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Saturday May 18, 2024

Heal the divide

We are all confronted with significant challenges across various domains, ranging from economic obstacles to security concerns

By Dr Farrukh Saleem
February 11, 2024
A salesman is hanging different political party shirts to attract his customers for the upcoming general elections at Bhatti Gate in Lahore. — Online/File
A salesman is hanging different political party shirts to attract his customers for the upcoming general elections at Bhatti Gate in Lahore. — Online/File

Pakistanis have spoken. The votes have been counted. A new chapter is unfolding. It is time for every political party and every leader to rise above partisan divides and prioritize the collective good. With ballots cast and voices heard, every political party and every leader must now acknowledge that the well-being of Pakistan transcends individual agendas. We are all confronted with significant challenges across various domains, ranging from economic obstacles to security concerns. Overcoming these requires a united front, a collaborative effort where diverse voices are heard, and where diverse voices are respected and channeled into constructive solutions.

Every political party and every leader must now learn from past mistakes. Every political party and every leader must now forge a new path. Every political party and every leader must now replace confrontation with dialogue. In this new chapter, let compromise triumph over intransigence. Let us, for a change, form a parliament where the collective intelligence of diverse minds converges to craft policies that protect Pakistan and uplift every citizen irrespective of his or her political affiliation. Let us, for a change, picture a nation where differences are acknowledged, debated, and addressed through peaceful, democratic means.

Heal the divide by acknowledging past mistakes and seeking forgiveness. Heal the divide by prioritizing dialogue over confrontation in every interaction. Heal the divide by fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect. Heal the divide by actively working towards a shared vision for a prosperous and harmonious Pakistan. Heal the divide by embracing diversity. Heal the divide by promoting transparency and accountability at all levels of governance.

Heal the divide through intraparty dialogue. Heal the divide through inter-party interactions. Let us, for a change, begin picturing a parliament not as a battleground but by forming collaborative committees on key issues like the economy and security. Let us, for a change, allow a shared ownership of solutions. Let us, for a change, foster a sense of national purpose. Let us, for a change, establish truth and reconciliation initiatives. Let us, for a change, begin to address past grievances and pave the way for healing.

Every political party and every leader must now lead by example. Every political party and every leader must now demonstrate statesmanship. Every political party and every leader must now prioritize the interests of the nation above partisan interests. Every political party and every leader must now set aside their differences. Every political party and every leader must now extend olive branches. Every political party and every leader must now engage in genuine dialogue aimed at finding equitable solutions to the myriad challenges facing Pakistan.

Yes, once again, Pakistan finds itself at a pivotal crossroads. Yes, the choices made in the coming days and weeks will shape our collective trajectory for years to come. Will it be a path marked by division? Will it be a path marked by discord? Will it be a path marked by stagnation? Every political party and every leader must now illuminate the path by unity. Every political party and every leader must now reconcile. Let us heal the divide.


The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad. He tweets/posts @saleemfarrukh and can be reached at: farrukh15@hotmail.com