Analysts dub Zardari’s address in Parliament as ‘academic’

In Local
April 19, 2024



KARACHI:

Experts have dubbed President Asif Ali Zardari’s recent address to Parliament as “academic”, urging the government to translate rhetoric into tangible actions for political reconciliation and the cessation of polarization.

They contend that the prevailing political tumult only serves to bolster the incumbent regime; once anarchy subsides, so too will their grip on power.

Speaking on the talk show “Experts” broadcasted on Express News, Naveed Hussain, the Chief Editor of The Express Tribune, weighed in on the matter in response to moderator Dua Jamil’s question.

“Politicians frequently advocate reconciliation and the end of polarization while in power, only to adopt contrasting stances in the face of electoral setbacks,” Hussain remarked.

He raised concerns regarding the incumbent government’s hindrances to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) governance over three and a half years, citing Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s sit-ins, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s prolonged marches, and Shehbaz Sharif’s disruptive actions.

The senior journalist underscored that if the government genuinely sought reconciliation and the cessation of polarisation, it should have initiated measures post-election.

PTI’s electoral mandate was disregarded as other parties formed a coalition government, a move Hussain deemed as unjust and detrimental to democratic norms.

“You cannot simply expel a political party from the political landscape,” Hussain asserted, lamenting the lack of progress towards reconciliation by the government.

Hussain highlighted the ongoing legal challenges faced by Imran Khan, cautioning that further delays could jeopardise the efficacy of justice. He stressed the imperative for substantive governmental actions to alleviate political tensions, asserting that while parliamentary discourse is commendable, decisive action is imperative.

Reflecting on the past “grand reconciliation” under Musharraf’s tenure, Hussain pointed out the pardoning of numerous criminal cases, contrasting sharply with the current scenario where individual trials have tarnished Pakistan’s judiciary’s global standing.

Amir Ilyas Rana, the Bureau Chief of Express News in Islamabad, contended that the president consistently advocates reconciliation, regardless of his governmental status. Rana cited Zardari’s inclusive approach in Sindh, wherein opponents were absorbed into the PPP fold under the reconciliation banner.

Rana highlighted attempts by Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif to extend an economic pact to Imran Khan, which were rebuffed with allegations of malfeasance. He noted Khan’s fluctuating stance on reconciliation, juxtaposed with consistent criticism of military leadership.

Ayaz Khan, Group Editor of Daily Express, lauded Zardari’s reconciliation overtures, affirming PPP’s distinctively conciliatory stance. Khan said that a coalition government between PPP and PTI post-election could have averted Imran Khan’s current legal entanglements.

He said that Imran Khan might be avoiding reconciliation efforts to maintain the image of PTI as a revolutionary party aiming for countrywide change.

Faisal Husain, Karachi Bureau Chief for Express News, stressed the collective responsibility of the ruling elite to facilitate reconciliation, urging all parties to engage in constructive dialogue. He cautioned against political chaos, which he believes fortifies the incumbents’ hold on power.

Express News Bureau Chief in Lahore, Muhammad Ilyas, believes that once the government receives the green signal, reconciliation could occur within two or three hours rather than a day, with everyone participating.

He noted that reconciliation is crucial for effectively governing the country, and Zardari recognises this, hence his proposal for reconciliation.

Ilyas emphasised that the government can only function effectively if the party holding the people’s mandate collaborates. Additionally, he said that the largest party should seek reconciliation through dialogue.

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