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EDITORIAL: Even though there is the question of ‘ifs and buts’ engulfing the possibility of general election on time the political parties contending for power seem to have developed symptoms of fissures.

However, the question how these fissures will play out in days to come has no clear answer. May be these are just threats by disgruntled members of parties and may heal up with passage of time as is often the case. But these fissures can also widen and lead to the breakup of parties into factions or more factions.

The PML-(N) Senior Vice President, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, is reported to have resigned from the party office and is likely to be part of the newly- founded ‘Reimagining Pakistan Forum’.

He appears to have disputed the appointment of Maryam Nawaz as party’s chief electoral organiser; and he’s a strong supporter of Miftah Ismail who as finance minister was forced to vacate the office for Ishaq Dar.

Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has been restored to his former position as president of his party, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, as the Election Commission of Pakistan ditched his rival Pervez Elahi, who had outvoted his cousin at a ‘make-believe’ meeting of the party’s central working committee. The Pakistan People’s Party’s emerging ideologue, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, is not party’s senator since his comments about party structure didn’t sit well with the party high command.

He doesn’t say so in so many words but it is quite likely that in days to come his brainchild ‘Reimaging Pakistan Forum’ may shape itself into a political contender for state power. The MQM-P has locked its factions in an embrace with a view to regaining its dominance over the political landscape of urban Sindh.

As to what happens with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) following the court verdicts in cases against party chief Imran Khan (IK), there is a conjecture that post-IK aftermath is impregnated with power struggle between the leaderships from the south and north of the country. And Chaudhry Nisar Ali has decided to move out of his self-imposed isolation and contest the general election on more than one seat as independent candidate.

Be that as it may, the party leaderships, as they obtain in today’s Pakistan, have seriously undermined the generality’s right to be part of a truly democratic polity. The party structures as they exist today don’t brook debate and dissension that tend to question the leadership’s monopolistic mindsets.

So tight is the grip of party leaderships’ control that even the floor of parliament is no more an open field for members to speak their minds. Presently, the political party leaderships appear to be dictatorial insofar as their approach to politics is concerned.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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