Political reconciliation vital for conducive environment, revival of economy ahead of general election

PESHAWAR, Jan 29 (APP):Known as the best governance system in the world, democracy provides an inclusive mechanism for the resolution of socioeconomic and political issues through evolving of broad based political reconciliation among all the relevant stakeholders to anchor the ship of democracy to the safe shores.

Analysts said that a permanent political divide with no channel of communication and intolerance in society would further retards the political and economic development besides widening the economic gap between the influentials and underprivileged class.

They said that if the trend of political intolerance, accusations and blame games among politicians continued, then it would be extremely difficult to bring political and economic stability to the country despite holding the general election in Pakistan.

“Democracy provides solutions to all problems. It is the best governance system being practiced in the world through which socioeconomic and political conflicts are being addressed through reconciliation and dialogue among relevant stakeholders supported by people,” Professor Dr AH Hilali, former Chairman of Political Science Department, University of Peshawar while talking to APP on Sunday.

“In the democratic process, the doors to political dialogue among religious and political entities are always open to take decisions in national interest and for people’s well being.”

“Political dialogue is an effective tool in a democratic system, which removed misunderstanding among political players on existing issues and strengthened democracy besides ensuring the smooth transition of power.”

Professor Hilali said unfortunately our politicians did not learn lessons from our history and again started wrangling by closing the doors of political dialogue ahead of election despite the country’s difficult economic situation.

He said the absence of political dialogues among politicians in the past led to derailment of democracy for four times in Pakistan.

The government of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was dismissed after the 9 religious and political parties under the platform of Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) launched agitation movement, claiming rigging in 1977 elections.

In-spite of strong denial of the rigging allegations by PPP, he said PNA’s agitation movement have sparked riots and unrest and incurred colossal economic losses to the country and subsequently democracy was packed up for the third time on July 5, 1977.

In 90s, he said the absence of political dialogue had led to the premature dissolution of the elected assemblies and the governments of former Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif twice each after being accused of riggings in elections by opponents and its negative outcome came before us in the shape of martial law on October 12, 1999.

He suggested political dialogue between government and opposition on existing difficult economic and political challenges besides election reforms inevitable for the country’s stability and development.

Ikhtair Wali, PML-N KP spokesman said that his party believed in political dialogue. He said Charter of Democracy signed between former Prime Ministers, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was a great example of political reconciliation that later led to an adoptation of the landmark 18th constitutional amendment that returned all powers back to the parliament, granted provincial autonomy to the federating units, identity to people of KP after renaming NWFP and abolishment of the draconian 58 2 (B) article from the constitution.

He said PMLN did not believe in political victimization of opponents and law would take its own course in Fawad Chaudhary case. However, he said that mocking national institutions and officials of national institutions as well as their family members was highly deplorable.

Ikhtiar Wali said the historic welcome accorded to PMLN Vice President and Chief Organizer, Maryam Nawaz by the people at Lahore have unnerved the opposition.

“Maryam Nawaz has cleared the party’s policy in her address being appreciated in all social and political circles and rightly said that Nawaz Sharif being an elected Prime Minister of Pakistan was ousted from the government thrice by the undemocratic forces in a bid to deprive the country’s of devolopment.

He termed the ouster of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on July 28, 2017, in the Panama leaks case was a big tragedy from which Pakistan has not yet recovered, adding it was unfortunate that no elected premier has completed his five years term in the country’s history.

He said that all characters that played role in ouster of an elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 2017 and bringing Imran Khan into power were stand exposed before masses.

Accusing PTI for creating political division in society and destroying the country’s economy, he said Imran’s recent accusations against former President Asif Ali Zardari was an attempt to create hatred against political opponents to get cheap popularity.

Despite political stubbornness and allegations of Imran Niazi, he said the coalition government had offered several times to PTI’s former lawmakers to take their resignations back and come to parliament but they made mock of the sincere offer of the PMLN leadership and were now weeping after their resignations were accepted by the Speaker National Assembly under the law.

The billions trees afforestration project was taken over by the NAB KP while BRT was completed on very high cost compare to Islamabad and Multan metros, thus wasting of huge taxpayers money by PTI that also left the country’s into the brink of economic collapse.

Besides non completion of Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium, he said that the cost of Main Line 1 (ML1) had almost doubled due to an incompetence of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf past government, which failed to carry out the projects in accordance with set timelines. The cost of ML1 was project at $6 billion under $46 billion CPEC project, however due to failure by PTI for not executing on time; it may cost now $11 billion to $12 billion.

Ikhtair claimed that PTI had deceived people on the hollow slogan of “ accountability and change” as the former PTI former government in KP itself closed its own Ehtishab Commission at Peshawar besides the province was put under huge loans burden.

PTI has shattered the confidence of voters of KP and Punjab after prematurely dissolving the two provincial assemblies and lost footings in both provinces where they would now face people’s wrath in upcoming elections.

Professor Dr Hilali said that political environment was heating up after premature dissolution of KP and Punjab assemblies by the PTI and advised political leaders to avoid personal attacks, character assassination, blame games and dragging state institutions into politics rather focus on people welfare programs and past performances.

He said personal attacks and dragging state institutions into politics would develop political polarisation in society besides creating hatred among rival political forces.

ANP leader and former KP Minister, Wajid Ali Khan said political reconciliation was imperative for acceptance of political mandates after general election.

He said if Bangladeshi leaders Hasnia Wajid and Khalida Zia could sit across the table for the sake of their countrymen, then why the government and opposition parties in Pakistan can’t sit together for holding a grand dialogue on economic and political issues.

Wajid Ali has accused PTI’s former lawmakers for depriving their electorates from development funds in upcoming budget in KP, Punjab, Centre and left hundreds of thousands of floods victims alone after prematurely dissolving the two provincial assemblies.

He said KP has been pushed to the verge of financial default by the PTI’s incompetent rulers, who failed to take up the case of Rs61.89 billion net hydel profit’s arrears with the federation and even with Imran Khan’s government.

Traffic jam in Peshawar City has made lives of Peshawarties miserable due to wrong planning in BRT’s corridor and not a single hospital was completed in Peshawar by the PTI in its long nine years and six months rule, thus exerted extra burden of patients in Lady Reading Hospital and Khyber Teaching Hospital at Peshawar.

In-spite of an increase in terrorism incidents in KP during tenure of PTI, he said that 60 policemen of KP Police Force were deployed for security of Bani Gala and 50 policemen at Imran Khan’s residence Zaman Park and demanded its immediate withdrawal to KP.