Caught between PTI and PDM

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 12:07 PM, 2 Dec, 2021
Caught between PTI and PDM
File photos.

Pakistan is both a blessed as well as an unlucky country. 

Blessed because it’s the only nuclear power among 57 Islamic countries in the world. Also, it is technologically ahead of many countries, both Islamic and un-Islamic. 

But it’s unlucky because of the ineligibility, lack of foresightedness and a clear line of action, selfishness, the unpredictability of both the ruling PTI and the parties in the opposition. Both have failed to come up to people’s expectations.

The ruling coalition comprises the PTI, PML-Q, MQM and GDA and JWP. The opposition parties are the PML-N, PPP, JUI-F, BNP and some other non-entities.   

The PTI comprises inexperienced leaders, turncoats, adept only in making tall claims about their performance and reviling the opposition on one pretext or the other. 

On the other hand, the PDM is an alliance of over half a dozen parties. They have failed to play their role effectively.    

Once even the PPP and the ANP were part of the coalition. However, they quit it on account of differences over strategy to oust the government. 

As for the PTI, the general impression is that it has turned out to be an “Angel of Death” for the common man. The party has failed to deliver on all fronts. It has ruined the economy to an extent that it will not be easy for any party in power in future to put it back on track.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had been claiming in the past that he would improve the economy that rivals at home and abroad would envy it. However, he has completely failed to honour his commitment.  

Conversely, he has made Pakistan a beggar at the international level. Without dependence on foreign loans, the country can’t run anymore.  

The conditionalities for the latest $6 billion IMF loan programme are simply shameful. They have added to the miseries of the common man as prices of all items and services have shot up.

The strings attached to the Saudi package are even more painful. They are not reflective of an agreement between two brotherly Islamic countries. The interest rate on the loan is much higher than elsewhere in the world. The acceptance of these conditions manifests the country’s absolute helplessness. 

Compared to this, even non-Muslim China is doing much better for Pakistan. 

It’s time for Pakistan to decide who are its sincere and dependable friends in the world. 

While the PTI had promised to transform Pakistan into a Madinah-like state, its policies have tarnished the very image of the country.  Even poorer countries of the region are performing better than Pakistan. 

The PTI government’s performance on the accountability front is more disappointing. Imran Khan used to say that he would not spare any corrupt and would bring back to Pakistan the looted wealth stashed abroad. But, so far, he has completely failed on this front as well. 

The government’s efforts to bring absconding Nawaz Sharif back to Pakistan have not succeeded so far and there’s little hope of them bearing fruit in the future.  

This has established beyond doubt that the Sharifs are more influential and powerful than the state of Pakistan – and the ‘credit’ for this situation goes only to the PTI’s long-tongued leadership. 

Unfortunately, no improvement can be expected even if the PTI government is replaced by any party (parties) in the opposition. Although parties like the PML-N and PPP have many experienced leaders in their ranks they seem to be confused about their future course of action. 

They neither recognize the PTI government nor have a strategy to get rid of it. Their previous plans in this regard also miserably failed to yield desired results. 

Their continuous protests have not let the PTI government stabilize – which is not a positive development from the country’s point of view. 

So far, it is not clear whether the PML-N and PPP are allies or rivals. They change their stance to serve the requirements of a particular situation. Yes, at times they ‘prosecute’ each other and then also start ‘defending’ each other when they want to bridge the gap. 

In a nutshell, they don’t trust each other, irrespective of their spoken words. 

The by-election on NA-133 (Lahore) establishes beyond doubt that the two major opposition parties are strong rivals. 

The PTI candidate on this seat is out because of legal complexities. PML-N’s Shaista Pervaiz and PPP’s Aslam Gill are in the field. It’s an established fact that Lahore supports the PML-N for whatever reasons. Still, the PPP has fielded its candidate to test its popularity in the city. 

Had the two parties been allies, they could have put up a joint candidate to defeat the PTI. Had they done this, the by-election would have become redundant after the disqualification of the PTI nominee. 

Religious parties have already disappeared from the scene except for the JUI-F and the Jamaat-i-Islami. 

Needless to point out that despite decades of work the JUI-F has not been able to show its influence/ presence beyond a few constituencies in KP and Balochistan. 

As for the Jamaat-i-Islami, it is neither with the PTI nor the PDM. But the reclusive party doesn’t know what it should do to get public support. It is groping in the dark.

Ashraf Mumtaz

The writer is the Deputy Editor of 24 Digital.