It is quite clear that the caretaker government’s effort aimed at “clarifying” prime Anwaarul Haq’s remarks that “fair elections” were possible without Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman by stating that the PM’s remarks had been misunderstood and misreported is not likely to gain traction because of a variety of reasons.

Firstly, the prime minister had also stated that thousands of PTI members, who were not a part of “unlawful activities”, “will be running the political process” and “participating in the elections”. There was no ambiguity or lack of clarity in his remarks for he was of the view that the country could still have a free and fair general election without Imran Khan.

However, it was yesterday the ministry of information said that the PTI and its leaders were free to participate in the elections like any other party. According to the ministry, “It has been clarified that there is no impediment to contesting elections by any leader of PTI or the party as a whole.”

Not only have prime minister’s remarks attracted censure by PTI, these were also assailed by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) for all the right reasons. The question is why the prime minister is less charitable towards PTI. Why is his overt belligerence growing by the day? One of the reasons behind his growing hostility towards country’s largest political party is the May 9 violence.

Little does, however, he know that his talks or interviews must not display his hatred or reservations for PTI in view of the fact that he’s always required to show neutrality at all cost by ensuring a level playing field for every contestant in the elections.

It is quite unfortunate that he is too often showing lack of judgment and discretion. He must act with a high degree of care and prudence at all times.

Shahid Nasrullah (Quetta)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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