The Judicial Commission has given its verdict. The Report spread over 237 pages, has found that there was no planed rigging, and the elections were transparent. In other words PTI’s allegations were rejected.

The Judicial Commission also observed that PTI’s concern for a probe into the 2013 elections wasnot entirely unjustified. The party, however, failed to provide credible evidence in support of its accusations.

Imran Khan as per his commitmenthas accepted the report, saying that hewould comment on it after reading it.

The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was quick to address the nation on television, a few hours after the release of it, where he delivered a very well-written speech. He welcomed the findings of the Commission and was happy to look forward to the remaining years of his government. A confident Nawaz Sharif also shared his thoughts about the negative fall-out of Dharnas. He appealed to theopposition and in particular to PTI, to give up the practice of staging sit-insand stagetamashas and instead use the platform of the Parliament to express their views and pursue their agenda. Rightly, he observed that the huge challenges faced by Pakistan could not be met by one party only and that national issues should be resolved by consensus, in a cooperative spirit.

While so far, the PML-N leadership has demonstratedrestraint in articulating the judicial endorsement of its stance, it is vital that it reviews not only its performance, but also the way it should conduct itself in the remaining mandatedperiod. The Commissions’ findingshave certainly boosted its position as an unquestioned ruling party. Taking advantage of this fresh mandate, it needs to substantially improve its governance and show concrete results in areas which are crucial for economic progress and peoples’ welfare. Actionin regard to addressing the energy problem remains unsatisfactory.

Why for instance, havethe Nandipur and NeelamJehlam projects been moving at a snail’s pace, with costs rising beyond reasonable figures? Why are the Bhasha and Dasu dams still at preliminary stages?No doubt the initiative taken in launching the operation in Karachi is laudable but the credit for it belongs more to the army than the civilian government.

Nawaz Sharif has rightly drawnattention to the need forjoining hands, by all political parties to attend to the damage of life and property caused by the floods. There is also a pressing need for a more competent handling of the rehabilitation of the IDPs. PML-N government must make the most of its mandate and the considerable time available, to re-plan its priorities, keeping in view massive Chinese investments already announced, Looking at PTI, even a simple review of Imran Khan’s role in the Dharna days brings up serious flaws in the style and substance of his political conduct. Even if JavedHashmi’s accusations about the involvement of senior ex-military officers are only partially convicted, Imran Khan owes to himself and his followers a frank explanation of what actually happened. Imran’s wild and off-the-cuff claims and allegations against the ruling party office holdersand a number of other eminent persons including ex-chief justice of Pakistan and NajamSethi were indeed off the mark and reflected how naive he can be while relating himself to serious matters and respectable personalities.

The PTI chief had every right to raise questions about the conduct of 2013 elections, but to lend himself to unsubstantiated and wild allegations and then to launch a disruptive campaign to bring down a duly elected government and turn Dharnas into an unending political circus,throwing spanners in administrative functioning in the Capital and other places was beyond the norms of discipline and rightful behavior.

And to do so,on the assumption rather the belief that the elections were planned to be rigged was unbecoming of a mature political mindset.

Despite my above observations, I do hold Imran Khan in high esteem as an honest, though naive, political leader who has made a tremendous contribution to awaken the people of Pakistan and help bring a much desired change in the way politics is run in this country.He is passionate for bringing in this change and commands widespread popularity.

The Commission found the Election Commission’s performance unsatisfactory on many counts. It has pointed out its shortcomings in organizing and conducting the elections. There was lack of planning regarding the determination of extra ballot papers. The ECP did not have a monitoring wing. The Commission had also been deficient in keeping the post-election material in safe custody. The storage space was inadequate and placing of polling bags was done in a disorganized and haphazard manner. A significant recommendation of the Commission is that theECP should build its own capacity in terms of human resources; more offices needed to be recruited and trained who can act as master trainers to ensure efficient performance by the staff.

Both PML-N and PTI,now should aim at introducing the much-desired electoral reforms for which a committee already exists. PTI should return tothe elected houses and strive to bringin needed legislation and act as a monitor of the government’s performance and of its acts of commission and omission. Hopefully the next elections will be fully free, fair and transparent.

The country is beset with formidable problems and daunting challenges. A cooperative effort at the national level is called for. Let the post turbulence be followed by a positive and constructive approach in politics, to ensure rapid progress in various fields including civil-military relations.

The writer is a former-federal secretary and ambassador, and a freelance political and international relations analyst.