Unwarranted Opposition

It is true that opposition in parliamentary politics is necessary to keep the rulers in check. However, the opposition does not mean to halt the process of any meaningful dialogue. But this is what opposition parties in National Assembly are doing nowadays. The lawmakers from opposition benches staged a walkout from the lower house for the ninth consecutive session as the government failed to fulfill its promise of bringing the bill on FATA on the assembly floor.

One thing that the lawmakers from opposition benches fail to realize is that the government is working hard to create a consensus on the bill. The ruling party wants to take all political parties on board as far as FATA’s merger with KP is concerned. Moreover, no party from the opposition is taking an initiative to help the government in removing reservations of JUI-F and PkMAP. It is not an easy task that can be done just in a day or two. JUI-F still is not convinced, even its leader met COAS, Bajwa and its jirga met PM Abbasi, on the merger process.

Nevertheless, in the midst of all this comes an encouraging statement of the Afghan envoy to Pakistan who says that Afghan government has no issues with the merger of FATA. What the opposition parties need to do is to stop creating further hurdles in the path of the government. While they have played a decisive role in forcing the government to look into the matter of FATA merger on an urgent basis, it is time to calm down the protest and ease up on the constant walkouts.

The government is working on the bill on a daily basis and is also trying to iron out all objections and issues, as it is evidently visible. So all the developments are an indication of the fact that merger of FATA with KP is just a matter of time. Continuous walkouts thus disrupting the proceedings of the house do not add anything substantive to the debate.

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