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No-trust motion bares nation’s struggle with democracy

PM Imran’s unconstitutional decision counters opposition’s unprompted move
Published 08 Apr, 2022 11:52am
Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives in PM House room to address party’s parliamentary leaders after advising President Arif Alvi to dissolve the National Assembly on April 3, 2022. Photo via Instagram/imrankhan.pti
Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives in PM House room to address party’s parliamentary leaders after advising President Arif Alvi to dissolve the National Assembly on April 3, 2022. Photo via Instagram/imrankhan.pti

The no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan followed by its rejection in the National Assembly on grounds of Article 5 of the Constitution has further laid bare the country’s politics in its run-up to becoming a democratic nation. Call it “unconstitutional” or “parliamentary proceedings”, April 3’s climax was another reminder that might is right – but this also applies to the other side of the aisle.

We won't immediately know the impact of such developments despite several attempts to gauge them. Without any doubt, laws define the limit of freedom but there is always room for improvement.

Though the outcome of past democratic practices has been debatable in the country the premier’s attempt to win the confidence vote was about the survival of the fittest. To some extent, it also defined the state of the opposition, which rarely builds consensus on issues but managed to unite on sending the government packing. And to remind, the legislation on the extension of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa had managed to unite both sides of the aisle in parliament in a quick move amid a “demanding regional situation”.

Survival of the country’s premier had also restarted the debate on the leadership crisis, amid the long lingering issues – including inflation, high cost of basic commodities, minorities rights, load shedding, water scarcity, overpopulation, quality education and discourse.

More importantly, the common man does not worry about the turn of events or who’s the chief executive of the country. The only things that concern him/her are access to basic utilities – education, health, food, and livelihood – because at the end of the day they have a family to feed.

There were many highs and lows over the last two tenures of the democratic government and expectations were not short from the PTI rule as well.

The ruling party’s consistent claims of foreign conspiracy being hatched to oust their government brought the old narrative to the shore. It has still not offered any proof to the claims about the foreign cable sent by Pakistan’s former ambassador to US Asad Majeed to the government. However, the united opposition’s unprompted no-trust move is also a matter of concern that further increases with their decision to delay elections in addition to the lack of measures for the ailing economy.

Most importantly, this crisis has brought the word “traitor” into the public discourse after terminologies like “horse-trading”, “turncoats”, and “bribe offers”. Connecting it with Article 6 of the Constitution, politicians try to prove their point without even realising the state of nationalist parties who have for long borne the brunt of such accusations. Still, they raise their voices for the protection of their people.

It is true that democracy is not the solution for everything but Pakistan has had enough of dictatorship. Political leaders and technocrats have to realise that it's the economy that drives the country not tall promises or false accusations. They also have to believe that change is a lifelong process, which includes change within oneself.

The writer is a member of staff

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