Country needs political dialogue

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PRIME Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has expressed his readiness to host a grand political dialogue to discuss and evolve consensus on the ways and means to handle various challenges being faced by the country. In an interview, he said such a dialogue would be among all political parties and not a government-based dialogue.
There can be no two opinions that Pakistan is facing grave challenges both internally and externally and there is dire need of national unity and solidarity, which is not seen at the moment. There is general impression that all political parties, whether in government or in opposition, are in disarray and this state of affair is not only harming the democratic process and stability, which should be their core concern but also the overall progress, prosperity and stability of the country. In a broader perspective, governance is the way in which individuals and institutions — public and private — manage their affairs. Political stability, rule of law and public participation in policy making and implementation are the essence of good governance. Seeing the prevailing situation in Pakistan, the picture is bleak with rising challenges of poverty, energy crisis, unemployment, law & order and rampant corruption. In this backdrop, the proposal of the Prime Minister is need of the hour and this should evoke positive response from all political parties if they are genuinely concerned about future of the democracy and the country itself. There is logic in pursuing the idea and take practical steps for its realisation because of the obvious advantages. We believe that the Prime Minister should talk to different political leaders himself and also assign his close aides to establish contacts with different political parties. In the first place, except for few parties that are in the habit of finding fault with every proposal and initiative coming from the government, most of the parties would agree to it. And opposition of the hardcore parties can also be softened if a consensus is evolved on points to be discussed by the grand political dialogue.