The Caretaker Setup; A Question or a Conquest? In view of Humayun Akhtar Khan

Overview

The process of democracy has been initiated by the preparations of elections. It is a debate to understand who stands responsible for this conquest. It is believed that even if amendments were observed in the past, there were not functional and stayed to documentation only. Sole vertex of power was observed to emanate from the parliament house only, where major decisions were taken. The administration has failed to provide the public with basic facilities and major areas of the country are inflamed with terrorism and anarchy.

The question here arises, why is there so much anxiety on the selection of a caretaker government, especially when the government failed to deliver in the previous 5 years? Negotiations of 48 hours resulted in a deadlock between the government and opposition leadership. Major developments have been seen in the political arena, changing loyalties and civil political tumult is stemming towards the center and provinces, equally. Given the current situation the biggest question stays the same: Will the elections be timely and importantly, transparent?

Do you think the parliamentary committee will decide the caretaker issue or will the task find its way to the election commission again?

I believe that the performance of previous government is clear, aside from the fact that last minute decisions were taken for personal benefit not for country’s benefit. Even then I believe that we should not lose hope because this is our first time and in politics decisions are always taken at the eleventh hour. If the Government and opposition leaders fail to reach a consensus, the parliamentary committee, though it is composed on a 50% basis. I hope that the decision is undertaken through a political forum but from the looks of it I believe Election commission of Pakistan will have to deal with this task.

What are the most preferred names eligible for selection, now?

Caretaker government has a very limited role to play. Their duty is to ensure smooth running of the country till a new government is established and avoid political activities. Bearing this in mind, I feel all the names being announced are equally good. The important bit is to reach a consensus so that democracy prevails.

Do you have reservations on the notion that an unbiased caretaker setup will be established in Sindh and Baluchistan?

Sindh has lacked a proper opposition presence since a long time. The PML Likeminded in that region played the actual role of opposition. Arbab Rahim headed this opposition for almost 5 years whereas the Q league spent most of their time allying with the government. We approached Supreme Court and then High court Sindh to establish a proper opposition entity in the province but a sad ending to this issue was that MQM retracted from the treasury and joined the opposition bench for a little while and then had their representative chosen as the opposition leader. In Baluchistan the situation is even more complicated. Resultantly Chaudhry Nisar has announced that till a clearer indication towards a proper opposition leader is given it is impossible to create a neutral caretaker setup.

Source: News Eye – Dawn News -18 March 2013

 

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