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December 5, 2018

PTI govt does not need enemy


December 5, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Opposition wants to give the government a chance to rule and deliver while state institutions also have their support for the regime but the ruling PTI appears to be hurting itself more than anyone else.

Within days after completing 100-days rule, which was full of controversies and U-turns, now Prime Minister Imran Khan has hinted at going for a possible mid-term elections. Pakistan badly requires political stability but the PTI government perhaps does not want it.

Otherwise, how could the prime minister talk about mid-term election so early and that too when there is absolutely no threat to his government from any side. Opposition's prediction that the PTI government may become victim of its own follies, appears to be getting true.

To the surprise of many, the prime minister and his government instead of focusing on their agenda and performance, continue to behave as an aggressive opposition. Governments normally aspire for political stability and not-so aggressive opposition but this is not the situation in the case of Imran Khan government.

Such is the strange conduct of the PTI government that no less than Imran Khan’s own choice for the Presidency and leading member of Tehrik-e-Insaaf’s old guard President Dr Arif Alvi has to urge the PM and his government “to do their work instead of reacting to criticism”.

Pakistan faces seriously economic challenges. The government is expected to focus on improving the condition of the country’s economy for which political stability is important. But unfortunately, the government is not letting it happen and thus in return there is an unprecedented devaluation of the Pak rupee, the loan received from State Bank of Pakistan by the government during last three and a half months is also all time high, revenue shortfall of FBR has also reached around Rs 100 billion, overseas Pakistanis who were Imran Khan’s real bet for bringing billions of dollars investment in Pakistan are also hesitant to respond to PM’s call, stock exchange is insecure and businessmen all over Pakistan are upset.

Though there are economic experts and media commentators who hold the finance minister Asad Umar responsible for this situation mainly because of his indecision to get a bail-out package from IMF. However, others insist that no matter how good the economic policies are, the fruits of such policies squarely depend on the political stability. But unfortunately, there is no one else but the government itself which does not let it happen, and appears to be missing no opportunity to provoke the opposition.

After the highly controversial July 2018 elections and despite opposition parties’ allegation of rigging, there was only one voice from IK’s political adversaries- Moulana Fazlur Rehman- who was initially eager not to let the PTI form the government and then sought other opposition parties’ support to remove the regime.

To PTI government’s great advantage despite its razor thin majority that it had achieved to form the coalition government, both the leading opposition parties- PML-N and PPP- announced that they would not be part of any move to remove the government. Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif, PPP’s Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and even People Party’s co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari all had offered to support the government on issues of national and public importance.

But in a strange manner, some government ministers rejected the oppositions’ offer by interpreting it as opposition’s call for a NRO. Prime Minister Imran Khan has also been vocal in his criticism against the opposition despite the fact that the PTI could not make any law or fulfil any of its major reform agenda without the support of the opposition in the parliament.

In confidence, the PTI ministers admit that they criticize the opposition and call their opponents thief and dacoit only because of the pressure from their followers and voters, without realizing that the government can’t perform in such a fashion.

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