Games elites play.

The PDM government with its allies will begin its second year in power soon. Whether this is how it was intended by the planners we may never know. Two provinces with interim administrative set-ups will soon be illegal when the constitutional limit is exceeded. Imran Khan made numerous mistakes - including his decision to dismiss the two assemblies - because he lost all leverage in decision making on matters that haunt him and his party's future. He is not getting the elections per government's design.

The Constitution may not provide all answers to all questions that may arise in time like the one that faces us on transparency of elections - peddled as grounds for postponing elections - if assemblies in Punjab and KP are elected before countrywide general elections. An inability to resolve the conundrum fails the test of ingenuity or the intent of this political system. That it is being used instead as a convenience for manipulating a political advantage makes it laughable, if disconcerting. The Constitution as a document is an enabler, not a fig-leaf for defiance. Where arise gaps or amplification is needed, amendments in the right spirit help. A parliamentary consensus can forge the way forward out of the blind spots that may not have been originally envisaged. This is Parliament's primary task.

When a House is not complete, as is the case with the NA, or an assembly dissolves at any time following its creation, an election becomes incumbent to complete the democratic structure. If it happens in the last one year of the tenure of an assembly, it leaves an intractable issue faced today - almost a shot-gun compulsion to impose general elections earlier than its time. It calls for collective wisdom. Not irresolvable but only if the intention is to seek a cooperative way out. Or else, what began as an ill-willed tactical move will only see a matching contrivance.

Back to the planners. With major changes in the NAB ordinance as the ultimate objective and a VONC which would induct a government willing to ring those changes most that was envisaged was achieved. When in government the ambit expanded to win reprieve from the number of under-trial and under-investigation cases against the PDM parties. The goal-post of favours and gains has thus constantly shifted. It has now mutated into total absolution from criminal proceedings in the name of level playing field. Proscription of PTI as a militant terrorist party is the next, if sorry, horizon...

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