Muhammad Ali Baig
IN Pakistan, everybody seems pretty much adamant of the democratic process and has an undisputed faith in the elections, but the most important prerequisite for democracy to prevail is education and the awareness to know what is right and what is wrong or perhaps at least the relative good.
The lack of education and the know-how of political matters have seriously backfired in Pakistan and people at-large either considers their selves to be political pundits or analysts regardless of their level and nature of education. Ever since the 2013 General Elections and the subsequent win of PML-N, an average Pakistani has witnessed unprecedented political instability and turmoil. This chaos among many other things has significantly affected the political culture, economy, ongoing counter-terrorism operations and most importantly it had devastating effects on the Kashmir Issue. It would not be wrong to say that due to political instability perhaps Pakistan has lost a golden opportunity to seize the initiative that was actually ignited by the Kashmiri youth.
The opposition is always a shadow government and provides vital source for the betterment in the policies. The national and international changing landscape demands a greater and enhanced role from the PML-N Government. The grievances of the opposition and especially Imran Khan’s are to be taken seriously pertaining to governance issues and foreign policy matters. The rebuttal by the N-League ministers and advisors on the criticism is entirely unnecessary and must be avoided. All the opposition parties emerge from within and must be respected. One may not question the legitimacy of Panama Papers, but it reflects the lack of education and understanding of our people that they are still dependent on others to investigate their own PM. The ongoing case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan must reach a logical conclusion in this regard.
Apart from the rightful and healthy criticism of the opposition parties, the recent public opinion polls and surveys conducted by Gallup Pakistan, International Republican Institute, Institute for Public Opinion Research, Wall Street Journal, Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) and Transparency International reflect that the public opinion is in PM’s favour. And keeping in view the surveys and polls it can be said that people at large have not lost confidence in PM Nawaz. In the words of Al-Jazeera analyst Tom Hussian, Nawaz Sharif is the only viable option for Pakistan. It can be said with confidence that Nawaz Sharif is relatively and comparatively the most competent politician in Pakistan having international stature and a symbol of the federation. He and the PML-N must accelerate their efforts in a lightning manner especially focusing on domestic issues like education, energy and health while cutting down corruption and to initiate a renewed lobbying in new Trump Administration.
PM Nawaz must have to adopt robust and thoughtful policies to improve relations with India and also highlight internationally its espionage/sabotage activities against Pakistan so that the numerous sacrifices of the security forces may not harm or go in vain. One may disagree on this but the people of Pakistan have given their verdict and reiterated their undying support for him in the by-elections and in the survey polls as well.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.