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A persistent political crisis in Pakistan

A persistent political crisis in Pakistan


The PTI-Imran Khan saga

Imran Khan and his PTI party have been in the news all week. On May 15, the Islamabad High Court approved Khan's bail application in the Al-Qadir trust case. Despite the relief brought in this case, he will remain incarcerated for the numerous other cases in which the former prime minister has been convicted. Meanwhile, his party changed its mind about negotiations with other parties, first saying they wouldn't talk to anyone, then saying they would only talk to real power, and finally, most recently, The PTI demanded that the charges against its members be dropped. withdrawn and all its political prisoners released.

Dawn (May 16) places the responsibility for resolution on both sides, saying: In a democracy, negotiations are a fundamental process for resolving conflicts and reaching consensus. However, entering into negotiations with rigid preconditions undermines the process. That said, the government, which has the upper hand, must take the lead and initiate dialogue to ease tensions.

News International (May 17) criticizes parties for ignoring the interests of the people, saying: At a time when the entire country is reeling from an intense heatwave, when it has become extremely difficult for people to pay their electricity and other utility bills, the PTI wants more. political drama… It would be better if all political parties came together, developed a consensus on the current crisis, ensured free and fair elections next time and took the country out of the mess it currently finds itself in.

Three months after the elections, instability persists

The Supreme Court has overturned the decision of the Peshawar High Court which had denied 77 seats reserved for the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) and instead allocated them to other political parties. With the PTI-backed SIC gaining seats, the ruling PPP-PML(N) coalition lost its 2/3 majority as well as any constitutional amendment power, leading to a new political crisis.

Express Tribune (May 15) condemns the role of the ECP in this saga pointing out that this episode has exposed the executive authoritarianism of the electoral monitoring body which has continued to push the PTI to the wall and does not ceded any of the privileges that the PTI -The nomenclature of the Sunni Ittehad Council would have obtained by law.

Dawn (May 15) agrees with the same saying: although he was equipped with all the powers he needed to responsibly lead the country towards a democratic transition, he could only manage one election which failed to keep its promise to be free, fair and impartial. and inclusive.

Protests in PoK

Last week, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir witnessed protests called by the Awami Action Committee (AAC) against soaring electricity bills and taxes. Unfortunately, there was a loss of life, both among those responsible and among the demonstrators. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took responsibility and expressed his regret over this discontent. Kashmir Prime Minister Chaudhry Anwarul Haq called for a peaceful resolution.

News International (May 14) welcomed this swift action by stakeholders saying it was good to see the Prime Minister's political advisor and senior PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah admitting that the government had mishandled the situation in Kashmir. From President Asif Ali Zardari to Prime Minister Shehbaz and other political actors, all have made responsible statements and asked for restraint while trying to find a solution to these demands.

The Nation (May 15), after praising the government, asked why the situation had deteriorated to this point. Speaking about the broader consequences of incidents like this, the editorial also said: Crises like these not only have domestic implications, but are used by international entities like India to spread propaganda against Pakistan and undermine unrelated causes like the Kashmir conflict on the international stage. Maintaining stability is not only crucial for internal cohesion, but also to safeguard our global image and perception.

A comforting game

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, an annual international men's field hockey tournament held in Malaysia, concluded on May 11 this year. In the final, Japan defeated Pakistan on penalties after the match ended in a draw. The media praised the team as the Greenshirts reached the final after a 13-year gap.

According to the Daily Times (May 12), Pakistan deserves all the appreciation in the world for daring to dream big for a sport that no one else was in the mood to make fun of. However, drawing attention to the lack of support and infrastructure from the government, he adds: For years, the miserable hockey federation has been in the doldrums… Its absence has been so atrocious that a simple promise of award to the national team drew scathing criticism. criticism from former players, who wanted the federation to first settle pending player dues and salaries of its staff.

Express Tribune (May 13) reiterates the same saying: The momentum gained at the Azlan Shah Cup should not be wasted. While the current unity of hockey must be encouraged through awards, prizes and better facilities, the hockey czars in the country must do everything possible to popularize and patronize this national sport.

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