It’s a truism that states operate in a paranoid fashion. Political parties don’t do. However, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is an exception. PTI, unsurprisingly, views any opposition with an extreme paranoid lens. Thus, the government decided to dissolve the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) through a presidential ordinance. No wonder that the employees of the body are all in protest. Even the political parties from the opposition have also put their weight behind the sacked employees of the organisation. The latest step of the government and many more before where the government relied on presidential ordinances speak volumes about the government’s appreciation for democracy.

The incumbent government if PTI needs to learn that any action of national importance is debated in the parliament to weigh its pros and cons. But the way the ruling party is carrying on reveals that it wants to rule the country in an authoritarian manner where no space for dissent will be appreciated. This kind of attitude is dangerous for the democratic culture. Democracy that is already fragile in this country will never grow if PTI’s governance form becomes a norm.

True, the constitution does allow the government to issue ordinances but only when the situation amounts to an emergency. Presently, the overall situation in the country is normal. However, the promulgation of the ordinance has created a stir in the normalcy, as the PMDC workers, doctors and other medical professionals are protesting the dissolution of the body.

But such protests are the only natural outcomes if the government bypasses the parliament and try to rule through top-down ordinances. Perhaps, if the ruling party had taken the issue to the parliament, debated there and then consulted the stakeholders, the present strife could have been averted. However, instead of doing so, the government’s reliance on the ordinance has created the current conflict and instability.