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Elections and new voters

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IF Friday’s election of the chief minister of the Punjab was meant to lift the haze of uncertainty over the province, and by extension national politics, it accomplished exactly the opposite. Yet another political question headed back to the superior judiciary.

Many legal experts say the reprieve Hamza Shehbaz earned in the Punjab Assembly is temporary and that the superior court would overturn that in a matter of hours. However, the matter has been adjourned until Monday.

Some have said that it was the apex court’s own ruling earlier, in response to a presidential reference, that opened the door to what happened on Friday in the assembly.

Whatever happens next will be another sad, sordid chapter in Pakistan’s history, where political parties and leaders have found it impossible to talk to, and negotiate with, one another — and a political issue will yet again be settled by the judiciary.

Whatever happens next will be another sad, sordid chapter in Pakistan’s history.

The judiciary may have displayed a marked propensity for deciding political questions whether with rulings on specific petitions or, as was the case, on a recent presidential reference, but prudence warrants a much more cautious approach in a charged environment, which has polarised the country and split it into two camps.

All this political and, dare I say, judicial wrangling is happening against the backdrop of a bleak economic landscape with huge spikes in global energy and food prices, with massive........

© Dawn

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