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September 24, 2016

Desperate times


September 24, 2016

The PTI is relying on yet another rally. But the question remains: will it have any impact on anything that matters?

There is never a dull moment in Pakistan’s politics. From intrigues to petty interests, anything can drive us to a level one could hardly imagine. The reasons for this political madness can be rather outlandish at times.

Whether we like it or not, desperate times have hit us again. We see a frustrated and fragmented opposition trying to find ways to bring the government down. And we have a prime minister who is running from pillar to post to stay relevant at all times.

Lastly, we have a military establishment which is not only keeping a tight grip on the country’s foreign and national security policies but is also exhibiting its influence in other ways.

One is forced to wonder: what is at stake for everyone in all this? There is no single answer to this.

For the opposition the equation is confusing because the agenda for every opposition party is different. The PPP doesn’t want to bring Nawaz Sharif’s government down for multiple reasons. For Asif Zardari, the desperation is for better times – which could possibly enable him to be acceptable to the military establishment.          

For the MQM, the desperation is not for politics but for existence. The MQM is struggling to keep its voter intact, a voter who lived and identified with Brand Altaf. There is a power struggle in the MQM which has now come out in the open. It is an ugly sight and equally disappointing for the voter who doesn’t know whom he will be voting for in the next general elections. For Altaf, pardon or reprieve seems impossible hence his madness. The MQM Pakistan is trying to seek an acceptance certificate from the powers that be.

For the PTI and Imran Khan, the desperation has hit the roof. Imran Khan’s ideological belief has been defeated with self-styled politics from day one. The idea of change was welcome but it never got to take root. The relics of the past can hardly bring the kind of change Imran Khan had once aspired or aimed for.     For Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif’s ouster seems the only silver lining in the sky.

The PTI is relying on yet another rally, which is scheduled to take place on      September 30. But the question remains: will it have any impact on anything that matters? Ostensibly the stars aren’t favouring the PTI.     Dr Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek has parted ways and left for the time being – for reasons known to many. Despite its not so promising position at the moment, the PTI still remains the only effective opposition party that poses a threat to the government.

For the Nawaz Sharif government, the desperation is of a different nature. The struggle is to look good, strong and relevant no matter what happens.

The prime minister yet again conceded ground to the military by appointing a GHQ backed person as the defence secretary.    The government is desperately trying not to antagonise the GHQ, the COAS in particular. However, there are disagreements between the GHQ and Islamabad on the deployment and powers of the Special Security Division (SSD) raised for the CPEC’s security.

Moreover, there is an impending change in command of the military that is now being talked and written about.

The unease and disquiet about the coming two months speaks volume of the GHQ and Islamabad’s working relationship.   In the middle of all this        one can expect some desperate but interesting times ahead.

The writer works for Geo News.

Email: [email protected]

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