The scheduled provincial elections in Punjab will be held on May 14, as per Pakistan’s Constitution. A historic Supreme Court judgment, indeed. This matters a lot as it strengthens democracy by empowering the people who are supreme in the political system.
The Punjab elections will be the vital first step to a new era of relative political stability in the country. However, the PDM government does not want these elections because of their unpopularity. Not a good reason by any stretch of the imagination. The Supreme Court will now ensure that they happen, however. Meanwhile, The Election Commission of Pakistan has given a new schedule, which was expected. The federal bureaucracy will comply with the Supreme Court’s directives, no matter what the PDM government wants. This will be a victory for the Opposition PTI. The hybrid system is dysfunctional and needs to be replaced by a thriving democracy. There is an urgent need to strengthen the foundation of democracy, which is through the next round of elections beginning with Punjab on May 14 to be followed by KPK sometime in June most probably. The Supreme Court hasn’t decided on the date yet, though. Notwithstanding the desires of the vastly unpopular PDM government and the military, elections will be held in Punjab on May 14 to be followed by KPK sometime in June. The United States for its part has supported this move. Since Pakistan desperately desires the stalled IMF bailout this is to be considered important. Pakistan’s other friends like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and China also desperately desire to see a stable country. The sooner the political crisis is resolved the better for Pakistan. Today, the country faces a profound governance crisis because of an ineffective, weak, and corrupt government brought into power by the powerful military and also effectively sustained by it too. Political instability is leading to economic instability, and not the other way around. The country faces a slow implosion now. Thus, the announcement of the May 14 Punjab provincial elections is a good development for Pakistan. It is hoped that they take place peacefully and are accepted by all. That would be good news for the country suffering from a complex and deep crisis.
Dr. Sohail Mahmood is an Independent Political Analyst based in Chapel Hill NC
As expected, the constitution of Pakistan has been empowered by the historic Supreme Court April 4 ruling. The court upheld the Rule of Law and the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which is being trampled by the PDM government backed by the military. The Supreme Court upheld the demand of the Opposition PTI to hold elections in KP and Punjab within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies, as per the law. That much is a great development certainly. The public stood with the Supreme Court of Pakistan on the occasion. The Supreme Court has now forever buried the infamous “Doctrine of Necessity” in Pakistan.