- PM has a point
The defections stung, no doubt, but PML-N has handled the fallout about the province well enough. PM Abbasi made a valid point in Bahawalpur, after inaugurating the 45km National Highway-5 – which links Jalapur Pirawala with Uch Sharif areas of South Punjab and promises to win votes just where the dissenters are agitating. How long, after all, will the matter of new provinces keep springing up around election time and subside just after? It not only upsets the politics, as it has clearly done this time, but also hijacks the election debate, which is an insult to the people.
It makes a lot of sense therefore, just like the PM said, that political parties advocating new provinces should make it part of their manifesto and get together to achieve consensus after the election. It is not just south Punjab that has been raising this issue time and again, as the PM rightly noted. It has come up from KP, Sindh and Balochistan as well. Why not, then, make it part of the mainstream political discourse and settle it once and for all, rather than treat everybody to the same circus every time there’s an election?
It seems the PML-N finds itself in increasingly difficult waters as the elections approaches. There’s been the sad fate of Nawaz Sharif, the falling out of some of the old guard like Ch Nisar, and then there have been these defections. Yet some issues are more important than mere point scoring and resonate deeply with the people. The matter of provinces is one of them; which is why politicians are able to play with the people every time. Our sincere democrats should work to enable a conducive environment for this debate to be advanced in a democratic, not just vote-winning, manner.