Tone down rhetoric

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In his address to nation, which was seen by the neutral observers as the last one by a beleaguered Prime Minister, Imran Khan was, once again, in an upbeat mood as he vowed not to accept, what he called, the ‘imported government’, making an appeal to his party workers and supporters to come out on streets to hold peaceful demonstrations on Sunday.

He expressed disappointment over the historic verdict of the Supreme Court, which declared the March 3 ruling of the Deputy Speaker as unconstitutional and illegal (and as a consequence the National Assembly stands restored) but added he accepts it.

In an emotional tone, he asked what mistake had he committed and what was his crime when he made all-out efforts to get the country win respect in the comity of nations.

We have been repeatedly emphasizing in these columns that acrimonious exchanges labelling the political opponents as ‘conspirators’, ‘traitors’ and ‘Indian/American agents’ have deeply divided the society, which is evident from the extreme views expressed by people on social media and portrayal of the situation in a highly biased manner even by public opinion leaders including media persons.

The end of an elected government through a constitutional process would not be the end of the world as the situation changes with the passage of time and roles keep on changing.

The conspiracy theory has, apparently, been rejected by the apex court besides the agencies assigned with the responsibility of safeguarding national security and defence interests and therefore, it is not prudent to keep on harping on the same string for the sake of building a popular political narrative at the cost of foreign policy interests of the country.

There is already serious concern among professionals in the Foreign Office over the way the issue of a diplomatic cable has been made topic of public discussions for petty political gains and the task of our diplomats would become more challenging if the issue is debated in the National Assembly or highlighted in public meetings.

Otherwise too, Imran Khan tried to provoke his supporters to come on roads in large numbers twice recently but the calls evoked no worthwhile response, indicating that people are fed up with the policy of confrontation.

The viewpoint of the Government on the issue becomes questionable with moves like formation of a Commission to probe the ‘Lettergate’ headed by a former general, who is highly controversial because of his role in 2014 sit-in of the PTI and a recent letter written by him in which he declared ‘three’ leaders as ‘traitors’ even before any investigations or substantial evidence.

The abortive move of the Government conveyed an impression to all and sundry that it wanted to derive the desired outcome from the probe, which, if at all have to be conducted, should be done by men of integrity.

Similarly, every political party is fully entitled to mould public opinion in its favour through peaceful protests and gatherings but all this should remain within the bounds of the law and the Constitution so that there is no disruption of normal life and that too at a time when economy is not in good shape and a salutary environment is needed to bring it back on track.

There are also indications that a majority of the PTI elected members is also against the politics of confrontation as many of them have reportedly opposed the proposition of resigning en masse, preferring to give a tough time to the new government in Parliament.

There are also reasons to believe that a resolution of no-confidence was hurriedly deposited with the KP Assembly Secretariat against the Chief Minister at the instant of the members of the ruling party who feared imminent dissolution of the House.

Imran Khan also questioned what was his mistake, easily forgetting that his Government showed scant sensitivity to problems and grievances of the people during his tenure, his exchange rate and taxation policies led to multiplication of prices and instead of fulfilling his election pledges to create millions of jobs his government rendered thousands jobless through downsizing and closure of offices and departments.

Therefore, tone down rhetoric, accept ground realities and adjust your policies and strategies accordingly.

 

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