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EDITORIAL: Moving a vote of no-confidence against a prime minister is as much democratic as his election following the confidence the elected house reposes in him. On both occasions tensions build up, but these tensions are expected to remain within the ambit of their co-existence as stakeholders to the common cause of democratic politics.

Unfortunately, however, that does not appear to be the case during the run-up to the vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Imran Khan. Presently, a kind of do-or-die battle has been joined by the movers of no-confidence vote and the defenders of the prime minister. All kinds of threats are being hurled at the opponents and weapons of war being flashed.

For instance, the president of the anti-government Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s ‘militia’ stormed the Parliamentary Lodges, claiming they had landed there with a view to forestalling the likely abductions of JUI-F’s members of National Assembly. Prime Minister Imran Khan reacted by asking the regional PTI leaders to bring one million supporters to Islamabad’s D-Chowk to put up a power show on the eve of no-confidence vote session of National Assembly.

To this while PDM chief has responded by asking his party workers to “be ready to reach Islamabad as soon as they are summoned” PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal threatened to hold a power show on the Constitution Avenue on the very day of the vote on the no-confidence resolution.

And in between while PM’s Advisor Babar Awan wants to “crush” the opposition’s motion, PM’s Special Assistant Shahbaz Gill has said that the pictures of ‘traitors’ will be displayed across the country. Moreover, federal minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan has expressed his desire to become a ‘suicide-bomber’ in defence of prime minister Imran Khan. All of this is in the open. However, the question whether or not there has been sale and purchase of voters has no clear answer, although the prime minister has sharpened his attack on the opposition parties by claiming that the price of a vote could be as high as Rs20 million.

It is important to note that although democracy stands for rule by the majority, it is rooted in the belief that kingpin in that is the individual voter who casts vote in line with the call of his or her conscience. No wonder then that electoral activities come to a halt as soon as ‘silence period’ begins. It is needless to say that every ‘silence period’ starts 48 hours prior to voting day and ends after polling ends. But what to do if a democratically-elected prime minister wants to hold a ‘power show’ in front of the parliament on the eve of start of the session. Hopefully, the political leaderships on both sides of the divide would be required to rethink their bellicose mindsets and let the no-confidence process take place strictly in accordance with the letter and spirit of constitution.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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