Obligations of govt and opposition parties in the prevailing situation

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 01:36 PM, 7 Nov, 2021
Obligations of govt and opposition parties in the prevailing situation
File photo.

The government and opposition parties are two pillars on which the edifice of democracy is based. Both have their respective functions to perform. 

As of now, the PTI-led coalition has failed on all fronts – but obstinacy prevents it from admitting its failure. 

An army of spokesmen insistently holds the past governments responsible for the back-breaking problems being faced by people at present. 

To be fair, this is nothing but the shamelessnes that, despite being in power for more than three years and enjoying absolute authority to frame policies, these people have the audacity to offer this excuse. 

On the other hand, opposition parties are also not playing any positive role. They are playing no role to mitigate the sufferings of the common man. 

Their sole target is to oust the PT-led coalition and be its successor.  This is the only goal in their mind and they are trying to achieve. 

It was with this destination in mind they set up the Pakistan Democratic Movement- an alliance of which arch-rivals PML-N and PPP were also among constituents. Maulana Fazlur Rehman, head of the JUI, was its chairman. 

The alliance components worked together for many months but failed to dislodge the establishment-backed setup. 

Even the JUI’s long march from Sindh to Islamabad that culminated into a sit-in failed to bring about any change to the situation

After some months the PML-N came up with a ‘brilliant’ idea of offering collective resignations from assemblies. It was argued that the move would cripple the system, after which the powers-that-be would be left with no option but to agree to call fresh elections. 

However, the plan could not be implemented because the PPP – which has its government in Sindh for the past 12 years – did not endorse it.  

It believed that ousting the Punjab chief minister and then the prime minister offered a better alternative. 

This line of action was unacceptable to the PML-N because, in their assessment, the Punjab chief minister through his disappointing performance was serving the opposition’s cause. They thought that the longer Mr Buzdar stayed as the chief executive of the country’s most populous province the bleaker would be the PTI’s chances to return to power. 

Because of differences of opinion on strategy, the PPP and the ANP quit the PDM and started their parallel campaigns against the rulers. 

Now the PDM leaders have met again to review the situation and hammer out a new strategy for the attainment of the alliance’s targets.  

On Saturday, they decided to stage a series of rallies in the provincial capitals and finally a long march from Lahore to Islamabad against the government for its anti-people policies and the rising inflation. 

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif participated in the meeting via video link from London while party President Shehbaz Sharif and Vice President Maryam Nawaz joined the huddle from Lahore. 

Other opposition leaders including Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith chief Allama Sajid Mir, PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan’s Awais Noorani, Qaumi Watan Party’s Aftab Sherpao, National Party’s Mir Kabeer Ahmed and Balochistan National Party-Mengal’s (BNP-M) Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini were among those in attendance. 

The participants decided that a protest will be held in Karachi on November 13, followed by one in Quetta on November 17. Peshawar will be the venue of the protest on November 20. 

“The last rally would be taken out in Lahore, from where protesters would march towards the federal capital.” 

The final date of the march will be announced following a PDM leadership’s conference. 

 Needless to point out that this strategy will only aggravate the already out-of-control situation and add to the common man’s problems. Secondly, despite this strategy, there is little possibility of the PDM succeeding in its mission – thanks to the establishment’s hitherto unwavering support to the present setup. 

In this situation, the government and the opposition should not test people’s patience anymore and play their positive roles to ameliorate the common man’s lot. 

The opposition parties should come up with proposals to solve the multiple problems, bring down prices, riddance from the IMF loans, stabilisation of Pak currency, increase exports, discourage unnecessary imports and creation of more job opportunities.  

All ideas should be discussed at length in parliament and the government should implement them without making it an ego problem. 

Collective welfare of people and national interest should be the chief goal –  and not the individual interest of any party (parties).