PPP’s only option | Pakistan Today

PPP’s only option

No reason good enough to delay elections
Hopefully the elections would be held on time. Rumors meanwhile are afloat regarding the PPP planning to postpone them for a year. Of course, the ruling party can extend its tenure for another year provided it can get it approved from the parliament. Any move of the sort would however meet with stiff resistance from the opposition which had foiled attempts by the MQM in early August for an APC as it smelt a rat in the move.
The PPP must be feeling uneasy about the IRI’s opinion survey showing a steep decline in its rankings. President Zardari, we are told, is keen to get himself re-elected in September 2013 from the present assemblies. He also wants to retrieve his pledge to create a Seraiki province before the polls. The government might be hoping that delay in elections would give it time to deal with the uproar in interior Sindh caused by the Sindh People’s Local Government Law. But these considerations do not justify the postponement.
The PPP and its allies presently enjoy majority in both houses of the parliament. Theoretically, therefore, the PPP can get a resolution passed if all allies are united over the issue. It will however have to defend the stand by giving plausible reasons. Pakistan is steadily moving towards improvement of ties with India, and there is thus no threat on the eastern border. Despite its off and on statements regarding militant sanctuaries in Pakistan, neither the US-led NATO nor Afghan army is going to attack Pakistan. Of course, the law and order situation remains unsatisfactory. But this too though has improved during the last one year. There has been no major militant attack in Punjab or Sindh and in the KP there has been a considerable decline in terrorist attacks. In Balochistan, the Hazara community continues to be targeted but there has been notable a reduction in the scale of the attacks. The evidence on the ground would debunk any argument regarding law and order situation standing in the way of holding elections.
In case the government was to move the parliament to seek delay in the elections, it would be challenged by the opposition, the media and possibly the courts. The PML-N is meditating on resigning from the assemblies to force the PPP to hold the elections on time. Imran Khan has hinted at taking the next march to Islamabad. The issue is sure to land in the Supreme Court, as most political disputes do these days, where it would be difficult to defend the rationale for the postponement. The strife is unlikely to improve the electoral prospects of the PPP and its coalition partners. The PPP is about to complete its five-year tenure. The best option for the party is to face the electorate now.

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