Where is Parliament ?


DESPITE rejection of offer for dialogue by the opposition, the Government persists in repeating the proposal as Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Wednesday, said that his government never closed the door for talks with the opposition but the best forum for dialogue is Parliament. Talking to journalists at the Governor House Peshawar during a day-long visit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), he said there was no threat to his government and that he was not under any pressure due to the PDM’s campaign.
Of course, the Prime Minister might not be under pressure as he is known for putting up political fights but it is also a fact that continued tension and confrontation badly impacts upon the performance and delivery of the Government. People have seen this in the past and the same could happen once again to the bad luck of the masses that are waiting patiently for improvement in their socio-economic conditions. Though the opposition is, at the moment, not responsive to the idea of initiating a dialogue but the focus of the Government on the idea augurs well for the country and the proposal could evoke positive response from the opposition if a salutary environment is created for the purpose. No one would disagree with the Prime Minister that Parliament is the right forum for agitating issues and sorting them out but regrettably it has been rendered irrelevant due to extreme positions adopted by both sides. The Speaker, the Chairman Senate and influential figures of different political parties with deeper insight and mature understanding were in a position to media but unfortunately there is hardly an element of neutrality and all have become partisans in one way or the other. In the past, some friendly countries came forward and extended a helping hand in bringing warring sides to the negotiating table and striking a deal but such an opportunity is not available this time round due to some foreign policy blunders. Under these circumstances, there is need to assign greater and due importance to the platform of Parliament and this can happen if the Speaker and the Chairman are allowed to perform their roles in a non-partisan manner and witch-hunting of the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who is famed for his reconciliatory posture, and Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandivwalla is brought to an end.