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EDITORIAL: First things first, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has a struggle trying to force or persuade the incumbent Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government to call immediate or snap general elections, but he’s determined not to give up.

Speaking from Shaukat Khanum Hospital yesterday, a day after he was shot at and injured in Wazirabad during his party’s long march, he declared that “as soon as I’m better, I’ll be back on the streets.”

In other words, an embittered but valiant Imran Khan is profoundly clear and loud about his current stance as well as future plans. Be that as it may, at a time of great uncertainty, it is a big relief that former prime minister Imran Khan, along with other party members injured in Thursday’s attack, is well and recovering.

The government, especially the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) administration in Punjab, must make sure that the family of the innocent bystander that got killed in front of his children, only because he also tried to intercept the attacker, is adequately compensated.

Now all attention must turn towards answering a few crucial questions. And since PTI is the target as well as the victim just when it holds the provincial government in Punjab, which is where the attack took place, there should be no fear of a delayed start. That is why it is surprising that it is taking this long to file an FIR and get the ball rolling.

It is also very important to keep grief and anger from turning into violence. There are reports of police cracking down on protesters in several cities, which is not good for anybody as people are arrested, roads are blocked, businesses suffer and so on.

So, while PTI must display responsibility expected of the country’s most popular party and urge its enraged followers to exercise restraint, both Punjab and federal governments must waste no time in conducting extensive investigations into the incident. They must also note that stunts like releasing videos of the attacker, cause yet more uncertainty, only necessitate more inquiries in what is already a very complicated situation.

There can also be no doubt that certain matters will land on the judiciary’s lap sooner rather than later. What to do about the executive, for example, when Imran Khan has directly named the sitting prime minister and interior minister as responsible, along with a very senior army officer? You wouldn’t expect someone in his position to make something like this up, so another can of worms is bound to open whenever he presents his evidence and sources to the court. If such things are not handled in strict adherence with the law their fallout will aggravate the confrontation that is building between PTI and the establishment.

Of course it’s not just the country’s politics that has been plunged into chaos by the assassination attempt on Imran Khan. The markets are also tumbling. If more protests turn ugly and roads remain blocked much longer, what little investment is still coming into the country will also go away.

Let’s not forget that we are still in the middle of painful yet necessary IMF bailout programme, and this year’s record floods devastated land, lives and GDP when we were most vulnerable to unexpected shocks.

This thing will not settle till a transparent investigation report is out, needless to say, which is why it is disappointing that the Punjab and central government don’t seem in much of a mood to cooperate.

They are still fussing about the make-up of the joint investigation team (JIT) or teams, or whether they will investigate together or separately. And since one of the first things PTI leaders demanded after their first post-operation meeting with Imran Khan was the removal of the Punjab IG police, it seems there is some unease within the party, and in the alliance with PML-Q, as well.

All this goes to show, yet again, that the country needs clear political direction more than anything else. Therefore, it cannot be stressed enough that unless a clear roadmap for a general election is presented quickly, things will not begin to fall into place; even after the inquiry into the attack on the PTI leadership. Whichever forces stand in the way of the election will have only themselves to blame for the deepening turmoil that will follow.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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KUKhan Nov 05, 2022 12:04pm
History revisited, ''…… began with people's frustration with the king and his inability to deal with declining living conditions, the country's terrible financial situation, food shortages, and certain religious intolerances…… people became more resentful of the power of the privileged few, they decided to take action to overthrow the monarchy and install a new government that would be based on a constitution and in which representatives of the people would run the country…….the wave of revolutionary fervor and widespread hysteria quickly swept the entire country…….revolting against years of exploitation, peasants looted and burned the homes of tax collectors, landlords, and the aristocratic elite''. (The French Revolution 1787-1799)
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Fahad Nov 06, 2022 01:21am
@KUKhan, it starts with people making babies like rabbit and then want govt to feed them . Every year adding 4 million more poor people
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Abdullah Nov 06, 2022 01:55am
@KUKhan, but here all of them are looters and imran turned out to be the biggest looter of all of them as he not only looted but also played with emotion of innocent pakistanis.
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