National Consensus Possible

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Given the current alarming situation faced on the economic and security fronts, voices are being raised at different levels and by different segments of the society for a national consensus to deal with them.

Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir also added his voice for the same whilst addressing a ceremony at Pakistan Naval Academy on Saturday.

He pointed out that Pakistan is passing through one of its most critical junctures and this requires the development of national consensus by all stakeholders to sail through them.

The call made by the Army Chief must not go unnoticed. Developing consensus on important matters at this point in time appears to be a herculean task but it is definitely not impossible.

It is very much doable. In the past on important occasions such as the tragic incident of Army Public School in Peshawar, the political parties and the nation as a whole demonstrated their capability of unison and consensus which then delivered the dividends in the form of peace and stability after the relentless operation against terrorists.

There is a need to revive the same spirit again. According to a report released by the Centre for Research and Security Studies, the outgoing year concluded with the deadliest month for security personnel for over a decade due to the emergence of a new terror triad comprising Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Baloch Liberation Army and Daesh, Afghanistan.

According to the report, security forces lost at least 282 personnel during 2022, with about 40 fatalities in December, in attacks that included IED ambushes, suicide attacks and raids on security posts, primarily in the Pak-Afghan border regions.

The US, UK, Australia and Saudi Arabia have issued advisories, asking their nationals to restrict movement in Pakistan and avoid non-essential trips.

The economic situation is such that the foreign exchange reserves have fallen to barely cover a month’s imports and it is unclear when the country will receive more inflows from bilateral and multilateral institutions, giving rise to default fears.

These are extraordinary times which warrant extraordinary decisions which can only be taken and implemented when there is a broader consensus in the political circles.

Political ceasefire will definitely help find the way to steer the country out of myriad of problems.

Political stability will send a positive message and help address our economic issues as well as those related to security. Political leaders will have to show maturity and flexibility for the sake of the country.