Pressure and reaction

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AS pressure is building up against former Prime Minister and Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on different accounts, he is firm with his plans to counter the threat with moves like a final long march on the Federal Capital.

Addressing a gathering at Taxila on Sunday, Imran claimed he will give the federal government a ‘surprise’ this time as the authorities were clueless about his plan.

His party workers, especially those in and around the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, have already been issued special instructions to make comprehensive preparations to give a tough time to government.

The announcement of Imran Khan came as the Federal Cabinet initiated legal action against him over his recent audio leaks about the US cipher and Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted him protective bail in a hurried manner on weekly holiday in a case lodged against him for his controversial remarks against a female judge.

The decision of the cabinet relates to the two audio leaks that took the internet by storm and shocked the public across the country and in which Imran, Asad Umar and the then Principal Secretary Azam Khan allegedly could be heard discussing the US cipher and how to use it in their interest.

The things also became complicated after the federal cabinet was informed that the copy of the cipher was missing from the PM House and public admission of the former Prime Minister that the copy was with him and he doesn’t know how it went missing.

On Sunday, the PTI leader tried to belittle the incident by claiming that the master copy of the cipher was in the safe custody of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but he failed to realize the gravity of the situation as a copy of the top secret memo went missing from the highest office of the country, raising serious questions over secrecy of the official communication.

It would be seen what legal action the Cabinet Committee recommends against Imran Khan for exploiting a secret memo to his political advantage as the move threatened to jeopardize the foreign policy interests of the country but it is also a fact that the political divide has assumed dangerous proportions and there is dire need to do damage control.

The things have become so murkier that the parties involved are using all kinds of tactics against one another forgetting that their conduct is damaging the overall reputation of the country in the comity of nations.

The business of audios and counter-audios is reprehensible and it amounts to the worst use of social media.

The immoral practice of character assassination of rival political leaders is highly damaging as it lowers the image of politicians and national leadership in the eyes of the general public.

No one would be beneficiary of this dirty process and instead all would be the end losers if timely remedial measures were not taken to protect the honour of politicians and the elected leadership.

It is time the political parties keep aside their differences and agree on a code of conduct. A broad-based committee comprising representatives of all political parties within Parliament and outside should be formed to have a threadbare discussion on the issue and formulate a code for strict adherence by all sides.

As for the threat of a long march, no one can say with authority whether it would succeed in its objectives or another failure like that of May this year as the final outcome is linked to a number of factors and actors.

It is not a mere question of the ability of the PTI to pose a major threat or demonstrated capability of the government to handle the law and order situation as it did before as much depends on the posture of the Establishment and the Judiciary.

There are a number of moves on administrative, legal and judicial fronts that could help shape up things this way or the other.

However, irrespective of what happens to the long march, it is a foregone conclusion that such moves and the resultant instability badly impact the economic conditions of the country which are already in doldrums due to the precarious situation arising out of devastating floods and the mammoth task of rebuilding that awaits the federal and provincial governments.

There is now less than a year for the current assemblies to complete their tenure and instead of pursuing politics of confrontation; the intervening time should be utilized for reorganization of political parties and mobilizing support of the masses for the general election.

 

 

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