Lack of stability and political maturity


Sikandar Noorani

INEFFICIENCY is not the only handicap
with present government! Verbosity and
high sounding claims by clumsy spokespersons and cabinet ministers always multiply the negative impact of incurable inefficiency. It is a proven fact that most of the cabinet members lack in maturity which further adds to the damages of ruling party in political arena. Everybody knew that JUI-F protest march was coming to Islamabad demanding ouster of PM through a quick resignation for failing in governance of the country. Opposition was all set to exploit the first year’s weaknesses and failures of ruling party. Undoubtedly, ruling party has very little to present on account of good governance and efficiency. Surprisingly, instead of defending the weak areas of the party, a habitual minister himself started exposing a weaker flank to political opponents for punching practice.
Foul mouth minister, in a press conference, clearly mentioned about upcoming decision of closing around 400 departments with an aim to reduce financial burden from government’s shoulders which would obviously throw thousands of government employees in the ditch of unemployment. Unnecessarily, the minister advised public not to expect jobs from government as economic conditions do not allow the government to run or maintain even existing departments therefore creation of those10 million jobs is not possible at all which were earlier promised with masses by another foul mouth minister of ruling party immediately after coming into power. Failing miserably in governance and economic fields, at a critical time once ruling party should have thought of justifying her performance in front of masses, unwise ministers started speaking to the public entirely opposite to what was actually promised or claimed in the past. Who is being befooled by the ministers, public or their own party, still has to be decided.
However, one aspect is more than clear that timing of irresponsible loose talk at public forums or press conferences benefited opposition especially the JUI-F which now feels quite comfortable in targeting the government. Irrespective of the fact that who gets benefited as a result of ‘Sit-inn’ politics, it is obvious that country will be more destabilized and disturbed at the end of this immature display of political circus. In tangible terms, economy of the country is going to deteriorate further even if the upcoming ‘Sit-in’ either fails in attaining the objectives or conquers the fortress of government. It is really a point to worry for the nation that political parties have absolutely relegated the most important aspect of national interests while setting political objectives. Parties pursuing political objectives, through street protest or sit-in, have enough representation in Parliament. In principal, opposition should play its democratic role at the floor of Parliament by directing all efforts towards harnessing the ruling regime. JUI-F, the host and flag bearer party of sit-in is demanding the resignation of PM for highly vague allegations.
Though, protest is a democratic right guaranteed in constitution but there has to be a reason and valid justification to use such sensitive provisions. Blind use of constitutional right of protest, in the form of ‘sit-in’, would lead to undesired consequences. There should be no issue, if any political party comes out for peaceful protest against government. The real problem starts with pressing of unconstitutional demands by the protestors. Duration and modus operandi of protest do pose problems. Undoubtedly, there should be no debate about the constitutional right of protest but demands and modus operandi should not be left undebated. Here, in this case JUI-F do possess a right to conduct peaceful protest which must not be denied at all but at the same time demand of PM’s resignation needs to be evaluated and weighed at the scale of rationality and constitutional parameters.
Question must be asked that why should a majority party be left at the mercy of an election looser party? Resignation of PM, as demanded by JUI-F, is likely to create a political crisis with very little options to form a stable elected government through fresh elections. If the people of Pakistan have elected a party for five years then this constitutional duration must not be sacrificed unduly in the name of protest. ‘Sit-in’ or protest in pursuance of a non- democratic demand must not be taken as a constitutional measure as the real objective behind this activity is likely to rip apart democratic system. Tension at the LoC amid Kashmir crisis and unrest in Afghanistan has a direct impact on Pakistan. Only a stable and economically strong Pakistan can fight out the challenges emerging from eastern and western borders. India is eyeing upon AJK with bad intentions. Demands for resignation of PM and threats of countrywide lockdown are adding to already prevailing chaos and uncertainty. While talking about constitutional right of protest, opposition should revisit all unnecessarily tough demands which are entirely against the spirit of democracy and rationality. In this era of absolute lack of wisdom, Pakistan desperately needs stability and political maturity.
—The writer a Retd Lt Col of Pak Army, is is a freelance columnist.