In a concerning display of discord, the caretaker government, entrusted with a limited mandate, has engaged in ad hominem criticism against the elected president, Arif Alvi. President Alvi’s recent communication to the caretaker prime minister, outlining the PTI’s grievances regarding perceived unfair treatment, has prompted an unwarranted response from Information Minister Murtaza Solangi.
Taking to social media platform X, Solangi not only questioned the president’s actions but also suggested a conflict with his constitutional role as elections loom. This public adversarial stance is troubling, especially given the caretaker government’s temporary and impartial mandate.
While President Alvi may face criticism for prioritizing his party’s concerns, it is inappropriate for the caretaker setup to openly challenge him. The PTI’s grievances about the unequal opportunities for political parties in the run-up to the general election are not unfounded. Reports of political workers’ harassment and detention, the arbitrary holding of party leaders without trial, and the unwarranted targeting of women associated with the PTI underscore a troubling reality.
Simultaneously, the PPP has consistently voiced concerns about an unlevel playing field, suspecting the orchestrated ‘selection’ of another government. Despite these complaints and mounting evidence of political victimization, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) struggles to demonstrate a firm commitment to ensuring a free, fair, and inclusive election.
The caretaker government and the ECP are under scrutiny, and their response to criticism must reflect their dedication to their respective mandates. It is imperative that they prioritize tangible actions over deflecting valid concerns. The focus should shift towards delivering on their commitments rather than engaging in disputes that erode public trust in the electoral process.