LAHORE: Democratic forces of Pakistan have become successful in protecting democracy in the country and resisting any extra-constitutional moves in the form of military coup, as succumbing to the mounting pressure Imran retracted his plans to march towards the Red Zone in the federal capital on Sunday.
However, showing his ‘last card’ he has announced a civil disobedience movement (CDM) in the country, urging his workers and all Pakistanis not to pay taxes and utility bills. This will be a rebellion against the state and seems impractical keeping in view the ground realities. Imran and his party was at the verge of ‘political suicide’ with his planned move to march towards the Parliament House and occupy important government installations.
With his new announcement regarding not to march towards the Red Zone, the Captain has somehow come off the blind political ally, however now he is in another darkness of CDM. Imran has also given a 48-hour deadline to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign. Apparently the new deadline is just to bind his workers and supporters so that they do not leave the sit-in venue. As a matter of fact a ‘confused Imran’ appeared before his thousands of supporters on Sunday night. He announced not to march towards the Parliament House while showing sympathy towards the police officials and honouring a commitment made with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ahmed.
The positive outcome is that PML-N and the other democratic forces have two days to initiate and indulge in dialogue with the PTI leadership with the help of mediating committees and convince Imran not to go for his announced civil disobedience, which will spread rebellion and anarchy in the country. Although it seems impractical at the moment yet it can play havoc with the national economy, especially at a time when Pakistan is holding talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) team in Dubai for rescheduling of loans. This timing of the Imran’s new announcement is very important because if IMF denies rescheduling our loans it would be a total disaster for the country at a time it is already facing irreparable economic loss due to ongoing political atmosphere. The stock exchange has crashed and foreign investors are at pause. PML-N leadership held a key consultative meeting at Jati Umra in Raiwind Lahore to brainstorm on how to response the ongoing political situation and demands of the PTI and PAT leaders. Several names were considered for extension of mediating teams and their timing to hold dialogue with protesting parties. It is expected that after the new announcement of Imran now the dialogue process will be started at the earliest possible to avoid any anarchy like situation in order to stop the charged workers of PAT and PTI and convince their leadership.
On Sunday afternoon Imran’s supporters charged with anti PML-N anger started marching towards the containers when Imran couldn’t reach the venue in time, however latter they were stopped somehow. This reflects the frustration of PTI workers and chances of their conversion to mob any time. When Imran showed the card of civil disobedience, a majority of workers seemed stunned and their minds were ‘apparently’ not accepting the new move. There is serious need of controlling PTI workers and convincing them to restrict to the sit-in venue.
The civil disobedience movement would not be practical in the country because in KPK it wouldn’t be possible for Imran to run his government without taxes and utility bills. If PTI resigns form KPK, the matter will be different, however so far Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak has announced not to resign and keep the provincial government intact. On the other hand people in Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh would also not support CDM.
Earlier during the day all democratic forces remained active to save democracy and resist any extra-constitutional move in the country in the form of military invention due to ongoing sits-in of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf leader Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Tahirul Qadri.
Former president Supreme Court Bar Association and Human Rights Activist Asma Jehangir has said if any extra constitutional step was taken the lawyers community would also come on roads to save the democracy. She said a proper decision have been taken in this regards. She said although PML-N has taken some wrong decision but it does not allow any political party to gather a few thousands of its workers and press the elected prime minister to resign from his post. She said Imran need to provide evidence of all allegations he levelled against judiciary.
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that his party was with PML-N on this issue because no political party with showing its strength of supporter can be allowed to derail democracy. If the demand of Imran khan is accepted then it will be beginning of new culture of showing public support. He said people were dying in rains in KPK but their Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak was performing daces with PTI supporters. He termed it was not Azadi March but Naach (dance) March’.
Jamat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq and Opposition leader in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah, who were already very active, reiterated their resolve to save democracy. National Party President Mir Hasil Bazanju also believes that the demand regarding premier’s resignation was unconstitutional. He said PTI was going to sign its death certificate if it marched towards the red zone in the federal capital. Now it is a high time to start dialogue with PTI leadership because Imran has morally lost his political grounds. He has come back from attack on parliament and definitely he will retract from his CDM plans which are not practical. Timing is very important in political decisions and the PML-N, PPP, JI and other democracy lovers must come forward to break this deadlock.
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