Dawn of reality


AT long last, it is now being realized by almost all stakeholders that the country cannot afford fresh elections soon in view of the grave economic and financial challenges and the need to take firm and concrete measures to steer the country out of the existing messy situation.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who recently predicted that general elections might be held in March/April, now says he doesn’t see fresh polls any time soon.

He also referred to rumours about formation of a government of technocrats to run affairs of the country for the next 2.5 years while his aide and former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has described such an idea as a ‘joke’.

Some circles have been floating the idea of delaying elections for an indefinite period arguing that even fresh elections in the given circumstances are hardly expected to produce a stable government which is a pre-requisite for effectively tackling the challenges facing the country.

Whether or not there is any substantial move to install a government of technocrats, one has to acknowledge that it is mainly because of the infighting among political parties and politicians that paves the way for such novel ideas which have even no place in the constitutional scheme of things.

We have repeatedly been emphasizing in these columns that the incumbent Government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has the demonstrated capability to deliver but impatience of some elements who want immediate elections at any cost is depriving the government the opportunity to implement its agenda with the required peace of mind.

The problems of the country would not have multiplied and compounded if the government was allowed to pursue its policies and programmes but there is leg-pulling on an almost daily basis, distracting its attention from the real task of stabilizing the economy.

There would be nothing unusual if elections are held on completion of the term of the present assemblies but all types of pressure tactics are being applied to force early elections.

There are continued threats of dissolution of provincial assemblies and judicial interventions, based on factors other than merit and fair play, are adding to the political confusion and instability.

If PTI is genuinely interested to prevent the idea of a technocrat government from being implemented, the best course would be to shun rhetoric, return back to parliament, discuss and decide everything from the platform of the elected houses and allow the incumbent government to deliver as its success in efforts to stabilize the economy would benefit anyone who comes to power as a result of the next general election.

PTI believes it is poised to get two-thirds majority in the elections and, therefore, stabilization of the economy would be to its advantage.

As for the idea of technocrats, it shows we have not learnt lessons from the past mistakes and as a consequence the country might plunge into further chaos.

We have witnessed the performance of technocrats and even if there are brilliant brains anywhere, there is no bar to hiring their services by the elected government.

You can include them as advisors and special assistants without trying to mould the Constitution to suit our ideas.

One tends to agree with Fawad Chaudhry that the country cannot afford any new experiment and it should be allowed to be governed strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Parliament and the Constitution are supreme and they should be allowed their due place and respect if we are genuinely interested in resolving the problems of the country.

The real problem of the country is deviation from the Constitution as all stakeholders try to interpret its provisions to suit their designs and objectives.

No system is wrong and no system is perfect as every system can deliver if there is sincerity of purpose and laws and the Constitution are not trampled.

If parliamentary democracy is delivering in other countries why it can’t succeed in Pakistan?

There must be no deviation and the country must be run strictly in accordance with the Constitution that offers solutions to all situations.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has emphasized the need for polls on time and consensus seems to be evolving on holding of elections after completion of the term of the National Assembly.