Extreme positions

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AS PTI has resumed its stalled long march towards Islamabad to put pressure on the coalition government to hold early elections, the PML(N) and PDM leadership is reported to have taken a firm decision not to buckle under the pressure and go for elections only after completion of the term of the present assemblies.

In this backdrop, moves to be made by the two sides during the next few days would make things clear as to which direction the country was heading.

In the fast changing situation, the remarks of the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial made during hearing of the petition of Imran Khan against amendments made in the accountability law, assume greater significance.

The CJP said the court cannot exercise executive authority but can request it to uphold its legal obligations while another judge on the bench Justice Mansoor Ali Shah questioned whether the judiciary can run the country in case of failure of the Prime Minister.

It is quite obvious that there is a distinct separation of powers and the role and responsibilities of the pillars of the state have been defined in the relevant constitutional provisions.

The country can function and progress only if all organs of the state perform their functions while remaining strictly within the bounds of the Constitution.

The courts are definitely not there to decide things on the basis of political expediency, rather as per spirit of the law and the Constitution.

In this backdrop, it is to be seen what role the judiciary assumes in case a serious law and order situation arises because of the long march of the PTI, especially when the party leader has declared in categorical terms that the march would not stop at any cost.

There is no doubt that the PTI has its own grievances but the other side too has its own position on issues involved that cannot be brushed aside.

We have been emphasizing in these columns that conscientious efforts should be made by the leadership of all political parties to bring down the level of tension in the country, which has reached a boiling point.

To begin with, there is a need to stop accusatory statements, especially those against institutions and their high officials.

The Prime Minister has already approached the Supreme Court asking it to form a judicial commission to probe the Wazirabad attack and the decency demands there should be no more public statements on the incident.

However, on the one hand, the issue is before the apex court and on the other hand, PTI is continuing with its policy of raising accusing fingers against senior officers as Imran Khan claimed on Thursday that he would name another official soon, who, according to him, was involved in the conspiracy leading to the attack on his life.

It is also a matter of concern that the PTI is blocking main roads and highways, creating obstacles in the smooth movement of people and goods, which is creating difficulties for the common man.

Educational sector suffered a lot due to disruption caused by Coronavirus and recent floods and now educational institutions are forced to close for fear of safety of the children because of the law and order situation.

The blockade is also affecting attendance in government offices besides economic activities, compounding woes of the people in an era of super-inflation.

It is time political issues are debated and decided on the floor of Parliament and not on roads or the court rooms.

Dialogue is the only answer to the present stalemate and it is the responsibility of the national leadership to find a peaceful solution to the issues involved as the country cannot afford instability for long.

 

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