By Shaikh Moazzam Khan
Amid the looming threat of Covid-19 pandemic, opposition parties are lining up for the political and constitutional crisis in this country, which the country can’t afford at the moment. After holding rallies across the country despite repeated warnings from government and doctors, opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement known as PDM is now going on long march to Islamabad seeking outset of incumbent government including Prime Minister Imran Khan. To accomplish their objective, the PDM is going all out by using all the means including resignations from the assemblies, a move which will create severe constitutional crisis in the country. The PDM’s head Molana Fazal ur Rehman asked all 11 parties of the movement to submit their resignation by 31 December after that these resignation will be given to the speakers of national and provincial assemblies.
This is very unfortunate attitude of opposition parties especially when it comes to the parliamentary business of the country. Resigning from the membership of assemblies will halt functioning of the governance in this country and hindered economic progress. This is not the right time for politics. The PDM must realize that human lives are more important than doing politics. The opposition parties must come out the support the government at this moment of national unity. Resigning from the assemblies and long march to Islamabad will further create chaos and anarchy in the country. If opposition doesn’t want to see Imran Khan as premier, then it must go for constitutional options instead of using street power.
If opposition feels that Prime Minister has lost the trust of nation and parliament, they should bring vote of no confidence motion in the National Assembly. That is the only way out for constitutional crisis. If it failed to get vote of no confidence passed, they should wait till 2023 when next general elections will take place. Let the people of the country decide about the political fate. People are the best judge and they will overthrow the government if they think it has failed to deliver. By making political statements, using anti-Army and establishment rhetoric, naming military and spy chief for political engineering will create civil-military rift in this country. This will create doubts in the mind of general masses about the integrity of armed forces who are already fighting against invisible enemy to save our children’s future. They shouldn’t treated like this. Opposition has to be very careful when it comes to naming military’s top brass.
As far as senate elections are concerned, there is constitutional way out for holding elections. Government’s announcement to hold elections one month early is not a big deal. There is a space in the constitution where it is written that government can hold elections a few weeks earlier than actual date. Past three to four elections of upper house have taken place 4 weeks earlier than actual date. So, why opposition is creating misunderstanding regarding the elections? This is beyond someone’s imagination. The unfortunate scene here is that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) who is part of PDM and agreed upon resigning from the assemblies. This kind of attitude one cannot expect from a political party whose roots are deeper in restoring the democracy in this country. The two head of this party given their lives while fighting for the revival of democratic system in this country.
PPP’s announcement to join hands with the other PDM parties come as a surprise to many democrats. I think in my view, PPP must think about its decision and approach towards incumbent government and democratic set up. They should talk to government if they have legitimate concerns. Any other mean to outset the government may have dark effects on the democratic set up. The PDM should participate in government briefings and must take part in the senate elections. They shouldn’t let non-democratic forces to derail the democracy in the country. Government has the right to hold elections few weeks earlier than actual date.
Likewise, opposition must convey its concerns to the government through democratic means. They must not let someone else to decide about the political future of this country. The opposition must also support government at crucial stage when entire country is facing health issues due to the pandemic.