Imran Khan and opposition | Pakistan Today

Imran Khan and opposition

Can democracy endure no-holds barred fights?
While both the government and opposition bear the responsibility for strengthening the system, the party in power has to go the extra mile because it is the first to suffer if the applecart is upset. The Prime Minister has to play a major role to ensure that the lines of communication with the opposition are maintained to keep differences within manageable limits. The opposition parties who pride themselves on having mature parliamentarians in their leadership also need to ensure that the fight against the government is not taken to the point of no return.
Confident that he has the support of those who matter and buoyed up by pleasing reports presented by sycophants that gather around every PM, a sanctimonious Imran Khan is not willing to talk to the opposition even if this requires bypassing the constitutional provisions. This is precisely what has happened in the case of the replacement of two retiring members of the ECP. The first step towards the nomination of the new members, according to Article 213 (2-A), is consultation between the PM and the leader of the opposition in the NA. The PM has consistently avoided any direct communication with the leader of the opposition and is unwilling now to fulfil a constitutional obligation.
The PTI has raised the bogey of the opposition allegedly seeking an NRO from the government despite the knowledge that the government does not have powers to stop the ongoing trials. No PPP leader -has yet been sentenced by a court while the PML-N leaders have not exhausted their rights to appeal in cases where they have been sentenced. Opposition leaders have opted to fight their cases and hope to be honourably exonerated by the courts. The cases are likely to take years before they are finally concluded. The President has no doubt the power to grant pardon for any sentence passed by any court. PM Imran Khan can very well attend the NA sessions and interact with the opposition leaders and still refuse to advise President Arif Alvi, if he is still the President and he the PM, to grant the pardon. Right now, he should interact with the opposition despite differences as is the practice in democracies.



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