Since Pakistan’s independence on August 14, 1947, only a few civilian governments have served out their constitutional terms, and the majority of those who have done so have been dictators. Pakistan’s political system has never functioned effectively in its sixty-four years of independence. During this time, Pakistan’s political system has been subjected to four military interventions in which army leaders have overthrown political administrations and instituted martial laws. Pakistan has yet to achieve a lasting political equilibrium or obvious paths to resolving its basic political disputes. Because of these various forms of administration, Pakistanis are unclear whether their government should be secular, Islamic, democratic, or ruled by a military dictator. History reveals the bitter reality that political parties and their leaders have been insincere to their people to the extent that people have stopped believing in any renaissance.
CURRENT POLITICAL SITUATION OF PAKISTAN- LONG MARCHES PAVING WAYS TOWARDS A POLITICAL CHAOS
The former Prime Minister of Pakistan and Chairman of PTI, Imran Khan announced on Sunday that his much-anticipated long march, the “Azadi March” will arrive in Islamabad on May 25 and he called his supporters to meet him at 3 p.m. at Srinagar Highway, Islamabad.
PROTESTS ARE A DEMOCRATIC RIGHT
Pakistan being an Islamic Republic and a Democratic State by the Constitution of Pakistan 1973, under article 19 grants its citizens to practice right of freedom of expression. To protest or to criticize government or any of state institution doesn’t fall in crime rather it falls under a prominent facet of democratic regime but the condition of it being peaceful, non-violent stands paramount.
PURPOSE OF LONG MARCH
The demands and purpose mentioned by the PTI Chairman Imran Khan after the allegations of foreign conspiracy in his message, was to hold fresh free and fair elections and stated that he would accept it if by the will of people, the current government is returned to power. However, he added no foreign country will be allowed to impose them on us. Moreover, Imran khan further shed light on his future plans that warned the government that the ‘long march’ would turn into a sit-in and would continue until his demands were met.
HOW THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT IS DEALING WITH THE PLAN OF LONG MARCH?
Unfortunately, in Pakistan mostly the rights are exploited specially if we consider as per the situation the right of freedom of expression which takes various forms and turn out to be a riot being violent and extending to more places as designated or allowed for the protest and then in return instead of dealing with such violations by law the authority (government) often take measures that turn out to be itself as violations not only of political or civil rights but most importantly are against the human rights. Similar situation can be observed today where the government authorities have been taking measures to stop the march to reach to Red Zone.
RAIDS ON PTI MEMBER’S
In an effort to halt the lengthy march of the deposed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), authorities launched a crackdown on the previous ruling party, raiding the homes of party members and forcing them to move to other places to hide.
Raids have been conducted in various regions of Pakistan particularly in Punjab, where police arrested at least 70 PTI members who were to be imprisoned under MPO (Maintenance of Public Order) 16 in order to derail Imran Khan’s much-hyped march. But Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued orders to release the detained workers of PTI.
Crackdown against the PTI leaders of Punjab including Raja Basharat, Ijaz Khan Jazi, Wasiq Qayyum, Chaudhry Amjad, Chaudhry Adnan, and Rashid Hafiz was also taken place. They were, however, unable to arrest any of the leaders. The homes of Babar Awan, Hammad Azhar, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Ali Naveed Bhatti, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, Malik Nadeem Abbas, Yasir Gillani, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Saadia Sohail, Ijaz Chaudhry, Akram Usman, Aqil Siddiqui, Amir Riaz, and Mohammad Haider and in Rawalpindi the Lal Haweli in search of Sheikh Rasheed were also raided.
PTI WORKERS CLASH WITH POLICE OFFICERS
It has been a norm in every regime. At various points specifically in Lahore at Niazi Chowk, workers from the PTI were found to be in clash with police enforcement as they attempt to clear blockades erected by the authorities. It is reported that there is a large police presence on the location. To disperse the demonstrators, police have resorted to tear gas shelling also.
Different incidents are being reported by sources about the chaotic situation that has occurred since morning of 25 May, 2022 creating political unrest and uncertainty, one of the prominent incidents is regarding attack on PTI worker Yasmeen Rashid, who was on her way to Islamabad long march and her car was trashed smashing all the windows and windscreens.
To conclude, what we need to understand is that an unstable political system divides the masses on numerous grounds, halts economic and social growth, and presents a negative image of a state on a worldwide scale. It is time to end the blame game and take the responsibilities of our acts and intentions and struggle unanimously towards the restoration of true democracy as it the best way forward for Pakistan. We have to understand that we are all part of the problem and we are all the part of the solution as well. Let us all commit to nothing less than a democratic Pakistan.
RECOMMENDATIONS-THE PROBABLE DO’S
As it is viewed that the actual role of the opposition is to keep check and balance and act as a shadow government but today, the opposition parties are not in lined with their designated role and power they do not struggle for the welfare of the state rather they try to bring forward their personal interest. Such attributes lead to disintegration so, it is recommended that,
➢ In order to avoid such conflicting circumstances, the leaders and parties in power and opposition parties have to go beyond criticism and should offering a detailed and practical plan of action to create an ideal social and political order to bring in line the democratic trends based on Islamic Ideology.
➢ They should realize that the success in politics now depends on working in cooperation with other leaders and parties. They have to build political partnership and coalitions.
➢ They should keep a check and balance on the governmental policies and hold them accountable for their wrong doings in a democratic way
➢ They should themselves work actively specially within their respective constituencies and do not let general public suffer between the tussle of winning seats.
➢ They need to stop the blame game and come above the power politics and focus on preserving the integrity of Pakistan and work for National Interest and for that they should closely work with the government.
➢ In times of crisis or emergency the opposition and party in power both should join hands and put aside all their differences to stand united for the protection of State.
➢ Where the government lacks, opposition should come forward and serve the purpose of being the representatives of people. It should be a harmonious journey and not leg pulling.