Fawad’s non-starter

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FORMER Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was ready to discuss the framework for the next general election with the coalition government.

Addressing a news conference in Lahore, he said the country needs a new charter of democracy driven by a new Election Commission and fresh polls.

It augurs well for the friction ridden political environment of the country that the PTI has at long last started talking about the need for engagement with the Government to sort out contentious issues.

This is subtle but significant development as the PTI did not made any worthwhile attempt during its four-year rule to engage the then Opposition in talks and it also preferred sticking to its old stance of treating other political forces as pariah even after change of roles in the wake of successful vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister.

PTI has already exhausted almost all its options to pressurize the Government for holding fresh elections immediately, which should serve as a lesson for all political parties to go for moderation in national politics.

It is good that the PTI is now expressing its willingness to talk with the Government but Fawad’s idea is a non-starter as pre-conditions seem to have been attached to the proposal.

There should definitely be talks on the framework of the next elections as polls without necessary reforms could create another wave of instability because of credibility and legitimacy issues.

But the demand for a new Election Commission and immediate elections would be understandably not acceptable to the coalition Government.

There is absolutely no justification to demand a new ECP when the constitutionally established Commission is performing its responsibilities in a neutral and independent manner.

PTI’s scathing attacks against the Commission is nothing but an attempt to pressurize it on foreign funding case.

Similarly, there are hardly any backers for the idea of early elections as the incumbent Government has started undertaking difficult measures that need time to produce the desired results as far as stabilization of the economy is concerned.

 

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