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There are a few good U-turns: Ik takes it

Politics is the art of possibility. Thus, there are always a few good U-turns. PTI may take one of it.
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Earlier, former Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the dissolution of the Provincial assemblies after the culmination of the long march on the 26th of November. IK categorically announced their resignation from the Provincial assemblies to ensure early elections.

In Pakistan, direct elections take place on a total of 859 seats. As a result of Tehreek-e-Insaf’s resignations and political withdrawal, 123 seats in the National Assembly, 297 seats in the Punjab Assembly, 115 seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 26 seats in Sindh Assembly and two seats in Balochistan, i.e. a total of 563 seats will be vacant. The leadership of PTI believes that with such massive resignations, the business of the governments will crumble, and the federal government led by PDM will have no other choice except to call an early election.

However, former Prime minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi reaffirmed that elections will be held on the due date in 2023. Other stalwarts of PDM are also attributing that elections will be held in due course of time.
Now, the most critical question is, will the resignations of the PTI force the new elections? It is critical to comprehend that resignations will affect only two legislatures: the Punjab and KPK. PDM is already in a comfortable position in other provinces and the federal government. Accordingly, the current dispensation of PDM shall continue to work in Pakistan. PDM will not be irritated by this resignation announcement as they are already operating it in the federal government. Owing to the centralized system of bureaucracy, they can run the country with two caretaker governments quite easily. The Chief Secretary and Inspector General of Police usually run the provincial government’s functions, and the Chief Minister and cabinet are always secondary to bureaucracy and police.
However, politically, resignations from assemblies have never been a successful gambit. Now, it all rides upon PDM to make a definitive decision. In a democracy where morals, law and bars are secondary, power machinations reign supreme. Then, it is not in the interest of PDM to go for early elections as resignations relate to two legislatures. The governance in Pakistan has an erratic history. Accordingly, military regimes have run the whole governance system without the involvement of politicians. Thus, PDM can efficiently run the affairs of two provincial governments either through the office of the Governor or Chief secretary. Pakistan is colonial governance with a centralized and autocratic structure. Then, it is bureaucratic governance in Pakistan, and the federal government can efficiently operate the provinces by appointing a chief secretary and IG.

The federal government has all control over provincial governance. The federal government can control a province by appointing a Chief Secretary and IG. It is not an overstatement that eight federal officers control Provinces; the federal government will appoint four chief secretaries and four inspector generals of police and control all the provinces. It is a colonial governance model without political representation and a replacement without political governance of provinces. This 1915 colonial model is unconstitutional, but the autocratic forces keep it to run the functions from the centre.
Therefore, the decision to resign from the Provincial assemblies will not influence the central government, which can efficiently run the provinces through federal chief secretaries and IGs. Then, the constitutional office of the governor is also there to serve the federal government’s purpose.

The former prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, once convincingly elaborated that providing a political vacuum to the opposition is the critical blunder of a political party. When IK is not protesting and doing sit-ins, resigning from the assemblies may be a political mistake.
The IK and PTI may dissect the administrative system of the country. The provincial governments are irrelevant, and the federal government runs the provinces’ functions through their officers. The bureaucracy and police are under the command of federal officers, and the latter worry least about the political executive of the province. Hence, IK and PTI may receive a technical knockout and an administrative defeat.

Politics is the art of possibilities. Then, there are also a few good U-turns. How differently one may define a U-turn, hence it is a political reality. IK accounted for the dissolution of assemblies; then, there are always a few good U-turns. IK may consider taking another U-turn, which might be a good one.

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