29.3 C
New York
Monday, July 4, 2022

Buy now


Triumph of Institutionalism

A month-long political crisis and defiance of the Constitution finally came to an end on Saturday night. The parliament asserted itself around 12 midnight, and the lingering no-trust resolution against Prime Minister Imran Khan was carried. Khan became the first chief executive in Pakistan’s history to be voted out from power on the floor of the house. This reflected the depth of instability and how divisive and decisive the political mosaic was in the legislature. The parliamentary unease took a toll on each and every section of society, and the adamant attitude of the outgoing dispensation has left a bitter taste, and a plethora of issues that will take a long time to be sorted out.

The drop of hat came as the opposition was unrelenting in its demand for conducting the no-trust vote, as ordained by the Supreme Court too. Minutes before the clock ticked for the change of date, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker decided to call it a day. Their graceful exit saved the day, and the business of the house moved on to its usual routine. This was the end of Khan’s government too, as the ceremonial vote was just a formality. The opposition had in its wings the required majority to oust the government, and that was done in all solemnity in the wee hours of a new day. The PTI will long be remembered for canvassing a case of alleged foreign conspiracy of regime change, which failed to hold the water and the litmus test too. But the fact that it almost led to clash of institutions, and brewed a wave of pestering nervousness is quite unfortunate.

Khan could have passed on the baton to the new majority leader in the house and gracefully taken a backseat, but he refused to do so. This calls for some deep retrospection, as to how our elected representatives prefer to go over the brink at the cost of national cohesion and harmony. This was apparently defiance for political point-scoring. But a word of credit is due for the outgoing fiat: Khan’s decision not to resign en bloc from the assembly is appreciated, and one hopes the PTI will play a pivotal role as an effective opposition.

Shehbaz Sharif’s rise to the top, nonetheless, comes with deep-rooted challenges. He has to take along a massive coalition, which has little in common. This is where his administrative skills and political acumen will be up for test. This government has come at a time when the next fiscal budget-making is round the corner, and that too in the wake of a depreciating rupee and soaring inflation. Moreover, there are tasks to deliver such as conducting the next general elections in all serenity, and doing away with political polarisation at a time when stakes are high at home and abroad.

Pakistan needs a break from confrontational politics. The PTI leadership and its legislators would be better advised to fight their war of emotions and further their synopsis on the floor of the house, rather than plunging the country in street agitations. This episode of crisis, however, made a great interlude. It proved that institutional supremacy has taken its roots, and all stakeholders are conscious of their constitutional and political breathing space. Political governments come and go on the basis of their support in parliament, but what makes the nation proud is the neutrality of the powerful Establishment and the peaceful change of guard. The new government and the opposition are all in with due appreciation.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2022.

Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.

Previous articleFourth worst passport
Next articlea trend or a blip

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles