Calling the final shot


Former prime minister Imran Khan’s annouCalling the final shot
ncement at his party’s much-trumpeted long march in Rawalpindi last week has moved many a head and took many others among the ruling alliance at the center by surprise, forcing them to scramble to save the provincial assemblies of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces, where the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is in power, from being dissolved at the fag end of the existing assemblies.
Observers say that Imran Khan’s decision is a very expensive political gamble, which is intended to influence holding of early elections in the country, a point where the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an umbrella organization of at least 14 parties, differs with the former premier and has sit down to weigh its legal, constitutional and political options find a way to counter Imran Khan’s political trick. One such pre-emptive action could the imposition of governor’s rule in the two provinces, which is certainly not the only or the last option to restore political stability to the country.
Meanwhile, the assumption of army’s command by the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Asim Munir, has also buried the discourse surrounding the high-profile appointment. As things stand at present, the PTI’s move has lost its importance. A date for snap polls is the last animus between the ruling coalition and Imran Khan, when seems to be the last point around which the later wants to spin his new strategy, thereby calling the fresh polls a panacea for all ills.
At the peak of his party’s power show in Rawalpindi, the former premier did not fall short of hurling a warning to the government to hold early and transparent polls and let the change come through the power of vote or the situation would slip out of control if polls were delayed any further.
Imran Khan is the first former premier of the country, who has been removed from the power corridors through a vote of no confidence in the parliament. It is sad to note that no prime minister in Pakistan has ever completed a full term in office.
For many, Imran Khan’s move after losing power and that of the PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, when he was ousted from the government, would go to a great length to press the demand for holding early general elections. Others deem it as a political gamble and destructive move that will waste public resources and undermine the spirit of democratic system.
Moreover, if the PTI chief goes ahead with his stated position, around 563 seats across the country will fall vacant and as per the law the election commission would be compelled to hold fresh elections on the vacant seats.
To save the worst scenario, the PDM is planning to counter the PTI and move a no confidence motion against the Punjab chief minister and impose Governor’s Raj for KP. The PDM alliance has been left with only these two options. Whether or not the snap polls are held as is demanded by the PTI, the country’s fragile economy cannot afford to wastage of precious resources on going to the by-polls or later year to the general elections in the coming year. The political leadership will have to find a way out of the imbroglio to take forward the country in the most difficult times in the country’s history.