By Sardar Khan Niazi
Despite parliamentary democracy, the political governance of the country is facing innumerable ills. It shows a wide array of confrontation, competition, and control of state institutions and resources by the party in power.
This trend of politics has tremendously weakened the formal accountability mechanisms and put governance in crisis.
The role of protests, politics of repression, escalating political confrontation, a boycott of the national Parliament, and serious challenges of law and order, has left political observers wondering if there is any solution to the state of crisis the country is witnessing these days.
Deep political divisions drive popular unrest. If political leaders continue to deepen these divisions, the county can chart a path toward healing its divisive politics.
Certain developments have set the stage for a confrontation between the government and the opposition. This has opened the door to political instability, putting at risk the country’s economic recovery.
As rumor has it, a recently leaked audio recording relating to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) emerged two days ago of Mr. Shehbaz Sharif talking about the appointment of his special assistants.
In this latest leaked audio, an unknown person is most probably telling the Prime Minister that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq has said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is asking for a share in the selected Special Assistants to the Prime Minister (SAPM).
A second voice, ostensibly that of Prime Minister Shehbaz, answers that PPP co-chair Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has talked to him about the matter. The unknown person answers back by saying, “we have to appoint Zafar Mahmood and Jahanzaib saheb.” “I will tell you the final number today, Sir,” he adds.
In reply, the supposed voice of Shehbaz can be heard asking the person to “share the document”. “It’s not just the Peoples Party. There are others,” he says. The unknown man says that the “JUI and MQM will ask for it too”.
“In the MQM there is a man named Malik Ahmed Ali. They are saying he had a critical role in reaching a deal with them,” he adds. The ostensible voice of the Prime Minister asks who he is talking about, to which the first voice states that “Ali is from Karachi”.
The PTI chief Imran Khan has expressed concerns over a series of audio leaks, purportedly from both the PM House and the PM Secretariat. The secure line of Imran Khan at his residence was kept under surveillance as well. A small number of persons can find fault with the PTI chief’s concerns.
These are very genuine concerns. If such sensitive data can be kept under surveillance from what is supposed to be the highest office in the land, one wonders how vulnerable the rest of our official sensitive government correspondence will be.
When Imran Khan speaks of his own tenure, by insinuation, he also condemns the leaks from the office of his successor as well. The PDM government also should stop rejoicing every time audio of the former ruling party becomes public. Politicians need to comprehend that they all can confront this situation. What was the need of recording them after all?
The need of the hour is for there to be a consensus against such illicit practices and for any political not to take such developments lying down. The tactics of the ruling leadership to drag Imran Khan into different cases are not good. Everyone has the right to speak.
All the political parties forming the PDM government need to act maturely in the best interest of the country. Politics is for welfare not for warfare. The deterioration starts at the top and filters down to all levels of society. Hence the time for wisdom.