IMMEDIATELY after the friendly advice rendered by Chinese Foreign Minister in Qin Gang urging all the political forces in Pakistan to build consensus, uphold stability and more effectively address domestic and external challenges so as to focus on growing the economy, PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced protest rallies from October 10 to 14 to press for his demand for immediate elections and to ‘express solidarity with the Chief Justice of Pakistan’. The former prime minister said an “emergency plan” has been prepared to rescue the country from the prevailing political turmoil.
The country is in the grip of a political turmoil for the last one year as the former Prime Minister has not reconciled with the reality that his Government has been toppled through a constitutional process of vote of no-confidence. He has, since then, applied different tactics to pressurize the Government for snap polls including premature dissolution of the provincial assemblies of Punjab and KP. Pakistan is also facing an acute financial and economic crisis and the Government needs peace of mind to address the challenge satisfactorily but political instability is compounding the crisis further. It was in this backdrop that the Foreign Minister of China, a country that always cared for progress and welfare of people of Pakistan, emphasized the need for political stability. It is also a fact that Pakistan would have defaulted without substantial support from China and Qin expressed willingness of his country to continue to extend maximum support to the country. The Government is preparing budgetary proposals for the next financial year and discussions are on with the IMF for resumption of the bailout package. The PTI must have legitimate concerns and also has the right to highlight them within peaceful means but the plan to return to the politics of agitation with potential for violence is fraught with serious consequences not just for the fragile economy but also for the overall political environment. Presently, the coalition Government is ready to hold a general election simultaneously in October this year but any activity that could trigger violence might provide it with an excuse to impose emergency and delay elections further.