ISLAMABAD: Two major opposition parties have watched from the sidelines the federal cabinet shakeup with the dominant induction of un-elected technocrats and marginalisation of elected politicians.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have consciously avoided any harsh attack on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) over the cabinet reshuffle.
The PML-N is silent on the development. “We will raise whatever we want on the floor of the Parliament and not outside of it,” former speaker and prominent PML-N leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq told The News when approached for comments. He said the PML-N wants the PTI to complete its five-year term, and doesn’t wish to create any problems for the regime. “It is our considered policy that we will not embark upon agitation as we want the government to show its performance to translate its high-sounding promises into reality,” Ayaz Sadiq said. “We will not launch any movement to dislodge the government.”
The former speaker said that the PML-N has repeatedly been dubbed as “looter and plunderer” and accused of not delivering up to people’s expectations. “It is now time for the PTI to deliver and we don’t wish it to become a political martyr because of any move by us although our government faced constant destabilisation at its hands. We don’t plan to spawn troubles for the government, and our primary platform for protest and criticism on the regime will be the Parliament as it should be in any parliamentary democracy.”
Ayaz Sadiq said that his party has no plans to avenge chaos and instability inflicted on the PML-N government by its opponents. “We are not in a hurry and have decided to give time to the regime to perform.”
Another PML-N leader said that accusing fingers have been raised at newly inducted cabinet member Nadeem Babar, suspected involvement of ousted minister Aamer Mahmood Kayani and others in shady affairs. “Where is the accountability that the PTI has been promising? Are all these cases not fit for referral to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)?”
He said that the opposition parties would raise the question of accountability of such elements in the Parliament to get an answer from the government.
On the same pattern, the PPP too has not showered any hard-hitting tirade on the government on account of the cabinet reshuffle. “It is the prerogative of the prime minister to change his team,” PPP supremo Bilawal has stated. But he wondered at the humiliating way former finance minister Asad Umar was sacked and questioned the appointment of Brig. (R) Ijaz Shah as Interior Minister on the ground that the new cabinet member faces serious allegations of being involved in the killing of Daniel Pearl and Benazir Bhutto. “The premier is responsible for keeping uncertainty away. When all of a sudden you remove finance and other ministers, it appears quite humiliating. The criticism is not over the change, it’s over the way you chose to execute your decision,” Bilawal said.
However, earlier Bilawal had expressed satisfaction over Asad Umar’s ouster for, in his words, having links with banned organisations. He had also demanded expulsion of three other ministers, who, in his view, have connections with proscribed outfits.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has echoed his old mantra – locking down the federal capital if the PTI government did not step down - he has been stressing before the cabinet changes. “Pakistan is being run by a few selected technocrats. The country is stuck in economic and political crises for the last eight months. Now an International Monetary Fund (IMF) budget would be presented instead of that of the government.”