Avoid the perilous course

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Reconciliation is a good choice, Mr Khan

While the institutions are slow moving, they are still capable of delivering. This is brought out by the decision of the ECP to finally allow PTI to examine the record of NA-122 Lahore, the constituency where Imran Khan lost to Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. The Islamabad High Court has meanwhile ordered the Deputy Commissioner to deploy magistrates at the sit-in venue to ensure that no innocent people or peaceful protesters are arrested, manhandled or assaulted by the police. The court had earlier ordered the release of over 650 protesters on bail who had been arrested for the violation of Section 144. This should lead the leaders of the PTI and PAT to review the line of action they are currently pursuing.

Imran Khan and Qadri must not forget that when the Parliament opposes the demand for the Prime Minister’s resignation, it is not out of love for Nawaz Sharif but a desire to shore up the political system. The opposition has in fact criticised the government’s policies and the arrogance of its ministers in strongest words. It has meanwhile called upon the Speaker not to accept the resignations of the PTI MNAs. What is more the Opposition has worked hard through its political jirga to resolve the differences between the two sides. There is under the circumstances a need on the part of the PTI and PAT to avoid the course of agitation and seek the redressal of their grievances through institutions, including the Parliament. The government meanwhile needs to show more flexibility in its approach to the protesters’ demands than it has done so far. What is more it must be extra careful while issuing public statements.

The PTI has to review its new policy of spreading the movement all over the country. The party has already kept the government on tenterhooks for five weeks causing economic losses and cancelation of visits by heads of foreign governments. Instead of seeking a Pyrrhic victory the protesting leaders should opt for reconciliation.

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