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‘National Dialogue’ Is Bound To Fail Without Public Participation

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The constitution has always been interpreted in a manner that benefits political parties and their cronies rather than to serve people. A national dialogue with the participation of common people is the need of the hour, writes Abdul Qayyum Khan Kundi.

Pakistan Muslim League – N (PML-N) Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal has proposed a national dialogue to resolve the political deadlock in the democratic system. Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa also suggested that all stakeholders should initiate a dialogue. A dialogue that does not include the voice of the people is bound to fail.

It is clear from our democratic and political history that the current cadre of political parties does not represent the voice of the people for the following reasons:

  • All political parties agree that past elections have been rigged and engineered resulting in taking away the constitutional right of the people to grant a mandate to people of their choice. This makes it clear that none of the parties enjoyed people’s mandate – now or in the past. Therefore, they have no right to make decisions on behalf of the people as they don’t have the agency for it.
  • The constitution has always been interpreted in a manner that benefits political parties and their cronies rather than to serve people. This is evident from the fact that office bearers and elected representatives are rich while people are poor and there is no change in their condition on the horizon.
  • Amendments to the constitution have been made to serve narrow interests of political parties and elites rather than strengthen democratic institutions. After 22 amendments in the last 46 years, it has failed to strengthen democratic institutions while almost every party has enjoyed a tenure of running the government. All of them failed to deliver a working democracy.
  • Election laws are written in a manner that ensures the grip of the status quo political parties on power while at the same parties themselves remain undemocratic in organizational setup. Party members are expected to serve the interests of party heads. If democracy is good for the nation, then why do the political parties shy away from introducing democracy within their ranks?
  • Charter of democracy was signed to create a muk mukka (understanding) between the two large parties to lock their hold on political power and deny access to anyone else.
  • NRO was signed with military dictators to create hurdles in ensuring transparency and credibility of decisions by the governments that are themselves installed through rigged elections. This proves that none of the parties can claim to be from the people by the people.
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All the above makes it clear that any dialogue between the status quo political parties will be self-serving and for the interest of a handful of the political elite. After 46 years, it is clear that the republic installed by the status quo parties has failed and these parties can’t claim to have the right to be called representing interests of the people. We will not accept this national dialogue until we are also present at the table representing the interest of the people.

Through this message, I wanted to inform you about this development and also seek your support in case another engineered dialogue is held to deprive this nation of attaining true democracy and enforce the will of the people.

The Azadi March launched by these opposition parties was purely in pursuit of political power. On the other hand, the government in office is the result of political engineering and cannot claim to have a mandate from the people. Their hesitation to allow transparent inquiry of the last election is proof they are fully aware of this engineering and rigging. Our movement for the second republic is to build a better, prosperous and united nation.

PTI, as a political party, no longer exists as the whole cabinet is imported and there is no party organization. All PTI supporters should join the struggle for the second republic as that is now the only viable option available.

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