Opposition’s dilemma - Pakistan Today

Opposition’s dilemma

  • Waiting for the referee to raise finger?

The media continues to broadcast live interviews with the people in the streets bitterly complaining of rising prices, unemployment, businesses closing down leading to retrenchments and their highly negative impact on their livelihood. They condemn the PTI government for failure to fulfil its promises. The opposition quotes statistics in Parliament to prove that the government is incompetent and unable to deliver. The opposition parties however are yet not clear over how to deal with the situation, what to do or what to tell the masses. To crown it all, at a time when they are is expected to lead the people, the opposition parties remain disunited.

Soon after the last elections, the opposition parties had formed a grand alliance, with a Rahber Committee to formulate policies. The alliance broke amidst acrimony after the JUI-F  initiated a movement to overthrow the government, mysteriously insisting on a particular date and without discussing its details with the PPP or the PML-N. The JUI-F blamed the two major parties of letting it down when they politely refused to join its sit-in.

The PPP and the PML-N too have differences. The former holds power in Sindh, its traditional bastion, and wants to play the role of opposition without endangering its government. The PML-N has lost Punjab, its erstwhile fief, and has little to lose now. It blames the PPP for being soft on PTI as the former insists on change of government only in accordance with the Constitution. The PPP accuses the PML-N of hobnobbing with the offstage players to get back to power.

Despite the differences between the PPP and the PML-N, each party knows that it is incapable of leading a movement on its own, partly because of its past failures to deliver and partly because of the deadly propaganda against its leadership. The sense of isolation is again leading them to muse over joining hands. They however remain unclear whether to demand fresh elections, in house change, or a national government prior to fresh elections. Some maintain the government would fall under the weight of its own incompetence leading to allegations the they are all waiting for the referee to raise his finger.