PM must act to end stand-off

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PM must act to end stand-off

Showing flexibility

 

The Chief Justice has directed the government to form a more powerful judicial commission. Setting aside the ToRs suggested by the government, he has directed it to revise them with the implication that this is to be done by taking the critics on board. The army doesn’t want the crisis to go out of hands because this would have a negative impact on the country’s security by taking away the army’s and the government’s attention from the implementation of NAP and the ongoing combing operation.

 

One expects that both the government and opposition would now hold fire, particularly silencing their loose guns that have achieved little other than vitiating the political atmosphere. Imran Khan’s confession that he too had bought his London apartment in the name of an offshore company to avoid payment of taxes should encourage other politicians from both sides to come clean. After the confession there is also a need on the part of the PTI chief to display a modicum of humility instead of continuing to present himself as a paragon of rectitude.

 

All eyes are now riveted on the prime minister as he delivers his address in the National Assembly, hopefully followed by a similar exercise in the Senate. One expects Nawaz Sharif to play the leading role in ending the ongoing standoff. The least he is supposed to do is to show readiness to hold talks with the opposition to reduce tensions. The government had earlier hinted at holding delegation level talks with the opposition. The parleys should be centred on two issues. First: the formation of an independent and powerful judicial commission through fresh legislation. Second: formulation of ToRs jointly by the government and the opposition. The talks can succeed only if both sides are willing to show flexibility. The answer to the opposition’s seven questions must come during the judicial commission’s proceedings. The parliament, however, should not be used to initiate another long-drawn-out Warren Hastings style of trial.