Early polls: So soon!

PRIME Minister Imran Khan lived up to his reputation of being frank and forthright during his interaction with a select group of anchorpersons on Monday, dilating upon a number of domestic and foreign policy issues that keep on agitating the minds of the people for a variety of reasons. Apart from other things, the PM hinted at the possibility of early elections, change in the federal cabinet based on assessment of performance of its members in the first 100 days, expressed ignorance over move to devalue rupee in a massive manner and reiterated his position on his favourite topics of accountability and money-laundering.
The Prime Minister talked about the possibility of early elections in response to a question about commitment of his party to make South Punjab a separate province. It seems IK was thinking in terms of securing absolute majority in the Punjab Assembly through a fresh mandate to fulfil this pledge with people of South Punjab but things do not always go the way one wishes or plans. It is quite obvious that PTI cannot go for the gamble of fresh elections so soon and that too when questions are being raised about its performance as holding of an election is dependent on many other factors that count much in the final analysis. But the mere talk of elections at this initial stage of PTI’s term has baffled many circles and the idea would add to the prevailing confusion and instability. As the Prime Minister was speaking out his mind before journalists, the stock market witnessed one of the worst turmoil as the index fell by 1,300 points causing a loss of 242 billion rupees to the investors. The market reacted in a panic manner to rumours about possible resignation of the Finance Minister, worst devaluation and state of confusion about economic and monetary policies of the Government. The country badly needs stability to instil confidence in investors and entrepreneurs but lack of clarity in some critical policies and poking of nose by NAB into every governmental decision and action have shaken their confidence. There are also reports that even ECC decisions are not being implemented due to widespread fears and apprehensions among bureaucracy about actions of the NAB and some of the court interventions. Under these circumstances, it is advisable that the government leaders exercise extra care and caution while commenting upon economic and political situation. Instead, it is time to boost confidence of the people and the investors through a combination of legal, political and economic measures.

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