Imran’s stubbornness, opp’s defensive aggression and people’s helplessness 

Published: 03:18 PM, 8 Oct, 2020
Imran’s stubbornness, opp’s defensive aggression and people’s helplessness 
Caption: Imran’s stubbornness, opp’s defensive aggression and people’s helplessness 
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Whoever used his/her influence to get a sedition case registered against dozens of important PML-N leaders, incumbent AJK prime minister, and some former generals has done a great disservice – and caused the ruling PTI great humiliation.

Now leaders of various tiers are dissociating the party from the move, which has made the rulers a laughing stock.  

On Wednesday, former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair, who has now been designated as spokesperson for former premier Nawaz Sharif, and PML-N deputy secretary general Attaullah Tarar visited the Shahdara police station and offered their arrest in the case against them. However, the police refused to apprehend them unless all legal formalities are completed.  

Mr Zubair said on the occasion: “This FIR has been registered at the behest of Imran Khan who is fond of booking opposition leaders in different cases”. 

Mr Tarar said if the government did not want to arrest the nominated persons, it should quash the FIR. 

The case registered on such serious charges and the defensive aggression the PML-N has resorted to has emboldened the leaders and workers of the former ruling party. Now they will not be afraid of any case to be registered as a result of a series of protest rallies to be staged from the PDM’s platform in various parts of the country. 

A person who has faced bullets can’t be expected to fear a knife, they say.

Needless to point out that the beleaguered leaders of the PML-N and the PPP will go to any extent to oust the PTI government. For them even a military intervention will mean riddance from the PTI rule.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, head of the 11-party opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement, is also using all energies to defeat his arch rival Imran Khan

He, along with a team of his party leaders, called on Maryam Nawaz and other senior PML-N leaders at the palatial residence of the Sharifs at Jati Umra on Wednesday.

In the kind of situation being faced by the Sharifs at the hands of NAB, it would have been understandable if Maryam or any other PML-N leader had called on the PDM chief, to work out a strategy against the PTI government as Maryam’s stakes are much higher than those of the Maulana. 

Also, nobody should underestimate the religious leaders’ reservations about women leadership. 

But if the PML-N and the PPP have set aside all their past reservations and joined hands on PDM’s platform; if Fazlur Rehman can go to Raiwind to discuss future plans with Maryam (who, compared to the JUI emir, is nothing but a political infant; if parties in the KP and Balochistan have also joined the PDM, the future political situation can take any turn). 

To placate the Army, the PDM chief said after the Jati Umra meeting: “We have no clash with the Army or its leadership. If there is a problem, it is not from our side.”

He said: “A historic movement will kick off on Oct 16 in Gujranwala that will lay the foundation of sending home the most incompetent government in the country’s history. A legitimate constitutional government will be formed in the wake of the opposition’s movement. People are looking up to us and the PDM will succeed in this struggle.”

According to him, people would start feeling the impact of the PDM movement after a couple of its rallies. “A long march towards Islamabad also features in our protest plan,”  

What Maryam Nawaz said on the occasion was, apparently, a departure from her father’s fiery Sept 20 speech in which he targeted those responsible for bringing what he called an incapable Imran Khan to power.  

She said on the occasion: “We don’t target the state institutions. You (Imran) use state institutions. The former FIA head has said that you ordered him to register cases against me and Nawaz... this is called dragging of institutions (in politics).” 

Political observers are of the view that in such a situation Prime Minister Imran Khan will be committing a serious mistake by relying on the “rosy pictures” being painted by people like Sheikh Rashid or Shehbaz Gill.  

Sheikh Rashid insists that the PPP will not quit the Sindh government even if sun rises in the west. He also predicts tough times ahead for all opposition leaders.

Shehbaz Gill ‘disclosed’ recently that Maryam Nawaz met some Indian national at Khokhar Palace in Lahore and former premier’s sons some Indians in London.  

The veracity of his claim has been challenged by the PML-N leaders.

The PTI leadership must bear in mind that they cannot survive the opposition onslaught unless people are fully behind them. And people cannot support a government that has made their living difficult by raising prices of all essential items on a daily basis.

Claims that the government has drastically brought down current account deficit and is taking steps that will benefit the people in the long run have failed to convince the electorate. Those who are finding it difficult to survive at the moment cannot be placated with future promises.

The islands ownership dispute started with the PPP government is ill-timed that will not help the PTI at all.

If the prime minister is not living in some other world, he should hold talks with the opposition to avert the impending disaster. He should be flexible enough to shake hands with his political opponents. His no-NRO to opposition rhetoric will not help his government or the country.

Ashraf Mumtaz

The writer is the Deputy Editor of 24 Digital.