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Dissolution Dilemma: Pakistan’s Political Turmoil Deepens

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EDITORIAL

As the saying goes, “out with the old, in with the new” – but in the case of Pakistan’s recent political turmoil, it seems more like “out with the old, in with more uncertainty.” On Wednesday, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly was dissolved by Governor Haji Ghulam Ali, following in the footsteps of the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly just days prior.

This move has triggered the process of consultation between outgoing Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and opposition leader for installing an interim government, with both sides preparing their nominee lists for the caretaker position. The governor has given them until January 21st to share their nominees. Meanwhile, in Punjab, consultations over the caretaker CM position are still ongoing, with reports revealing that the two sides are still finalizing names and evaluating proposals.

But why the sudden rush to dissolve these assemblies? According to sources, the constant uncertainty and tussles taking place between the two opposing parties in Punjab had already taken a toll on governance, with crucial development projects disrupted as a result. The dissolution of the assemblies only adds fuel to the fire, pushing the country deeper into a governance and political crisis.

It’s a delicate balancing act to ensure a smooth transition of power, and Pakistan is certainly not the first country to struggle with it. In fact, a study by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance found that caretaker governments have been used in over 30 countries around the world. However, the success rate of these interim setups varies widely. In some countries, such as Bangladesh and Nepal, caretaker governments have been credited with helping to maintain stability and continuity during transition periods. On the other hand, in countries like Pakistan, caretaker governments have been criticized for being used as a tool for political manipulation.

The hope, of course, is that a caretaker setup is finalised soon in both KP and Punjab without any further disruptions so that the country can tend to the ongoing political and economic crisis. But as the saying goes, “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” It’s important for Pakistan to learn from the successes and failures of other countries in order to ensure a smooth and fair transition of power.

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