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April 14, 2021

Opposition adrift

Editorial

 
April 14, 2021

The PDM had been wavering in terms of unity for some time. It has now essentially broken apart completely, with the various parties making up the alliance that had pledged to oust the government exchanging ugly accusations. The PML-N, backed by the JUI-F, accuses the PPP of putting aside the alliance and breaking its principles, by first of all accepting the votes of the BAP to bring Yousuf Raza Gilani to the position of opposition leader in the Senate. The PPP has its own stance on this, which has been expressed numerous times in the public and the media. Whether this makes sense, is for every individual to decide on their own. The PPP for its part has hit back angrily at the PML-N and the JUI-F, asking how a show-cause notice could be issued to one party within an alliance without discussing the matter at a meeting and showing the kind of unity and agreement to work together that had been present at the time the PDM was created. In a calmer tone, and in what looks to be an attempt to make things better, Maulana Fazlur Rahman on Tuesday regretted the PPP and ANP’s unilateral action to leave the alliance, but said the doors were open for them to return in the larger interest of Pakistan’s politics.

What is quite obvious though is that the PDM cannot function as a joint opposition group if it doesn’t agree on the basic approach its resistance is to take. The fact is that the PDM has been struggling for some time. The latest developments prove it cannot operate together without going back to the drawing board and figuring out why it was even formed. This of course, means that the PTI government stands secure for now.

This is not the way to go about politics. While the PPP’s recent decisions may have compromised on several matters and hurt the feelings and interests of other parties, perhaps the matter could have been sorted out internally, rather than issuing letters, which quickly reached the media and made any possibility of reconciliation impossible. The PML-N also needs to think about its policy. Had it boycotted the Daska by-election, it would have given over another seat to the PTI. In this sense, resignations from the assemblies should not come swiftly or without proper thought. Most importantly of all, rather than competing on the question of who has faced greater victimisation, the PDM needs to sit together and try and sort out its affairs, if this is at all possible.