Opposition gathers again
Once again opposition parties are setting up a post-Eid agitation campaign to call the government out for all its failures and misdeeds and, for all intents and purposes, send it packing. But haven’t we all seen all this many times before? So often they have tried to put up a united show yet each time everything just fell through the floor. The main reason is the distrust and animosity built within the two main opposition parties because of everything they did to each other over the decades. It was precisely this thing that led PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) to refuse to vote for Shahbaz Sharif as a joint candidate for PM in 2018, their failed attempt to breathe some life back into the Charter of Democracy in early 2019, and everybody pretty much dumping Maulana Fazlur Rahman later that year as the cleric brought his own tsunami to Islamabad. Now, try as they might, they can get the press coverage they like in the build-up to the alliance but if they fall short of announcing a concrete program based on clear issues they are hardly going to achieve anything different this time.
The tricky thing is that while the opposition feels it has a solid enough case against the government and its performance, there’s not really much it can do about the general lack of proper governance, the economic collapse, or even accusations of political victimisation other than shout about it. For if governments really fell because of such things our political history would have been even more chequered. And the last thing that is really in the combined opposition’s larger interest is lining up to run head first into the wall without having the momentum to bring it down.
That said, it is not as if all this should not worry PTI (Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf) at all, even if it comes out of it without too many scratches once again. There are far too many breakdowns in its governance and people are suffering even if the opposition is unable to take much advantage of it at the moment. And sooner or later this is going to become a worry, especially if things are not put in their proper places well ahead of the next general election. The ruling party should, therefore, use this time to pull its socks up and make sure its policies start affecting people the right way. *
The way ahead