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It can be plausibly argued that democracy in Pakistan has begun to take roots in a meaningful manner. The two developments that emerged yesterday on the country’s political landscape, which is unfortunately marred by growing uncertainty, say it all.

In other words, the situation clearly shows that these developments constitute a pointer that democracy has strengthened, albeit modestly, in the country. These are of course related to the heads of two different parties that, along with many others, took part in the Feb 8 2024 general election: Sirajul Haq, the emir of Jamaat-e-Islami, a party that was formed prior to the Partition of Pakistan and Jahangir Tareen, the chairman of Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP), a party that came into existence hardly months before the general elections held last week.

The emir of Jamaat-e-Islami Sirajul Haq has stepped down from his position of party’s emirship following his and his party candidates’ defeat in the Feb 8 general election. Insofar as the head of Isehkam-e-Pakistan (IPP) is concerned, not only has he resigned from his party post, he has also announced that he has quit politics altogether.

The two parties have shown dismal performances in the elections with two seats for IPP. The Jamaat’s was even worse as none of its candidates for National Assembly seats returned successful. It is however interesting to note that Jamaat, unlike IPP, has refused to accept the results of the elections.

Be that as it may, both Siraj and Tareen, in my view, deserve praise for taking responsibility for their parties’ defeat in the general election. No doubt, taking responsibility for your actions involves a lot of courage in view of the fact that by doing so you actually own up to the positive and negative consequences of your choices and decisions, rather than attributing them to external factors or others’ actions.

Shireen Safdar Butt (Rawalpindi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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