PML-N leader’s clash prediction, unfulfilled promises bad omens for PTI 

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 12:00 PM, 22 Oct, 2020
PML-N leader’s clash prediction, unfulfilled promises bad omens for PTI 

A senior PML-N leader says a clash between the PTI-led government, its “backers” and the opposition is unavoidable even if it leads to intervention by the third party.  

In a TV talk show on Wednesday evening, Rana Sanaullah Khan, who is a former law minister of Punjab and is among the most trusted colleagues of the Sharifs, said there was no meeting point between the government and the opposition (because of which there is no possibility of talks between them)”. 

Despite being specifically asked, the mustached leader from Faisalabad, came up with no formula to avert the clash he was referring to.  

“’The third party’ will, have to intervene”, said Rana Sana. 

Ruling out talks between the two sides, the former law minister said the opposition doesn’t recognize the present setup as a legitimate government.

It was also on Wednesday that the Supreme Court ordered all the 24 accountability courts to expedite proceedings in corruption references without granting any adjournments to parties. 

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, a three-judge bench also directed the accountability courts to ensure that the evidence of different witnesses is recorded as early as possible. 

The bench also expected that the prosecution would not seek any adjournment and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor general would ensure all witnesses were timely produced before accountability courts.

The apex court expressed the hope that the federal cabinet would take a quick decision to implement the July 8 direction to establish 120 accountability courts across the country to clear a huge backlog.

Obviously, when accountability courts would decide cases – and most of them are against leaders belonging to various opposition parties, the political temperature would go up.  And the opposition alliance – PDM – which has already held two impressive public meetings in Gujranwala and Karachi with a series of more such events planned for other cities in weeks ahead, will take the political mercury to the boiling point.  

The mysterious kidnapping of Sindh police inspector general, demoralization of the Sindh police, arrest and release of ex-PM’s son-in-law Capt Sadfar, Sindh Assembly’s resolution against the presidential ordinance that transferred the ownership of some islands of Balochistan and Sindh to the Centre, unbearable price hike are some other issues that will be used as a munition against the government.  

These are all signs of bad times facing the country. 

On the other hand, the Imran Khan-led government is about to complete half of its mandated five-year term, but so far it has failed to give relief to people facing countless problems. And whatever the government has done so far will not help the ruling party in the next elections, which the opposition parties in the Pakistan Democratic Movement want held immediately. 

The PTI’s argument that the opposition did not let it take necessary measures will not be able to satisfy the electorate. They want concrete results – and it is the government’s responsibility to honour its commitments despite the adverse circumstances or hindrances created by the opposition. 

Before the 2018 elections, the PTI had committed through its manifesto a uniform education system, launching of a health card scheme, elimination of corruption, improving tax culture, self-sustainability of Pakistan, generating employment opportunities, strengthening of the federation, creation of southern Punjab as a new administrative unit, police reforms, boosting investment and tourism, strengthening agriculture sector by imposing an agriculture emergency and protecting women population  

Although the ruling party did take steps in certain fields, much remains to be done. And what remains to be done is probably more important than what has been done.  

The pressure the opposition parties are mounting through its rallies will make it more difficult for the ruling coalition to honour the remaining commitments. 

At times it appears that the advisers give the prime minister wrong advice, as a result of which a situation is created every now and then that takes the government away from its agenda. 

Since everything is fair in love and war, the opposition parties keep highlighting Imran Khan’s speeches he had made on different issues before coming to power. Those speeches are totally in conflict with his present-day conduct. And whenever they are played, they cause embarrassment to the ruling party and its chief.

Imran Khan will be doing a service to his party – and to himself – by apologizing to the nation for his unjustifiable criticism of his opponents in the past. He must admit that before coming to power he was not aware of the actual situation those in power have to work in. And now that the reality has dawned upon him, he apologizes for whatever wrong or irresponsible things he had uttered. 

Giving up his stubbornness, he should sit with the opposition and work out a strategy to solve people’s problems.

Also, the government should not do anything that helps the opposition to bring people out on streets.

The prime minister should bear in mind that he will be bringing bad name to Islam if his party loses the next elections. That will be the time when the media will have to report that the party (PTI) that was committed to converting Pakistan into a Madinah-like state has been defeated.   

To be able to solve people’s problems, the prime minister should maintain a close contact with the people – as the caliphs used to do. For this purpose he should personally visit poor people even in their huts. 

Sitting in luxurious air-conditioned rooms or just going through reports prepared by bureaucrats the prime minister can’t have an idea of the on-ground situation. 

In the light of what he gathers through direct contact the prime minister should take measures to help the downtrodden. 

The PTI should also set a good precedent of dealing with its opponents. It should let the world know how the opponents are treated in the ‘state of Madinah’. 

At present the Sindh government is the only one that belongs to the rival PPP. The PTI government’s good attitude with the PPP will bring it political benefits.