IK’s positive approach


It is, perhaps, for the first time that former Prime Minister and Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan has talked about the need for national reconciliation without ifs and buts and this augurs well for the political future of the country. While launching his party’s election campaign through a video speech to his workers, Imran toned down his previous rhetoric and stated he was ready to mend fences with everyone. He also emphasized the need for national unity, which others have been urging for months due to prevailing conditions of the country as he believed no political party alone can address the challenges effectively.

The PTI leader has initiated his election campaign on a positive note and hopefully he would resist the tendency of using harsh words against his political rivals and institutions in the coming days if he genuinely meant what he transmitted through his video message on Saturday. There can be no two opinions that the grave crisis facing the country needs collective will to handle the situation with extreme care and carve out a strategy for the future. The PTI ruled the country for about four years and it could not deliver as per the satisfaction of the people and interests of the country because of its tendency of not talking to and taking the opposition on board. Now there is a sort of national government (minus PTI) is in power and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif repeatedly extended an olive branch to the PTI to sit across the table and contribute its share in finding a way out of the present imbroglio but conditions of the people remain as pathetic as before despite best efforts made by the incumbent rulers. PTI has all along been resisting attempts aimed at national reconciliation and it was apprehended that the situation is unlikely to change irrespective of who returns to power as a result of forthcoming elections. It is because of all this that saner elements including the judiciary have been urging the PTI to return to the assemblies and play its role as an effective opposition.

Parliament represents the will of the people and it was in a better position to discuss various issues confronting the country and formulate policies that suit people and also contribute towards the cherished goal of putting Pakistan on its own feet. We hope the Government would respond to the goodwill gesture of the PTI leader in the same spirit as the Prime Minister himself is a firm believer in national reconciliation.

President Dr. Arif Alvi, who previously made sincere efforts to promote national unity and harmony, might consider re-launching his mediatory efforts after the change of mind by the PTI leader. Apart from political issues, the two sides should focus on electoral reforms, charter of economy and also the judicial reforms (as has also been highlighted by Imran Khan). As the election campaign is about to begin, instead of resorting to blame game, the political parties and contesting candidates should present their manifestoes and ideas on how they intend to address the challenges facing the country so that people could make a better choice.