The ongoing political crisis swept away parliament’s sanctity as politicians failed to settle the crisis in the highest law making forum in the country—parliament. The ideological polarized political parties’ leaders did not sit together outside the top courts and eventually it was the top judiciary that decide who win the elections and who is the new chief executive of the country’s largest populous province Punjab.
Parliament is ‘dead’. Long Live the Majlis-e-Shura!
Nobody, only the country’s politicians are responsible for the literal slow-death of the Upper House and the Lower House. All the political battles were contested outside the highest forum of the country—in the streets or more precisely in the courts only.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supremo and former prime minister Imran Khan accused coalition parties for all the ill-doings in the country. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif led coalition government comprising PPP, MQM, ANP, BNP and other, accused Imran Khan for everything wrong with the country from the possible economic ‘default’ to the intolerance among the political workers.
Political pundits opined that the political crisis turned legal because politicians were not sitting together to settle their political differences on electoral reforms, judicial reforms, overseas Pakistanis vote count, NAB amendments, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and accountability drive headway.
To understand the context, the PTI lawmakers resigned from the National Assembly when the new government led by Shehbaz Sharif came into power on April 9th.
The 100 days of the current government see no opposition and laughingly as commentators said, “This government has the minister for Opposition instead of Opposition Leader.”
Having said that, the crisis did not start here.
During the three and half years of the PTI from 2018 to their last day in power, the working relations of the government and the opposition did not exemplary but somehow things were working slowly and steady.
The opposition with resignations vacuumed the parliament and all the important law making became dysfunctional. The ruling coalition did amendments in the Nab and overseas Pakistanis voting but for electoral reforms, the country needs the opinion of all, means including the opposition party PTI, to settle the political debate once and for all.
As per the Tribune Wired Islamabad correspondent, the mature and senior politicians from all parties could melt the ice and the toxic atmosphere in the country could lower down.
The treasury and the opposition legislators inside and outside the parliament respectively said that they would not accept any unconstitutional move in the country.
As per the Pakistan Armed Forces spokesperson, DG ISPR Maj Gen Bbar Ifthikhar, in a press conference said that Pakistan would not see any other martial law.
If every big player agrees on one thing that whatever will be the future of the country, it must remain in the framework of the Constitution, then why do they all shy away from settling the mounting challenges and keep lingering it on.
What’s cooking behind Pakistan’s political crisis?
Some political commentators believed that the crisis was not there but it was created only for the appointment of the most powerful appointment in the country.
This may be debated.
But the conspiracy theories are many in the market that Imran Khan wanted to bring a COAS of his choice and the PMLN and PPP resisted it because they knew it occurred then they would get nothing and Imran Khan would get the two-third majority in the next general elections.
One thing is sure, the political space of the politicians to chalk out the policies of the country was diminishing as one after another, the political forces lost their ground in front of other state institutions.
But was it too objectionable? The answer is yes and no. It depends, from which lenses you see the problem.
The political pundits believe that the real crisis is behind the curtain and that it needs to be settled only within the constitutional framework.
The menace of terrorism has been diminishing in recent years and recently country’s powerful quarters broke dialogue with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to settle tribal war once and for all. And the ice has melted as TTP announced an indefinite truce. The reason to highlight this point is that there are challenges which are going on and need national attention for the better and prosperous future of the country. But we as a nation led by our politicians are failing out of parliament consciously.
The winning of 15 out of 20 bye-elections seats by PTI turned the tables in favour of the PTI, one of the largest political realities in the country, but it really annoyed the ruling coalition which fought in the court until it boycotted and accused the SC for having double standards for different parties.
After that, PTI and PMQ made government in Punjab as per the decision of the Supreme Court in favour of the Pervaiz Elahi.
National Assembly on July 26th passed a resolution to form a committee for judicial reforms as bar councils and associations of all provinces and SCBA urge government to clip the extraordinary powers of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
Despite the IMF Staff Level Agreement and assurances from the friendly countries, the local currency was not able to overcome the dominance of the US currency. Country’s finance minister claimed that the situation would be better in a few weeks, but the opposition believed that only free and fair general elections are the only solution right now to end the political crisis.
If this is the solution, then all the stakeholders must sit together and decide what needs to be done.