By Raza Ruman
Why PDM running from general elections after dissolution of Punjab Assembly…guess everyone has its answer now.
An outcome that had seemed improbable till just a few days ago has started looking increasingly possible after the PML-Q and “PTI’s unlikely coup in the Punjab Assembly. The nation is again abuzz with speculation over whether we may once more be heading towards an early general election. The PML-N continues to put up a brave face and insist that it is ‘ready’ to contest by-elections in both KP and Punjab,” Dawn reported.
However, its choices are not as straightforward as they may seem. One aspect is the logic and logistics of holding early elections for all but a third of the seats usually contested in a general election. Secondly, if elections are held in two provinces only, they can give the PTI an even greater advantage if it gains larger majorities in both assemblies through the by-elections. That would put the PTI in a stronger position to queer the field against the PDM whenever elections for the remaining legislatures are held.
It further says the choices are not great for the PDM, but capitulation is, understandably, also out of the question. This will only mean more political instability in the months ahead unless a middle ground can be found. Given that he has taken a strategic lead, former prime minister Imran Khan should consider declaring his innings and softening his confrontational stance. If he really thinks himself worthy and ready to lead Pakistan for another tenure, this is the time to prove it.
“In this respect, it is encouraging to note PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry’s proposal to the federal government to sit together and work out a consensus on the electoral framework. Given that the invitation was extended from Mr Khan’s residence, it would appear that it has his sanction. The PML-N is looking for something similar before it can call elections. One of its leaders, Talal Chaudhry, told a Middle East publication on Friday that the party wanted the rules of the game to be decided before the elections; otherwise, nobody would accept the results of the polls”.
It may be difficult for both sides to sit opposite each other, given how bitter their differences are, but this may be their last chance to do so. Political feuds can and should be set aside if it means giving the country a desperately needed fresh start.
Given the enormity of the challenges that lie in our immediate future, Pakistan cannot afford for the political class to continue bickering and undermining policy measures that are becoming inevitable. Instability cannot continue beyond the general elections whenever they are held. Nobody wins if things are to stay as they are. To avoid that, there needs to be a consensus on how the elections are to be held and when so that their results are acceptable to all who contest them.
There is a need for broad base dialogue among all stakeholders to develop consensus on national issues. PAK DESTINY