End of a crisis? A time for restraint


After Prime Minister Gilanis speech and the adjournment by the Supreme Court of the related suo motu case, the crisis caused by the standoff between the two sides is hopefully defused. The story about the dismissal of the Supreme Court judges, avowedly through an impending executive order, was bound to create a countrywide sensation leading to a standoff between the government and judiciary and adding to the sense of uncertainty which is as much harmful for the countrys economy as it is for its political system. The out-of-this-world news forced 17 judges of the Supreme Court to meet at an ungodly hour to try to counter a move which we are now told by the government was never on the cards. What the prime minister said in his speech should lead both institutions to pay full attention to their routine work.

What is needed, meanwhile, is for the committee appointed by the prime minister to pinpoint who exactly provided grist to the rumour mills. The enquiry committee comprises experienced media persons and government functionaries dealing with media affairs and one expects it to reach to the bottom of the matter. The media in Pakistan is generally conscious of its responsibilities. It is, therefore, all the more needed on its part to double check the veracity of any news item that has the potential to act like a spark that puts the prairie on fire.

The government too needs to set its house in order. Unintended interpretations are likely to be given to words of government leaders otherwise known for their careful use of vocabulary unless they discipline some of the loose canons around them. The country faces serious problems that need to be urgently addressed. There should be no place under the circumstances for irresponsible talk or action. The government has to realize that numerous solemn promises made by it with deadlines have passed but still remain to be fulfilled. Similarly concrete action should have been urgently taken to carry out Supreme Court orders regarding the removal of government officials who benefited from the defunct NRO. There is a need meanwhile on the part of the opposition to avoid adding fuel to the fire for short time gains.