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Governor’s rule talk

The Express Tribune 2020-05-21 06:55:45

Given the unprec­edente­d times, the need for politi­cal harmon­y and nation­al cohesi­on was never so desira­ble

The ruling parties in Sindh and at the Centre have been at loggerheads with each other on one issue or the other almost since Imran Khan rose to power in August 2018. The PTI has barely masked its aspirations for change of government in the province, blaming the PPP for bad governance, poor service delivery and rampant corruption.

The first time the PTI leaders found justification to raise this wish was in January 2019 when a damning JIT report accused the party’s top leadership, including Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, of massive money laundering under a nexus with businessmen and bankers, besides portraying Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto in a bad light. Fawad Chaudhry, federal information minister then, was all set to fly to Karachi to exploit this window of opportunity to topple the PPP government through a forward bloc, but the top PTI leadership finally decided against the ‘undemocratic’ move.

And now, an “alarming coronavirus situation” in Sindh has reignited the PTI’s desire to take the helm of the provincial government and better serve the people affected by the pandemic as well as the ensuing lockdowns. The Sindh chapter of the party, led by opposition leader in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi, has called upon the Centre to impose a governor’s rule in the province and fix the “rapidly deteriorating” health sector as well as the economy.

While Naqvi does not find “anything wrong” in what is “thoroughly constitutional under Article 234”, it’s simply not the time to indulge in politicking. While already overwhelmed, the party ruling the Centre is required to have its full focus on how best to medically deal with the rampaging coronavirus and mitigate its financial impact on the people as well as trade and business. And given the unprecedented times, the need for political harmony and national cohesion was never so desirable.

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