LAHORE - Though all political and religious parties support most of the PTI demands regarding electoral reforms and recounting of ballots in the disputed constituencies, but they are opposed to its most recent assertion to dismantle the present government.
All major parties including the PPP, MQM, ANP, JI and JUI-F have endorsed the PTI’s demand for audit of election results but only in the controversial constituencies in accordance with the law. As is the ruling party’s stance on the issue, these parties also believe that the government has no legal authority to order recounting of ballots in the desired constituencies. It is up to the Election Commission or the Election Tribunals to take such a decision.
Much like the PTI, other parties including the PML-N also want electoral reforms to make the election process transparent. But it has to be done through the Parliament. A parliamentary body having representation of all parliamentary parties has already been mandated to complete the task and PTI chief Imran Khan has been offered to head this committee.
They also recognise the PTI’s right to hold long march for acceptance of its constitutional demands, but at the same time, they also prefer a negotiated settlement of the issue. For this, they are also ready to act as a bridge between the government and PTI.
Almost all parties have criticised the government for invoking article 245 as they think the same might imperil democracy. They are opposed to the use of force to prevent the long march.
In a bid to avert the looming political crisis, PPP’s de facto chairman, Asif Ali Zardari made telephonic contacts with heads of political parties during the last couple of days. Heads of JI, ANP and MQM are active too in this regard. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also met political leaders the other day to reach some amicable settlement with the PTI.
But none of the parties support the unconstitutional demands of the PTI chief like the demand for mid-term elections and resignation of the prime minister. They want the government to complete its 5-year term. They have also rejected invitations by the PTI leadership to join its long march.
In this fiasco, their major worry is the possible derailment of democracy without which they see their own business completely shut. They suspect that Imran’s prolonged sit-in in the capital might create a situation in which the third force might deem it fit to intervene.