PDM’s softening of stance

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SPEAKING to media in Peshawar on Saturday, head of 11-party alliance of the opposition – Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – Maulana Fazlur Rehman adopted a reconciliatory tone, which augurs well if seen in the backdrop of his hard-hitting remarks and speeches during recent weeks that spark controversies and raise political tension. Together with leadership of two other major components of the alliance i.e. PML(N) and PPP the change of stance on the part of Maulana Fazlur Rehman is likely to have a soothing effect on the overall political environment.

A few weeks back, the opposition was in no mood to budge even an inch from its politics of confrontation and in the process some of its leaders used unwanted language against leadership of national institutions. During his media-interaction, Maulana clarified that opposition’s movement is against the PTI-led government and not against the establishment. This is also a departure from his previous position as in the face of desertions from the party he started raising accusing fingers towards institutions and even went to the extent of hurling threats that the opposition’s long march could be diverted from Islamabad to Rawalpindi. Instead of getting provoked, spokesman of Pakistan Army and DG, ISPR said the opposition leaders would be served with refreshment if they came to Rawalpindi.

We believe that such reconciliatory gestures of the army leadership have also played a role in bringing down the political temperature. Maulana too has moved somewhat away from the mantra of resignations to participation in the Senate elections. As for his demand that free and fair elections should be held to oust the incumbent government and end prevailing crises in the country, we always maintained that every elected government should be allowed to complete its mandated term and its fate should be left for the people to decide in elections. There are, of course, issues with the conduct of elections but these can only be sorted out through meaningful and sincere dialogue between the government and the opposition especially from the platform of Parliament.

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