Self-centred politics

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AT a time when there is dire need to promote national unity and solidarity because of serious challenges on internal and external fronts, it is regrettable that some power hungry politicians are mindlessly pursuing self-centred politics in a bid to advance their vested interests.

National institutions, which are considered to be real strength of a state, are deliberately being targeted and made controversial on different pretexts, political opponents are both verbally and physically attacked even in the elected houses and doors are being shut on negotiated settlement of the differences.

A few days back PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry warned that Imran Khan would not be able to stop angry mobs and we will see country plunging into civil strife — a statement which was seen by political observers as an incitement of violence and on Tuesday former Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad stated that general election will have to be announced by May 30 to avoid ‘civil war’ in the country.

These two statements should be seen in the context of a demand made by the PTI Chairman during his address to a rally in Lahore claiming that there was only one course to ‘rectify the mistake’ i.e. to hold elections.

All this shows to what extent the party plans to go to press for its demand for immediate elections, an option that Imran Khan failed to exercise as Prime Minister.

Going by the flop show outside offices of the Election Commission of Pakistan throughout the country on Tuesday, it is a big question mark whether PTI would be able to bring sizeable and motivated crowd to Islamabad for its planned march, especially when there would be no 2014-like patronage and it might not have a committed partner like Allama Tahirul Qadri.

However, the very talk of civil war and preference for politics of confrontation is not expected from a political party, which claims to be a truly national party with roots in all parts of the country.

Heavens would not fall if elections are held a year later after introduction of much-needed electoral reforms and compilation of the results of the new census which would require fresh delimitation of constituencies.

There is also consensus in the country that the Establishment, Judiciary and the ECP are neutral and performing their functions as mandated by the Constitution and, therefore, no attempt should be made either to malign them or drag them into politics.

It is also strange that the ECP is scrutinizing accounts of PPP and PML(N) as well but only PTI is making hue and cry over the issue sending a loud message of guilt.