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EDITORIAL: Amidst the prevailing disconcerting political instability the word ‘reconciliation’ frequently occurs in political discourse but calm discussion is rare.

Speaking at an event in Lahore on Sunday Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari recalled that President Asif Ali Zardari had sent a message of reconciliation to all politicians in his address to Parliament.

There is a need, he said, for dialogue instead of hatred and abuses, and alluding to the incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, (PTI) founder, Imran Khan, he added, “some politicians are not ready to see beyond their own person.”

The ruling PML-N’s stalwart Rana Sanaullah has also said that his party leader Mian Nawaz Sharif is ready for a grand dialogue with Khan, though the latter’s daughter Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz has dubbed the PTI as a terrorist party.

There are no two opinions on the need for addressing the political uncertainty, which is clouding economic recovery.

The IMF has expressed concern over it. Its latest staff report while noting that “downside risks remain exceptionally high” goes on to say, “While the new government has indicated its intention to continue SBA’s (Stand-By Arrangement’s) policies, political uncertainty remains significant.”

To be realistic, there is little the two major political parties, the PML-N and PPP in the present power-sharing arrangement, can do to resolve the situation arising out of self-inflicted delegitimisation of constitutional order and February 8 general elections.

The PTI refuses to talk with them, insisting instead it is ready to hold talks but only with the establishment, provided a suitable atmosphere is ensured, the mandate the people gave it in the elections is respected, and the cases against its workers and leader are withdrawn. If anyone had any doubts as to where the real power resides was removed by chief of the military’s media wing, the ISPR, Maj-Gen Ahmed Sharif, at a recent press conference. He had asserted that any dialogue with the PTI could happen only if it “earnestly apologises publicly in front of the nation” for the May 9 violence and promises to adopt “constructive politics” and forgoes its alleged “politics of anarchy.”

On its part, the PTI is not so wrong in demanding a judicial commission to probe the May 9 violence so as to establish the truth behind that fateful event.

The standoff must come to an end. Exacerbating tensions will only serve the interests of Pakistan’s adversaries.

For the good of its people both sides need to take a step back and let bygones be bygones. Former president and PTI leader Arif Alvi, known for his cool-headed approach to difficult issues, is believed to have been tasked by Imran Khan to initiate talks with the powers that be.

The other day, Alvi held a presser where he made the sensible argument that solution to any problem lies in dialogue. He called for reconciliation through dialogue and forgiveness by “both sides”. Earlier as president, too, he had tried to resolve the conflict, albeit unsuccessfully. Hopefully, this time he will succeed in swinging things in a positive direction.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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KU May 15, 2024 01:12pm
Political instability is also due to wholesale corruption in all sectors, delayed justice and dangerous lynching based justice for power. Our discourse has become a joke among international media.
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