By Agha Iqrar Haroon
The political scene of Pakistan is changing hour by hour, not day by day after the Opposition submitted the Vote of No Confidence Motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
PM Khan has decided to mitigate the move through his political power and thinking to collect over one million supporters in Islamabad outside Parliament House so no Member of Parliament belonging to his party could go inside Parliament House for voting. Moreover, his team including the Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser categorically stood with Prime Minister Khan. Speaker Asad Qaisar after receiving the No-Confidence Vote motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday evening that he would stand with his party and the prime minister.
His statement is received critically because according to political norms and rules of business the speaker is considered as custodian of the House who works beyond his political affiliation and considered as “must be unbiased”. Our political norms and parliamentarian history indicates that speakers had never attended or participated in party meetings when a motion came against the Leader of the House. Veteran politicians, as well as senior journalists who have been covering parliament for decades, are shocked with conducted of Speaker who in a statement said that bringing a no-confidence motion is the democratic right of opposition but international powers are involved in a no-confidence motion. However, I think otherwise.
I am contented that Pakistan is opening and the Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Chief of Army Gen Qamar Bajwa have such excellent relations that petty issues like sharing their talk with the public is not becoming an official or political issue
Speaker Asad Qaisar said that “MNAs of PTI and allies are (were) standing with Prime Minister Imran Khan like rock,”. Speaker under the third schedule takes the oath (Article 53(2) and 61) and states that he will not allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct or his official decisions but there is no such clause that he will stand unbiased and will not favour his party. Impartiality of Speaker refers only to tradition but not laws therefore he can be an active member to save his party leader if he wishes so.
I believe that the Opposition should have moved a Vote of No Confidence against the Speaker before moving against Prime Minister to ensure that the entire process of No Confidence Vote could be and would be unbiased. However, the Opposition did not do it and launched an onslaught against Prime Minister that according to me was a dangerous move. Now from fixing a date for No-Confidence Vote to the counting of votes is in the hand of the Speaker who has already shown his alignment and position that he stands with his leader against whom the motion has been submitted.
Pakistani politics is going through a phase where everything is possible and anything can happen therefore offering any political prophecy about the fate of the No-Confidence Vote must be avoided. We live in an era where the Prime Minister can candidly share with the public in a public rally what Chief of the Army talks with him or advises him. If this could happen in past, thousands of articles could appear that an action must be taken against Prime Minister that he shared his talk with the public and even a brigade of journalists could have demanded a case against Prime Minister under Article 6 of Constitution of Pakistan for breaching Official Secret Act. Nevertheless, I am happy Pakistan is opening up, and Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Chief of Army Gen Qamar Bajwa have such excellent relations that petty issues like sharing their talk with the public is not becoming official or political issue. Nations move forward when such outstanding relations are found between the civil and military leadership.
Thank God that the statement of the Prime Minister that “only animals are neutral” is also not taken negatively and his statement has not been linked with a statement of an institution that says it is neutral and it has nothing to do with national politics.
I believe that maturity is prevailing in Pakistani politics and soon public would become a real main stakeholder of the power system and Prime Minister like Imran would create an exceptional tradition of sharing whatever he is advised by civil and military bureaucracy because such a candid atmosphere will empower people of the country and they would feel important enough with whom mindset of civil and military leadership is shared. However, I believe that Prime Minister Imran khan should have given respect to advice of the Army Chief and should not call Fazlur Rehman again and again in public rallies as “Maulana Diesel” because Army Chief suggested to avoid it. Anyhow, this indicates Prime Minister Khan takes advice and suggestions from Army Chief candidly as both have excellent relationship two friends can have. By the way, the phrase “Maulana Diesel” I read in newspapers of the 90s and this diction is over three decades old.
This entire event sends a categorical message to the Opposition, particularly to Maulana Fazlur Rehman that they must talk directly to Prime Minister Khan if Mualana Fazlur Rehman sahib does not like calling him “diesel” instead of complaining to someone else. Mature politicians talk to each other. Maulana Fazlur Rehman could call Prime Minister Imran Khan and could say “Hay man don’t call me Maulana Diesel”. I am sure this maturity would prevail soon if things keep moving in the way they are heading to.
The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.