If early polls can solve economic problems! | By Rizwan Ghani

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If early polls can solve economic problems!

Imran has given 23 December date for dissolution of assemblies of Punjab and KP. Only time will tell how it unfolds but early election cannot solve country’s economic challenges.

Under Article 224 (time of election), when the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly is dissolved, a general election to the assembly shall be held within a period of 90 days after the dissolution, and the results of the election shall be declared not later than fourteen days after the conclusion of the polls.

Two provinces in Pakistan can hold elections. Scotland and Wales hold their elections under devolved parliament and assembly elections.

They are independent of general election of national assembly. Devolution under original 1973 Constitution envisaged three tiers of democracy: national, provincial and local government.

Imran did not hold local government elections for giving power to masses but now wants general elections only to return to power.

Imran blamed military for NRO-1 & 2. No one gave NRO in America, but there is corruption. Trump won elections on promise of draining cesspool of corruption in Washington.

Now Republicans are targeting Biden to save Trump. Senator Cruz called current administration corrupt and indirectly called Biden Mr. Ten percent for the alleged corruption of Hunter Biden in China (6 Dec 2022, CNN-News18).

Imagine if Beijing demands extradition of Bidens under bilateral corruption extradition treaty and or international AML laws.

Similarly, Trump is yet to face law on Jan 6, allegations of tax evasion and manipulation of prices of assets for taxes and loans.

On corruption, Imran gave example of imprisonments in China. Beijing has also given death sentences. The list includes deputy police minister for running a gang (23 Sept 2022 AP news).

China’s Deputy Gov State Bank is among hundreds of officials facing corruption investigations (5 Nov 2022 DW News).

Iceland also removed its PM after Panama Papers and jails its top finance executives (Bloomberg).

To end NRO-2, is Imran ready to lead PTI to face law on allegations of corruption? Imran is blaming PDM for changing NAB laws,but he is also benefitting from it.

PDM government is exposing Imran’s corruption in media without bringing corruption cases against him and his provincial governments.

The government is not summoning Imran to parliamentary committees to avoid setting a permanent precedent.

Imran and other PTI members are returning to parliament. Let us see if they face accountability even if election is announced.

The committees should issue notices to Imran, his CMs and their cabinet members for embezzlement of public funds in center and provinces during PTI governments.

There is a long list of mega corruption scandals including atta, sugar, oil and gas, real estate (RUDA), medicine prices, foreign funding and privatization.

Like UK, the proceedings with Imran should be broadcast live to uphold rule of law for having a civilized society to which he often refers in his speeches.

Law and Justice committees have important role in holding Imran, his CMs and their cabinets accountable for failing to ensure inexpensive and speedy justice ending backlog of cases and improving performance of judiciary by increasing number of courts.

They failed to uphold merit and end political interference in judiciary. During Imran’s term in office, Pakistan slid 16 spots on Corruption(CPI Report Jan 2022) and 130th in Rule of Law (2021 WJP report).

TIs law ministers should face justice for letting PM undermine constitution, democracy and its democratic institutions.

He used Trump like tactics of youth wings (Proud Boys),religious vocabulary (holding Bible outside a church with military general on his side)and using lawyers to support election deniers in runup to Jan 6 attack on the Capitol Hill.

It was America’s military that saved country’s democracy in the end. Senator Kyrsten Sinema left Democratic Party after rejecting two party system.

Imran has blamed Gen Bajwa for no confidence move but it is also a fact that PTI failed to bring meaningful reforms for eradicating corruption, improving economy and living standards.

PDM blames military for creating PTI but Senator Sinema has shown that two party system cannot have true democracy but PPP and PML (N) are using CoDfor dynastic politics from which Imran is also benefitting.

The 1973 Constitution is needed for balance of power. On economy, Imran is wrong. Pakistan needs to change itsWestern economic model because it has failed in UK, America and Europe.

It is evident from strikes in UK, America and Ukraine war. Workers are demanding better working conditions, pensions and salaries (inflation) after five decades of stagnant wages.

The scrapping of 1932 Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 resulted in 2007 financial crisis and added $21T to total $31T US debt by Obama ($9T), Trump ($8T)and Biden ($4T).

Under Charter of Economy, Pakistan needs to end East India Company policies and rely on domestic consumption based economic model based on agriculture, local manufacturing and State Bank under government control with rupee pegged to gold.

State should control wealth gap between rich and poor including 1:3 ration of worker and employer salary.

It should ensure security of food, water, seed and energy. State should Enact land reforms (Homestead Law), restore wheat and cotton belts.

—The writer is senior political analyst based in Islamabad. —The writer is senior political analyst based in Islamabad.