The PTI has grabbed another coveted constitutional post in Punjab. Electing its candidate for the presidency of the Punjab Assembly was no big deal, given its simple numerical majority in the House floor. But what made it a political acclaim was that both PTI and PML-Q lawmakers backed the party’s decision, and neither of them took the plunge. This was entirely possible, as the ballot for president is conducted in secret and there is no show of hands or personal tallying as required by the post of chief minister.
Thus, this episode of loyalty not only strengthened the political bond of the coalition, but also put an end to the allegations of all kinds that were circulating that many of them had compromised their affiliation and could vote for the PML-N candidate. At the same time, he also pointed out that PML-N, although in a desperate state of mind after losing Punjab, opted for decency in politics and did not try to influence emotions to possible deception.
Punjab, and the country as a whole, needs political stability. It bodes well that the PML-N gurus who talked about slapping the governor’s regime have been silenced. Likewise, the coalition in the federal government accepted the change of command in the country’s largest province, which strengthened the negotiating position of the ousted PTI. Nonetheless, Chief Minister Pervez Elahi’s wise approach to addressing the socio-economic grievances of the masses as they sit in misery at the hands of the monsoon rains and ensuing destruction is a great relief. Its decision to relaunch the relief modules of the reimbursed ration, financial aid for people below the poverty line and two free square meals for the most deprived is a good start. It is time for the politics of cronyism to take a back seat and for the political parties on the other side of the divide to come together for a dialogue with a one-pointed program on how to relieve the masses of spiraling prices and cushion the economy which is on the brink of default. Matters of political exigency can wait another day.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st2022.
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