Uphold national interests

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THOUGH nothing can be said with certainty about the final outcome of the on-going political tussle between the government and the joint opposition parties because of disrespect for principles and rules of the game by almost all sides, a number of developments clearly indicate that the dust generated by the no-confidence move has started settling down.

PPP and MPM-P have reached an agreement which has not only crystallized the situation further but would also go a long way in bridging the urban-rural divide in Sindh; BAP has reiterated its support for the opposition; there is serious split within the PML(Q) and the honourable judges hearing the presidential reference on Article-63A of the Constitution have remarked that apex court can interpret but cannot make a new defection law.

The National Assembly would start a debate on the motion of no-confidence during which the two sides are expected to make fiery speeches but given the fact that the polarization is touching dangerous levels, it is advisable that both the treasury and the opposition benches keep their arguments to bare facts, avoid acrimonious exchanges and tell the people how they want to proceed ahead to extricate the country out of the prevailing messy political and economic situation.

Irrespective of the fate of VONC, we must not lose sight of the fact that all have to live in this country and roles would keep on changing in future as well.

It is the duty and the responsibility of the politicians to tone down their rhetoric and keep interests of the country super-most in all circumstances.

Unfortunately, the on-going debate on the so-called ‘letter’ that has turned out to be a cable by a Pakistani diplomat is harming foreign policy interests of the country.

The attempts to link the cable to the existing political crisis are deplorable as such assessments are a routine by the diplomatic community.

It is the function of the ambassadors/diplomats to keep their governments informed of the issues that are taken up with the host governments, their sensitivities and what could be implications or consequences of some particular moves.

It is a fact that the powerful and influential countries keep on pressurizing smaller and aid-recipient countries to make them toe their lines on crucial regional and global issues.

It is an open secret that right from Z.A. Bhutto, who is considered to be founder of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, to Mian Nawaz Sharif (who went for nuclear blasts) faced immense pressure from the United States and some other Western countries to abandon the nuclear programme.

Similarly, there was opposition to development of Gwadar as deep seaport, launching of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative, strengthening of Pakistan’s ties with Beijing and Moscow and the country was squeezed on the issues of human rights, rights of minorities and extremism/terrorism.

This is not peculiar to Pakistan as this is done as part of the daily routine in the inter-state relations the world over.

Nowhere in the world, such issues are blown out of proportion because of the foreign policy intricacies and instead are sorted out in a cool and calculated manner.

No doubt, Prime Minister Imran Khan deserves credit for his bold and clear stance on some of the foreign policy issues that reflected aspirations of the people of Pakistan but it would be an exaggeration to allege that these form the basis for any foreign-funded conspiracy against his government.

It is all the more regrettable to link a true patriot like Mian Nawaz Sharif to such a conspiracy or its linkage to the process of vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister, which is a constitutional method to dislodge an elected government.

Two things make it quite apparent that the government wanted to exploit the so-called letter or cable to deflate pressure of the VONC.

There were repeated assertions by the government leaders that the Prime Minister would show his ‘trump card’ during his address to March 27 rally and now there is a proposition to share the confidential communication with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, prompting the opposition to say that it is clearly motivated by a desire to influence the outcome of the presidential reference in the apex court.

Sensitive foreign policy issues having a bearing on national security are neither highlighted in courts nor in Parliament and instead these should be discussed in forums like the National Security Committee, which is there for the same purpose.

 

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