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Time to have a functioning link

By Sardar Khan Niazi

The PTI rivals have started protests against the persistent rise in prices. Despite PM assurance to bring down prices, the PTI spokespersons term inflation as a global spectacle.

The opposition leaders say there is no alternative to ousting the current government through a movement to get rid of PTI’s “misrule” and “restore” people’s rights and democracy through a credible election.

A never-ending confrontation between the government and the opposition is damaging Pakistan’s image abroad. Pakistan is plagued with acute energy shortages, currency devaluation, etc. however, a number of parliamentarians belonging to the government and opposition continue to act like a bull in the China shop, taking recourse to unsavory language that violates democratic practices.

Whatever policies a ruling party has devised for the welfare of the people and the good of the country require legislation. The PTI does not have the numerical strength in the Senate to get the laws passed without the support of the opposition. Unless there are working relations between the ruling party and the opposition, the government cannot implement its program and fulfill the promises made to the voters.

Some of the more mature leaders from the government and the opposition are gradually realizing that there is a need to strengthen the political system instead of undermining it through irresponsible behavior. Can they persuade their leaders of the importance of bolstering the system?

Dissent, as long as it is not violent, does, after all, have a place in a healthy, growing democracy, and haven’t all the political parties learned after all the conflicts they have been through that no matter how long anybody fights, eventually one has to sit and talk it out?

Political leaders need a less hostile and more mature way of handling problems. There is a reason to believe that once serious negotiations take place, genuine grievances can be addressed and false perceptions quickly corrected. Every political party should think very carefully before blowing unnecessary steam. All sides must look to advance the process, not retard it.

With no distinct plan in view, the opposition parties, after being pushed around for a long period of time got together to evolve a combined line of attack to take on the government.  They appear to have no other purpose than the common goal to evade the ongoing accountability process.

This heterogeneous group of political stalwarts who never thought of masses when they enjoyed their governance, now pretending as opposition say ‘we want to topple the government but not harm democracy’.  It sounds hilarious. They have on other occasions, demonstrated that these slogans mean nothing but a promotion of a personal cause, of course, different for every party.

Some of the members of opposition parties comprising PDM recommended extreme measures to generate a situation that can lead to crisis, which can ultimately result in a fresh round of elections. On the other hand, a few others were in favor of a gradual building of pressure. The proposal was also given that the opposition parliamentarians should tender mass resignations and the workers of the parties would lock down the federal capital, however, it was rejected as being impulsive and untimely.

As an alternative, the opposition parties decided that they would rather undertake the mission to lay bare the government’s policies both inside and outside the Parliament.

Despite opposition parties’ unwelcome hullabaloo, there is an urgent need that the government should also abandon its inflexible and dogged stand against them that consequently is making the government a hostage to its unprincipled friends.

The PTI can have a more peaceful term of government if it cultivates normal working relations with the opposition. This is the only way to repair the country’s damaged image.

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