Political drama

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Politics in Pakistan does not lack drama in its truest form. Be it a military coup or giving a clean chit to the financially and politically guilty in one swoop, our political class has never failed to provide us with a fair share of amusement and tragedy. All major political parties have championed the cause of political rioting and affray in one way or another. While our nascent democracy cannot afford such trivialities, certain quarters seem hell bent on delivering the same.

Only the other day, Punjab Assembly saw what could only be termed as a total lack and disregard of democratic norms. The irony is it was done in the name of democracy. The PPP leaders requisitioned the provincial legislature’s session, but when the treasury benches did not show much interest in the proceedings, it had to be adjourned, before being prorogued. The Opposition boycotted the proceedings citing the government’s non serious attitude. Raja Riaz, the Opposition leader in the provincial assembly, is spot on for pointing out this blatant violation of rules of the House which require a minimum of 100 working days (the present assembly has met only for 32 days in the current year). But it is the disregard of standard democratic norms that calls for immediate attention.

Aside from the fact that it has left an undesirable dent on the political credence of the PPP leadership, it has hit the provincial kitty as well. The fact that no proceedings could take place makes the matters even worse. Instead of discussing important national and regional issues on the best possible platform, casting slurs on each other is what is associated with the House and its members. The members, being the mandated people’s representatives, are required to show more than their rumpus-creating abilities. The PPP is not a guilty party in Punjab Assembly alone: it also has a questionable record in the Sindh Assembly where it is seen in confrontation with its coalition partners.

While the legislature is the best platform to debate a wide range of topics, its sanctity should always be upheld keeping in mind simple yet effective democratic norms, such as discourse and debate instead of using foul language and staging walkouts.