Government may open dialogue with opposition

WHAT happened on the first day of the sessions of the National Assembly and Senate on Monday sent a loud and clear message that the issue of Panama Papers is unlikely to subside in weeks and months to come. As per its own strategy, the opposition parties staged walk out from both Houses on the plea that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should come to Parliament and take the nation into confidence through this supreme institution.
Though the opposition has adopted a somewhat hard stance on the issue of Panama Papers which sounds discriminatory but still the demand of the opposition that the Prime Minister should explain things on the floor of Parliament is well within the democratic norms. Similarly, in their speeches in the National Assembly, Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Shah and PTI leader Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi emphasized the need for dialogue to sort out differences on the issue of Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the proposed Judicial Commission. The opposition has rejected ToRs of the Government while PML-N has rejected those of the opposition and under these circumstances it is but natural to engage into dialogue to find a way forward. The opposition has every right to agitate the issue while remaining within permissible limits but it is feared that if the issue is not sorted out, it might lead towards unintended consequences. We have been emphasising in these columns that the country needs peace and tranquillity to pursue its agenda of economic development. Already, our march forward on this path was scuttled by the menace of terrorism and extremism but thanks to the unrelenting efforts of the Pakistan Army, the problem has been addressed to a great extent and the day is not far off when we will leave this issue behind us. But it is all the more necessary that no other issue or problem should be allowed to create obstacles in the way of the goal of development and prosperity. Therefore, the Government must demonstrate flexibility in its approach and engage into dialogue with the opposition to find a solution to the prevailing crisis.

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