Which party can replace PTI in power?
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If the country’s seven-decade history is anything to go by, no party gets a second consecutive term in power.
If the trend continues and no political miracle happens, some party other than the ruling PTI, will emerge as winner in the next elections, whenever they are held.
This means a political change has to take place – no matter what the PTI government’s achievements, claims or circumstances.
There are three major parties in the field and they are all part of the opposition alliance – PDM.
They are: PML-N, PPP and JUI.
Other smaller entities in the arena will join hands with any party (parties) in power.
As for the PML-N, it, ostensibly, stands no immediate chance of replacing the PTI because of Mian Nawaz Sharif’s anti-establishment narrative.
By his unexpected onslaught he not only shot himself in the foot but also created difficulties for his party, which so far is the biggest party on the opposition benches. It’s like laying mines on the road to the seat of power.
Because of the peculiar situation in the country, no party can even dream of reaching the throne unless the ‘mines’ are cleared first and other obstacles are removed.
This will certainly be a gigantic task for the PML-N, especially because the three-time former prime minister now believes that by opening a front against the establishment he has done what other parties failed to do in the past decades.
PML-N leaders are clueless about the factors that Mr Sharif kept in sight before taking up his new agenda. They will have to face the adverse consequences of the supreme leader’s initiative unless some way out is found.
The former premier’s newfound love for pure democracy – free of interference from the establishment – has sealed the political future of his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif.
The younger Sharif, who has been thrice the chief minister of Punjab, had said in an interview a few months ago that politicians and the army will have to join hands to run the country.
But the PML-N supreme leader’s real political successor – Maryam – is an unwavering supporter and advocate of her father’s narrative. Because of this factor she doesn’t appear to be standing a political future unless the ‘mines’ are cleared.
The PPP is the second biggest party in the PDM that matters.
But, because of a number of factors it has lost popular support over the past years.
It has been in power in Sindh for the past 12 years but it is gradually vanishing in other parts of the country.
The impact of its alliance with the rival-turned-ally PML-N will be seen in the times ahead.
The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, facing a split because of some senior leaders’ strong differences with Maulana Fazlur Rehman, is the third major component of the PDM that has its following in certain areas of the country, mainly the KP and Balochistan.
But Fazlur Rehman’s alliance with the ‘outcast’ PML-N and his relentless criticism of the establishment will make his party an irritant for the powers that be.
The party will be lucky if it wins elections in its strongholds.
Needless to point out that the ongoing confrontation between the establishment-backed PTI and the PDM is adversely affecting the economy – and thus adding to the problems of the common man.
The PDM’s protest rallies even during the chilling weather are bringing no relief to the people. They have also failed to mount pressure on the rulers to take steps to bring down prices of essential items. Conversely, prices are going up almost every day.
Prudence demands that in view of the long-term interests of the country the PDM leaders should have a second look at their targets and policies to achieve them. They should hold brainstorming sessions to control the damage caused by Mr Sharif’s latest initiative.
Already there are reports that the political system faces a serious threat. Some reports even suggest that presidential system may replace the existing parliamentary system.
How the system will be replaced and whether such a step will be a step in the right direction is not the question at the moment.
The point is that the prevalent situation can land the country into a greater crisis that must be averted at all costs.
The ruling PTI should also not be overconfident because of the establishment’s support. The party should not forget that political weather in the country can change anytime. Also, there are no permanent friends or foes in politics.
Therefore, the parliamentarians on both sides of the aisle should realise their obligations and hammer out a strategy to avert any new crisis before it is too late.