Another sit-in !

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CHAIRMAN PTI and former Prime Minister Imran Khan has formally announced to hold another sit-in at Islamabad, threatening that it will continue till an announcement for next general election.

In a video message, he did not gave a date but asked his party workers and supporters to make preparations as he would give a call for a march on the Federal Capital in the next few weeks.

It is democratic right of the people and political parties to organize protest rallies to mobilize public opinion but all this has to be done peacefully and strictly within the ambit of the law.

However, almost all sit-ins except the one organized by JUI(F) of Maulana Fazlur Rehman proved to be violent incidents during which free for all tactics were used to pressurize the then governments to bow down.

Economy of the country suffered hugely, development projects including highly beneficial Metro Bus for the twin-cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi were affected, sacred institutions were attacked and free movement of people and officials was obstructed impacting upon the daily routines of the masses and performance and output of the government.

It is in this backdrop that we have all along been emphasizing in these columns that no attempts should be made to bring down governments or harm national economic interests by any political party.

PTI might have grievances and it can agitate them in a democratic manner but the very intention to use the sit-in to pressurize the government to go for early polls is itself an indication that the event might not be peaceful or democratic in nature.

The government says it has no problem with early elections but wants to hold them after undertaking much-needed and much-delayed electoral reforms to forestall the possibility of electoral fraud and rigging.

It also understandably wants to reverse the highly controversial laws relating to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in elections and right of vote for Overseas Pakistanis – two issues that the opposition justifiably believes were manipulated by the PTI Government to ensure continuation of its rule for the next five years through questionable means.

We believe that instead of opting for politics of confrontation, PTI should play the role of opposition in Parliament and help introduce consensus electoral reforms to ensure credibility and legitimacy of not only the next elections but all elections to come.

The tendency of churning out derogatory remarks against political opponents also needs to be discouraged as the system would not stabilize if there is no mutual respect among all stakeholders.

 

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