On path of dialogue

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IN a positive development, retreating from their extreme postures both the Government and the agitating JUI(F) have apparently softened their stance as far as ongoing political tension is concerned. As Maulana Fazlur Rehman extended the deadline earlier given to the Government for resignation of the Prime Minister, the other side assigned veteran politicians Ch Shujaat Hussain and Ch Pervaiz Elahi the responsibility to talk to Maulana, brightening prospects for a peaceful end of the sit-in.
Late Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan is often fondly remembered by political circles and analysts for his political acumen and negotiating skills especially in times of crises but the latest developments clearly show that politicians can still manage things provided they shun self-centred approaches and think in wider terms for the sake of larger interest of the country. The deadlock was dangerous and it could have implications and consequences for both sides but it seemed the political rivals had made it an issue of ego not to demonstrate flexibility in their extreme positions. Prime Minister Imran Khan had done well by forming a negotiating team for contacting JUI(F) but regrettably the members of the team frequently issued provocative statements and as a result the situation compounded for the Government. Induction of Chaudhry brothers is a saner idea as the two are known for their cold headed approach to grave issues and delivered as per expectations on many occasions in the past. It is hoped that despite his failing health, Ch Shujaat would be able to live up to his tradition of calming down tense situations but all this requires complementary role by the leadership of the ruling party especially when some of the ministers are engaged in provocative activities. Much depends on what the Government is ready to give to Maulana as face saving as any retreat without getting anything substantial would be politically suicidal for the JUI(F) leader. It is understood that no government worth the name would succumb to pressure tactics and tender resignation of the Prime Minister but demands short of that like reforms in electoral process, the credibility of which has badly been eroded, and supremacy of Parliament should be given due consideration.