PTI’s My Way or the Highway Politics Will Only Hurt the Party

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Compromise is at the heart of democracy but in Pakistan everyone believes that they are on the side of Haq and the other is on the side of Batil and so refuse to negotiate or compromise. Imran Khan and his cult-like followers and political party keep insisting that it is ‘my way or the highway.’

As an editorial in Dawn wrote “the PTI clearly does not know what it wants. Over the weekend, its leaders issued conflicting statements regarding whom they want to parley with and what their preconditions are for the talks. It would appear that the party is still seeking a settlement with the establishment, while some of the conditions it has set for the dialogue seem like a very long shot.”

The Dawn editorial warned, “the PTI may feel it has a moral right to demand its ‘stolen’ seats back from the government, but it cannot expect the latter to simply hand over its leverage in such a manner. The party ought to realise that any talks will only take place within the existing power configuration, even if its legitimacy is up for debate. Its other demand — the release of imprisoned leaders, including Imran Khan — is reasonable and, in fact, the government should consider facilitating this at the earliest.”

Finally, as Dawn notes, “it would be most disappointing if the PTI repeats the mistake of turning to the establishment instead of negotiating directly with its rivals — something which it is shockingly still not averse to. It is an unfortunate reality of Pakistan’s power politics that every party wants to engage directly with the security establishment.”

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Author: Ali Chughtai