President’s realism

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President Dr Arif Alvi revealed on Saturday that he tried to find out a way for early elections through indirect negotiations between coalition government and PTI.

Talking to journalists at Governor’s House in Lahore, the President said that he took this initiative in a bid to defuse soaring tension between the two sides “but all efforts failed.

” He reiterated the demand for early elections as a way out of present political deadlock.

Apart from much-talked about dialogue between government and opposition, the President touched upon several other important issues and responded to questions by newsmen that continue to agitate minds of saner elements in the country.

His explanation of complex situation prevailing in the country is reflective of realism that is need of the hour to tackle it to satisfaction of all stakeholders.

The very fact that the President took initiative to bridge differences between coalition government and his parent party PTI is appreciable as watching the situation as a silent spectator was not a wise approach.

The efforts could not bear fruit because of understandable reasons as polarisation has assumed alarming proportions and none of the stakeholders seem to trust others.

It is also reassuring that the President was still in contact with relevant institutions to help find a way out and given sincerity of purpose the process might produce desired results.

There were also unnecessary and uncalled for tension between the institutions and PTI mainly because of strategy of the latter to drag former into political arena and raise accusing fingers towards high officials.

The President was again realistic when replying to a question about the role of Establishment in politics, he said that he could not rewrite history but could only try to make things better.

Similarly, his realisation that the Constitution does not envisage role of the opposition in appointment of the army chief augurs well but saw no harm in discussion on crucial appointment.

Dr.Arif Alvi represented aspirations of the majority of the people by acknowledging that “political use” of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was a serious mistake.

However, mere admission would not set things right or undo injustices done to others if practical measures were not taken for the purpose and a consensus approach is followed for the future.

As for dialogue process, this can be taken to a fruitful conclusion provided government and opposition are ready to discuss other issues as well that created a sharp wedge between them in the past.

Observation of the President that all political parties had demanded early elections at some point in time is a reality but nothing is static in politics and goals keep on changing as per dictates of prevailing environment.

He also has a point that even the Supreme Court had discussed possibility of early polls to end political deadlock yet no one is ready to accept its decisions mainly because institutions keep on delivering verdicts and impose decisions on political considerations and not as per spirit of constitution and law.

President’s reiteration for early elections explains reason for his efforts aimed at promoting dialogue could not bear fruit.

Snap polls is the demand of the PTI and by insisting on this demand the President is closing his eyes towards political interests of other parties constituting the coalition Government, which believe they have sacrificed their political capital by taking bitter decisions for the sake of national economy.

The President is at helm of affairs and knows it fully well that instability is taking a heavy toll on economy and compounding woes of the general public.

Government is making hectic efforts to address economic and financial challenges facing the country yet this cannot be done in a state of uncertainty and chaos.

The latest casualty of political confrontation is scheduled visit of Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, which was to take place from November 21 but now has been postponed.

Pakistan was expecting to get a reasonable bailout package during the visit besides signing of a number of agreements including the one about establishment of a mega oil refinery but all these plans stand effectively shelved.

It is responsibility of the national leadership to prioritise core interests of the country over self-centred petty politics.

 

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