One swallow does not a summer make. But with the winter of political discontent having continued for so long, even the slightest thawing of ice is a sight for sore eyes.
The initiative for rapprochement between the PDM and the PTI comes from an unlikely source: the Jamaat-e-Islami. Say what you will about the party – and many, rightly, do – the party does hit the sweet spot of relevance to be undertaking such an initiative. It has gotten a long enough history to be prominent and, in fact, has been political allies of both the PTI and the League. The former, during the 2013-18 government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the latter, during the IJI days. But on the flipside, the JI is also a bit irrelevant enough to threaten any of the parties politically. Yes, it might rouse a rabble during the local elections in Karachi, but that’s about it; it’s never winning even those, unless the tectonic plates shift considerably.
The PTI has officially listed a three-member committee to negotiate with the PDM. Amongst them, Ejaz Chaudhry, the PTI’s Punjab president, the majority of whose political career was with the Jamaat itself; in fact he is the son-in-law of the party’s second Ameer, the late Mian Tufail. It is, therefore, assumed that the more mercurial side of the equation, the PTI, will take the negotiations seriously.
Meanwhile, neither side is toning down the rhetoric of their other members. Perhaps, the PDM, being in government, shouldn’t respond in kind. It is one thing for, say, Fawad Chauhdry to make a saber-rattling statement, but quite another for Rana Sanaullah, the sitting interior minister, to do the same.
Both sides, specially the government, need to throw in some statements that inspire confidence. And it is tue government, not the PTI, that currently threatens to scuttle the democratic process altogether by delaying the electoral process itself, by citing the flimsiest of reasons.
The country certainly cannot afford more of the limbo that it is going through.