Loose talk about Martial Law

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PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan came under intense criticism from the coalition partners for his remarks about possibility of imposition of Martial Law in the country.

Replying to a question during an interview about recent ‘talk of Martial Law’ Imran said “If they want, they may impose Martial Law.

What are they scaring me for? ” This prompted the leaders forming the coalition to retort that the PTI leader was conspiring to derail democracy in the country.

There is no indication from those who can impose martial law in the country that they might intervene and instead there have been repeated assurances that the leadership of the Pakistan Army is committed to the cause of democracy.

The Army leadership has made it clear time and again that their institution upholds the Constitution and wants stability in the country.

There is, therefore, no logic or reason to doubt the commitment of the institution to the democratic process or the need for a loose talk about imposition of martial law.

Choice of words matters much and IK could have expressed himself in a better way to convey the impression that he was fully resolved to press for his consistent demand for early elections than uttering remarks that imply he is not bothered if such an eventuality takes place.

This is contrary to the claims made by the PTI leader that he rose to the zenith of popularity after over 22 years of political struggle.

As for the coalition partners, they are obviously taking him to task for his unwarranted remarks, especially in the backdrop of rumours that PTI wanted to create chaos to pursue its agenda.

The categorical statement of PTI leader and former Minister Faisal Vawda that there could be bloodshed during the ongoing long march and that some people within the PTI wanted to have ‘dead bodies’ to seek justification for their agenda of chaos and instability.

There is no doubt that the top leadership of the party has asserted that the march would remain peaceful and confined to the designated places but at times statements are made to imply that they would force their way to any place.

The statement made by Imran Khan on Tuesday that Islamabad Police would side with the PTI long march when it reached the Federal Capital is also confusing.

Top court of the country has designated places for holding political rallies and sit-ins and the Government has categorically stated it has no problem if the participants of the march restrict themselves to these places.

Islamabad Police would come into action only if attempts are made to violate the court orders and sees threat to the security and peace of the federal capital.

Then why are you seeking sympathy of the Islamabad police force for the long march? As for grounds for martial law, the country saw the worst kinds of political deadlocks and law and order situations in the past but the military, as per its declared policy, kept itself at a distance from political activities.

Instead, it obeyed lawful orders of the civilian government to help augment security and it has expressed its commitment to do so again as per demands of the time.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, while emphasizing that no political party would ever accept such an unconstitutional step, rightly pointed out that those who could impose martial law had now decided, as an institution, to abide by the Constitution and let the country move forward on a democratic path.

PPP leader and Federal Minister Sherry Rehman also regretted that while institutions maintain they would not meddle in politics, Imran Khan was insisting on their intervention.

In fact, political crisis afford opportunities to the national leadership to demonstrate their commitment to the cause of constitutionalism, rule of law and democracy.

It is, however, because of self-serving interests of some politicians that Parliament, which is rightly considered to be the supreme institution, has been relegated to mere a debating club.

Parliament has the potential to provide guidance in all situations but this requires unwavering commitment to the cause of democracy and the parliamentary system.

There should be no compromise on this account for whatsoever reason(s) or political expediency.

 

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