Read the writing on the wall Mr. Prime Minister!

IK’s attempt to mobilize public opinion through rallies is nothing but to be a political martyr in order to woo the voters with victim card in next general election.

In western democracy, under declining public opinions/trust /esteem, prime ministers decided to step down gracefully. In Pakistan, they stick to chair until kicked out through non-parliamentary methods -soft coup or judicial or undemocratic exercise.

Nazeer Ahmed Arijo                                      

Involving a foreign hand undermining a civilian setup has surfaced time and again in Pakistan. However, with PTI- led government, this theory of international conspiracy in the backdrop of no-confidence motion to topple Imran Khan Government and subsequent political game has reached the mean level. It was the PM Imran Khan who had accused international powers behind shifting winds of politics against him .The Advisor to the Prime Minister Imran khan on Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Baber Awan took it one step forward alleging American support for the recently tabled no -confidence motion against IK having claimed that there was a foreign hand behind opposition’s no-trust move, saying: Maulana (Fazlur Rehman) has called on Biden for help and in this situation, it is now clear from where the agenda is being run and support is coming. The West is being called on help to remove an elected prime minister.

It transpires that not only the beleaguered PM but also his advisors are professionally poor in terms of grasping the ground realities in the country, which have generated general discontentment not only in public but also in coalition partners. There are clear cracks in the coalition partners and in the ranks of the party in power, and it seems the government is incapable to plug those widening cracks.

PTI-led government’s so-called popularity plummeted beyond imagination in public because of bad governance and its failure to weed out corruption, monkey business in commercial avenues by crony capitalists, and to top it all – its failure to reach out to political forces for carving out consensus on issues of public importance and legislation needed. As a result, the political polarization has deepened in recent months. This political divide created by none but those who are supposed to serve the masses with collective wisdom, pushing the present government, headed by Imran Khan, to a narrow gate .

To make matters worse; on the altar of arrogance, the old party loyalists were neglected, disrespected and ultimately sidelined. It frustrated the party workers as well as various members of parliament. Recently, Aleem Khan flanked by those frustrated parliamentarians and party workers held a media talk and accused the party in power to have dropped the die-hard workers and the best brains like a hot potato-the very individuals who made PTI a powerful political party. Aleem Khan expressed his displeasure over the historical pattern applied by ruling elites saying: When governments are formed; the electable, turn-coats and some of those parachuted from political sky, are embraced, and they are given lucrative ministries. Not only this, allies like the PML-Q, MQM-P, and GDA had conveyed their concerns over governance issues, anti-media ordinance called PECA ,and last but not the least over tsunami of inflation. The concerns conveyed fell on deaf ears. With regard to rising price, the PM kept claiming car-purchasing in the market as a sign of prosperity. It was the PPP’s long march and clouds of no-trust resolution by the combined opposition that prompted Mr. Prime Minister to address the nation and give ‘populist economic package’ to stem the tide of price hike unleashing both public and political backlash .Thus, the widening gulf in the ranks of the government and subsequent rising political temperature in the shape of no-trust resolution against the PM by the opposition appeared on the horizon.

Pakistan-Prime-Minister-Imran-KhanOn the heels of no- trust motion, the PM started hitting below the belt remarks like the gang of thieves, dacoits and ‘three rats’ against the movers …(Asif Ali Zardari, Shabaz Sharif, and Maulana Fazul Rehman), and threatened them with dire consequences thus flaring the already volatile political situation. One may have one hundred reasons to disagree with the opposition, but this tone and tenor is below the dignity of the chair of the PM. The opposition political bigwigs are also heaping contemptuous content on the Prime Minister suggesting rapid degeneration of political discourse. Also, one is dismayed that the Prime Minister continues to defy democratic principles. The Election Commission of Pakistan has served notice on the PM and others for attending Lower Dir rally while breaching the code of -conduct. This latest defiance by the chief executive and his coterie is only tip of the iceberg. It would not be an exaggeration to suggest that the government of Imran khan is known for confrontational politics and defying state institutions.

Arrogance kills political scholarship. The arrogant attitude of the PM has added fuel to the fire. Because of this, we see various groups like the Aleem Khan, Tareen and other estranged members of parliament are calling for the change- of- guard in Punjab at this critical juncture with no- confidence move looming large over the Prime Minister Imran Khan. The reported three-hour long meeting between Aleem Khan and Nawaz Sharif in London will give a decisive push to the crumbling wall. Political pundits believe IK’s foot dragging in terms of replacing Usman Bozdar and neglecting independent-opinion givers in the party have brought Imran Khan at crossroads not knowing where to go. They have expressed that small sacrifices won’t help diffuse both internal rifts and current crises. Parvaiz Illahi recently remarked that PM’s aides are damaging government’s relationship with media. The Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin minced no words and said that the PM should not have reacted publicly against EU. Even the Finance Minister is aware of how to respond to issues involving foreign policy matters. Importantly, the heads of governments are supposed to measure their words before speaking on matters related to international affairs, or even global pressure on certain policy matters. Earlier, the PM earned the indignation of some senior cabinet ministers when he had awarded grades to ministers like a classroom competence test.

It thus suggested that the captain could not play his political inning intelligently in every context. To run a country is a test match, not a T20 requiring the player to formulate and implement inclusive policies in the larger interest of the nation.

Although the captain claimed to have administrative acumen. However, hawks in the cabinet prevailed over doves in terms of decision- making and targeting the political opponents and dissenters. The Parliament lodges show- down between the government and the opposition brought bad name to the country. As if that weren’t enough. The ruling Pakistan Tahrik-e-Insaf has decided to hold a power show at D-Chowk in a bid to express solidarity with the Prime Minister Imran Khan ahead of the no-trust vote against him. Following suit, the PDM Chief Maulana Fazulr Rehman has announced a sit –in at D-Chowk saying, ”We will pay you back in the same coin”. Having realized contending moods of the two, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain of PML-Q called upon both of them to cancel their jalsa there. If they did not budge, the situation might take a nasty turn. Chaudhry Shujaat’s call merit attention given raging political fire surrounding the no-trust vote. The strategy by the government of asking its members of parliament to skip the house on the day of no-confidence motion, might plunge the country into constitutional crises. The federal ministers including the PM have been claiming that they enjoy the support of the majority in the lower house. Then why is it that MPs skipping the house on the day is being devised? Asking the Members of Parliament not to attend the said session is both non-parliamentary and unconstitutional exercise. The opposition has hammered out a no-trust motion. They have been claiming the umpire is neutral in this parliamentary game called an-in-house change.

For this reason, Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar in recent press conference rubbished the rumors of Army’s role in’ no-trust ‘takra’ having said that  they [Army] were not in touch with the 11-party Pakistan Democratic Movement through backdoor contacts. He further expressed that the military should not be dragged into politics. In western democracy, under declining public opinions/trust /esteem, prime ministers decided to step down gracefully. In Pakistan, they stick to chair until kicked out through non-parliamentary methods -soft coup or judicial or undemocratic exercise. Politics of principles is not a norm here. Exploitation is at play. The disgruntled and those sidelined are demanding their pound of flesh. The PML-Q, an ally of the government, is vying for the CM-ship of Punjab from the combined opposition in return of changing its loyalty subsequently supporting the motion in question despite having a handful of seats in the parliament. The MQM-P has also handed over a list of its demands to former president Asif Ali Zardari in return of favoring the vote of no-confidence. Petty politics, personal gain i.e. the give-and –take pursued by both parliamentarians and political parties have brought in its wake a colonial structure called divide-and- rule consequently denting democracy.

Both the opposition and those at the helm of country’s affairs are struggling for their survival and their turn of coming into power respectively. Neither the party in power has the ability to deliver nor those sitting on the other side of the aisle touting no- confidence motion as a game-changer, have a vision and program to provide, bread, shelter and justice to the deprived vast majority.

People of Pakistan have suffered and will continue to suffer as the economic imprudence and political instability are far from being over. This is the fight for the crown and subsequent power capture. When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. This has been the case over the years. The PTI had got anti-status quo mandate, but it utterly failed to shake off the same thanks to container mode and inflexibility of the government. An attempt by the PM to mobilize public opinion through rallies is nothing but to be a political martyr in order to woo the voters with victim card in next general election. Victim card has a currency in Pakistani. But, shrinking purchasing power of people caused by both imprudent economic model and exploitative policies dictated by global financial governance has aroused anger among the voters. The truth is that the government lost the opportunity to take voters into the promised state of Medina. The country can be run with cool-headed policies and taking timely decisions. In politics, timing is very important in every context. One of the best quality of a political player is to have a prowess to read the writing on the wall.

Therefore, the PM should stop tilting at windmills called international conspiracies. Time for reality check: The problem lies within.


Nazeer Ahmed Arijo- Sindh-CourierNazeer Ahmed Arijo is an educationist and a freelance contributor. He can be reached at



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