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Deadlines dead, deadly deadlock lives



LAHORE: All the deadlines given by Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri have ended but the political standoff exists causing mental stress to the people, who are glued to their TV screens.
The country’s repute has further ruined in the international community and our expatriates have become a joke in their discussion with people of other countries. The ambassadors of many countries have already left Pakistan and state heads of two countries postponed their scheduled visits to Islamabad. Stock is all time bearish, rupee is weakening and the people are under mental stress due to unending political deadlock.  
Pakistan cannot afford the ongoing political instability and it has to be resolved the sooner the better.  Now a large number of television consumers have fed up terming the ongoing duo sit-in ‘deadly’ for the national repute, economy and the democracy. The definition of democracy is needed to revisit in the case of Pakistan where anyone who can gather thousands of people believes to be a true champion of the democracy.
The protesting parties claim that it is their constitutional right to observe peaceful demonstration in front of the parliament house while the government is claiming that the freedom of other people has been badly affected due to protests which have now become a festival as musical performances are continue in both the sit-in. It is also true that the Azadi and Inqilab marches have affected the life not only in Islamabad but the whole country.  
“Your freedom ends where my nose begins,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan quoted JR Ashton in his recent press conference, emphasising that the PTI and PAT workers were creating hurdles for judges, lawyers and lawmakers entry to the Supreme Court and parliament.
Political analysts believes that a big sacrifice from PML-N has become inevitable to save the democracy in Pakistan after further escalation of the worsening political deadlock in the country due to the government’s inability to engage in result-oriented dialogue with Imran and Qadri. 
On the other hand, succumbing to the pressure of protesters would open gates of new ‘dharna politics’ in Pakistan. It would be difficult for the government to observe gas and electricity load shedding for industry, which has the capacity of gathering one million people anytime anywhere in the country.
Contributing to the ‘dharna politics’, the JUI-F and Sunni Tehreek and other stakeholders have organised their rallies in Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad and other cities condemning Imran and Qadri. 
On the other hand, the PTI activists have started obeerving sit-ins in Karachi, Lahore and other cities on the call of Imran Khan. The lawyers are also observing pro-democracy protests.
On the other hand, the Senate and National Assembly have adopted resolutions terming the demand of the premier’s resignation as unconstitutional. Now the PM is enjoying the support of both upper and lower houses of parliament. On the other hand, the PTI and PAT have the collective support of around 0.1 million people during peak hours.  
The PTI lawmakers on Friday submitted their resignations in the National Assembly while strengthening Imran Khan’s insistent call for the resignation of Nawaz. Nothing new is coming now from the speeches of Imran and Qadri except repetition of their demands and motivation of their workers who are vulnerable to diseases due to stink of open washrooms in the area. At the same time nothing new is coming from the movement to resolve the matter. We cannot afford continuation of this stalemate. 
The standoff is deadly and the ultimate solution is dialogue. However, the power of communication, which is solution to even wars between states, has so far failed to settle the stalemate only because as a matter of fact it has not been initiated in an effective manner by the democratic forces of the county. The table for talks is not yet set properly. As a matter of fact, now both the parties – the protesters and the government do not afford prolonging this deadlock.
PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari has reiterated his assurance to support the PML-N government. A Nawaz-Zardari luncheon meeting is also scheduled on the invitation of Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday (today) and it is expected that a result-oriented dialogue will begin between the government and the protesters.
In spite of deadly deadlock there is a consensus in the nation that this situation should not be prolonged because the country could not afford it protraction.

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