Cancel planned gatherings outside Parliament

Govt should take first step

Prime Minister Imran Khan made false promises to the allies to get their help to come to power. After waiting for well over three years for the fulfilment of the pledges, the allies are now holding daily meetings with the opposition. The PTI dissidents, led by erstwhile loyalists who believe they too have been betrayed by the leadership, are in open rebellion.The establishment which helped Mr Khan build a house of cards is no more willing to take responsibility for his reckless policies. As Interior Minister Sh Rashid Ahmad has put it, the‘Umpire’ stands with no one but Pakistan. Knowing that he has lost his majority in the National Assembly, a fact noted by Punjab Speaker Ch Pervez Elahi also, Mr Khan has decided to violate the rules of game. Instead of defending himself in Parliament as required by the Constitution, he has taken the battle from Parliament to the streets. He is being egged on by some of his irresponsible ministers and advisers to follow the path which can create chaotic conditions in the country.

The only way out of the crisis is for Mr Khan to let the National Assembly decide his fate without exerting any external pressure. As PML(Q) chief Ch Shujaat Hussain put it, it is not the government’s job to hold public meetings and rallies. Bringing “one million people” outside Parliament House to threaten those proceeding to support the no confidence vote is a gross violation of the rules of game and an invitation to the opposition to make a counter move. There would be no need to grant special powers to Frontier Constabulary, Rangers and police to take over the security of Islamabad from March 20 to April 2 once Imran Khan announces the cancellation of the PTI’s moot followed by the PDM doing the same.

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The Interior Minister further said that those violating Article 63A of the Constitution would be disqualified from voting on the no-trust motion. No voter can be stopped from voting, let alone disqualified, on the basis of his intention. The proper way is to let the voting take place without external pressures and pursue any case of defection according to the rules which require the Speaker to send the member’s case to the ECP to decide his or her fate.

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The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]

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