Wednesday 29, June 2022

Stability in Pakistan as against political turmoil

News Desk: After more than a week of the high political drama, the new prime minister of Pakistan was selected by the National Assembly on Monday. With 174 votes for Shehbaz Sharif and none against, he was elected as the 23rd Prime Minister of the country. While Imran Khan, the country's first prime minister was ousted by a vote of no-confidence. Khan's PTI announced resignations from parliament shortly before the vote was set to take place.

In a judgement, the Supreme Court declared the deputy speaker's ruling unconstitutional by which he had arbitrarily blocked the no-confidence vote on April 3 on the fabricated grounds of a "foreign conspiracy" aimed at ousting the government. Its unanimous judgement restored the National Assembly, illegally dissolved by President Arif Alvi on Khan's advice, and ordered the no-confidence vote to proceed uninterrupted. The judgement of the Supreme was democratically appropriate. Now for the politician make it work.

Although the resignations of PTI's members in parliament are yet to be formally received by the parliament, the fate of over 150 seats in the house has to be determined. It will be a wrong decision to resign parliamentary seats in protest against a valid democratic resolution of no-confidence.

Any allegation of army involvement in Pakistan is nothing new though bald or not. The dominance of army's role in politics divided Pakistan in collusion with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. It has to be explained why the agreement on six-point was suppressed and ruthless military operation was let loose on peaceful people of now Bangladesh. If politicians create obstacles to democracy there will not remain vacuum. In Pakistan, the army is a big factor.

For the outgoing prime minister Imran Khan's conspiracy theory is meaningless, he was removed from power democratically. It will not help him if he disrupts the democratic process for consolidating democracy.

Meanwhile, the newly-elected Prime Minister's first speech was a detailed explanation of how the new government would approach the economic and foreign policy issues the country is currently facing. He indicated that the government will look to repair the wounds from the recent foreign policy fiasco and cement old partnerships through working with all partners. He also announced a parliamentary probe into the "foreign conspiracy" to topple Imran Khan's government and offered to resign if there is a shred of evidence to prove the allegation.

About neighbours, he said, it is something we have to live with. "Unfortunately, our relations with India could not improve in the past." He added, "We want good relations with India, but peace cannot be discussed without resolution of the Kashmir issue. We will offer diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiri brothers and sisters and also bring up the matter at each global forum."

Realistically speaking, the situation currently looks bleak in Pakistan. Hopefully, the new prime minister sounds realistic. His most difficult task will be to put his own house in order. Save democracy and follow realistic foreign policy for internal stability.


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