WE have been watching politics have a look at the country for months now. After a failed move of disbelief against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and a long march in 2019, the opposition appears to be running out of ideas and energy to overthrow the PTI government that looks set to finish its term of office.
PDM regained its momentum by the end of 2020 with its public meetings and dramatic take on sensitive names by Nawaz Sharif against the backdrop of PTI’s weak performance. The momentum lasted only a few weeks. His failure to gather a large crowd at the Lahore fortress led experts to think it was over. His decision to participate in elections by and the Senate reinforces this view. However, it was our political views that were tortuous so that these two decisions revived their momentum.
PTI bypoll losses and bungled attempts at fraud in Daska, likely carried out without the active support of the powers superior to do so, prompted the government to back down. His setback was further amplified by a desperate attempt to end secret voting in Senate opinion polls. The final blow to break the camel’s back was Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh’s humiliating defeat in a Senate poll of former boss Yousuf Raza Gilani. This is a double hit. He abandoned his plans to continue with the Sheikh during talks with the IMF.
More critically, it raises the issue of whether Prime Minister Imran Khan still has the majority. PTI tries to answer this question through a vote of confidence. But it comes flawed in light of the use of Article 91 (7) which requires the president to say he thinks his prime minister (himself) does not have a majority. The vote also doesn’t change the fact that Khan has faced questions about his majority. It has weakened his moral and political standing. He will remain in power but powerless to take big initiatives.
The media has missed a more critical lens
But it’s also not smooth for PDM. The suddenly softer tone towards the main institutions aroused suspicion, as did a lack of clarity about future plans. His moral stance has taken a hit since the release of a video showing Gilani’s son coaxing PTI legislators, prompting comments that this could still lead to the disqualification of older Gilani. Problems could also benefit PTI if it wins the Senate seat election. The candidacy of Sadiq Sanjrani follows the Pakistan ‘troika’ meeting. Ironically, the PTI could only win by using the same tacky tactics the PDM allegedly used in Gilani’s victory. But it is unlikely that the PTI will talk about high principles and open voting in this election.
Thus, the PDM may not yet find that despite gaining momentum from the by- and Senate elections, because after its public meeting, the PDM still fails to achieve its goal of revoking the PTI if the company sticks to the latter despite its poor and precarious performance. The position of the National Assembly. These supports reveal the artificial foundations on which the seesaw moves. We have a political viewpoint not because there are two equal political forces in battle. We have it because while weak, the PTI is widely seen as sustained by those who appear to be undermining its public mandate. In fact, it is not wrong to say that the main constituents whose interests are still being served well by PTI are currently part of the formation.
There have been many criticisms of the alleged corruption practices on the part of the PDM for the Gilani and PTI seats in Daska and the distrust movement that Sanjrani had previously complained about the low morality of the PDM and PTI. That is fair criticism. But even though we must immediately take firm action against such practices, expecting it to end soon is unrealistic. These problems will only gradually reduce over the long term.
However, the mainstream media is missing a more critical lens through which we must view such occurrences. It transcends the morality of the politician and focuses on established politics and how any event affects his very strong grip on politics. This is a more critical lens because it causes more damage to public welfare than politician intrigue.
So seen from a morality perspective, the two practices adopted by the PTI in the Sanjrani distrust movement and by the PDM in the seat of Islamabad are bad. But judging by other lenses, the former is worse as it increases the firm grip. So, the real issue is not whether the seesaw is leaning towards the PDM or the PTI. Is it leaning towards the establishment or civil influence. If viewed morally, neither PDM nor PTI will be elected as voters. But looking at it from another point of view, one would express sympathy, as an analyst, for the PDM’s goals of civil sway and a fair vote even if his commitment to these ideals was less than perfect.
The author heads INSPIRING Pakistan, a progressive policy unit.
Indonesia: @ Niaurung
Published in Dawn, March 9, 2021
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