THE PML-N’s positive response to the prime minister’s offer of talks on a mutually acceptable chief election commissioner deserves to be welcomed for more than one reason. For one, the reciprocity and political common sense in evidence in Lahore on Friday should serve to lower the political temperatures at a time when the country and the system are still reeling from last month’s judicial and political tremors. These included not only Yousuf Raza Gilani’s disqualification as prime minister and parliamentarian but also the court notices to President Asif Ali Zardari and Raja Pervez Ashraf on dual office and the Swiss letter. Against this background, the two mainstream parties’ decision to talk things out points perhaps to a realisation on both sides of what is at stake. Whether a general election is held early next year or circumstances force the coalition government to advance it, the two parties’ conciliatory gesture is a good omen. An election is not in the air, but Friday’s progress should serve to induce an election-oriented atmosphere and sideline the irritants that have often served to blur national priorities by focusing on trivialities.

It is time we reminded our politicians in power and in the opposition how even a single piece of good news can make a difference to the morale of a nation fed up with nerve-racking crises and ‘gates’ which hit the country with astonishing frequency. The media — sometimes equally guilty of having wrong priorities of display and comment — jumped at the bit of amiability seen in Lahore and made it the lead story. The CEC is the linchpin of an election, for the constitution’s Article 220 makes it the “duty of all executive authorities” to assist the CEC in the discharge of his duties and functions. A caretaker prime minister is not on the cards yet. But the spirit the PPP and the PML-N have shown on the question of the CEC’s appointment should guide their conduct in the other case. A truly neutral caretaker set-up, with the prime minister and the CEC acceptable to all sides, should help make the general election transparent.

More From This Section

Scope of suo motu

THE judicial conference held in Islamabad over the weekend ended with an important declaration read out by Supreme...

Another attack on the media

THE murderous attack on Hamid Mir, one of Pakistan’s most recognisable faces in the TV news industry, may have ...

Army security for polio teams

THE numbers speak for themselves. Out of 47 total cases of polio so far recorded in Pakistan this year, North...

More than money needed

IF it weren’t for the history and the present context, it would have been a grand announcement. Balochistan, Prime...

Comments are closed.

Comments (2)

July 1, 2012 7:56 am
If anything, an agreement will stop other players to appoint 'their' men and then delay the elections, like it happened in Bangla Desh. It might work out fine for democracy if both parties agree on a common agenda for free elections.
waqas hassan
July 1, 2012 9:36 am
well i dont really think this care taker government appointed by consent of leading parties is going to work out ,both of the parties will try to bring a person who could better serve them to rig the coming elections in the present condition its palpable that they have very low chances of winning the coming elections..
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Front Page