President’s Credo and rift between the two Big

Recently, President Dr. Arif Alvi wrote a letter to Prime Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif, emphasizing that all relevant executive authorities of federal and provincial governments should be directed to refrain from abuse of human rights and also to assist the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in holding general elections in the provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within the given timeframe set the constitution and further endorsed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

President Alvi noted that it appeared that federal and caretaker governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa advised the heads of departments concerned to indicate their inability to provide the necessary support for holding general elections. He referred to Article 220 of the Constitution which clearly states the duties of all executive authorities in the Federation and in the Provinces to assist the Election Commission in the discharge of its functions.

According to the President, the glaring violations of fundamental and human rights took place in the recent past that were sufficiently highlighted by the print, electronic and social media and needed to be brought to the prime minister’s notice to ensure remedial measures and preventive action.

The President and Prime Minister of Pakistan are not on normal working terms, are resistant to their direct contact, and use the public domain for their mutual communication, advice, and sensitization of his immediate confederate and vice versa even in sensitive issues relating to the governance, democracy and the rule of the law. In fact, both top-ranking public representatives are more influenced by their political motives and ego than by national obligations attached to their high offices, national interest, and public well-being. The recent open letter of the Country’s President to the Premier is in fact a charge sheet that not only accused the incumbent government of coaxing or using its authority for sabotaging the electoral process in two federating units through no provision of funds, necessary administrative support, and security troops to the Election Commission essential for the conduct of secure and credible elections in the provinces.

Apparently, the President’s proposition was justified because the wrongful and politically motivated conduct of the sitting rulers and persistent opposition of government departments in the conduct of polls in Punjab and KP forced the ECP to postpone its plans for an early election in two provinces.

The second important point raised by the President in his letter to the Premier was the violation of human rights, and reduced space for freedom of press, speech, and assembly by the incumbent government, which has varied perspectives and manifestations by the treasury and the PTI-led opposition as well as the public.

Although the incumbent rulers have squeezed space for media freedoms and positive criticism through the introduction of multiple laws, and victimized their opponents on political grounds. However, the ongoing anti-Army campaign on social media, name-calling and harassment of government officials, and condemnable violence at Judicial complexes in Islamabad and Lahore as well as PTI-Police clashes at Lahore’s Zaman Park are the issues for which the administration could not be blamed solely and the PTI has played unlawfully for making up of that catastrophe.

In fact, bulldozing the writ of the law, offering resistance to the purposeful functioning of the LEAs, and gathering political crowds inside the court complex are neither fundamental rights of the citizens, political workers, and parties nor come under freedom of assembly, expression, and civil liberties. All political groups must ensure that Political and civic activities must be governed by the law and should not obstruct official work and citizenry life at any cost.

The honorable President has rightly shared his concerns regarding the state of affairs in the country that merits due attention from the executives and relevant ministries/institutions in the country. Realistically, the country has struck into unceasing economic turmoil while political disagreement has further aggravated the situation. The recent events have badly tarnished the image of the country and made a joke of Pakistani democracy at the global level. Dr. Alvi owes a unique position to play a bridging role during his chaotic situation to forge a consensus on upcoming elections and relevant electoral laws, so the nation gets out of the current crisis and moves toward political and economic stability.