Experts urge Imran Khan to take all political parties on board to steer country out of challenges.

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Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Imran Khan has to develop a minimum consensus with all political parties to deal with challenges of foreign policy, economy and extremism. Without reaching out political parties and engaging them on major policy matter, reforms and revival of the system could not be possible. Moreover, institutional conflicts have to manage and all political parties should work together for strengthening of the parliament.

This was the crux of experts deliberations during the seminar titled ‘Post-Election 2018 Political Developments’, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, Zahid Hussain, Senior Analyst said that amid fears around possible delaying of general elections 2018, the people of Pakistan have voted in the third consecutive general elections on July 25th which enhanced the credibility of democratic system in Pakistan despite challenges. He said that there was not a single election held in the history of Pakistan without controversies. It is unfortunate that all political parties fail to build consensus on the political process and dispute resolution. He said that the forthcoming government should strengthen the parliament to achieve the civilian supremacy. Zahid said that the extremism would be major challenge for upcoming government and without partner with all political parties the new government could not counter this challenge which in turn may compromise internal security.

Speaking earlier, Dr Abid Qayyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI said that the conduct of 3rdconsecutive general elections 2018 is itself historic and great news for the people of Pakistan. He said that this exercise is a positive step forward for evolution of democracy in the country.

He said that though on poll day there were no major complaints but slowed polling process was observed in various parts of the country. Dr Abid expressed reservations on collapse of Result Transmission System (RTS) and Result Management System (RMS) which raised questions on the transparency and outcomes of the elections. He said owing to little bad governance at the part of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), this transparent exercise was made doubtful. ECP should address complaints and reservations raised by some political parties to avoid any future crisis.

While commenting on Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan first address to nation after gaining majority of National Assembly seats, Dr Abid said that the speech itself was a change, where Imran Khan adopted soft approach and touches all major policy issues from foreign policy to economy. He said the challenge for Imran Khan is to develop political consensus and taking all political parties along on policy matters such as foreign policy, economy and social sector. SDPI will continue its support through evidence base policy advice to the forthcoming government.

Later, Amb (retd) Shafqat KakaKhel, Board of Governor (BoG), SDPI said that Imran Khan first speech on foreign policy front was a balanced speech and one cannot have differ with the content of the speech. He said that Imran Khan’s desire for improved ties with neighbors, especially with Afghanistan and India, is a positive step forward for peace and prosperity of the region.

He said that civil military relationship remained a major challenge for every democratic government throughout the history of Pakistan. Unless the forthcoming government led by PTI strengthens the institutions v by engaging all political parties, the civil military relations would remain a slogan.

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