Damaging allegations from one side. Equally injurious allegations from the other. These followed by the charge from either side that the other is conspiring to dismantle the PDM. The ongoing confrontation has reached a point where the two sections of the opposition would soon be spending more energy in tearing each other apart than raising a common voice against the government’s policies that have made life difficult for the common man. This has led a confident PM to tell his spokesmen that since the opposition didn’t matter any more, they should not waste time flogging a dead horse.
Both sides have committed blunders. The PML(N) and JUI(F) knew very well that the PPP had strong reservations about tendering resignations. It was unwise to enforce a decision on the PPP through majority vote, as alliances can sustain themselves only if differences are resolved through consensus. The PPP was a party to the decision made collectively to jointly support the PML(N) nominee for the slot of the opposition leader in the Senate. The PPP not only violated the decision but also got Mr Gilani elected with the support of BAP members. A gleeful Bilawal Bhutto Zardari later presented the outcome as a victory for the PPP.
Unless both sides undertake a course correction they would open a Pandora’s box through allegations that they would rue having made in days to come. The two rival opposition groups in the Senate fighting among themselves send a highly negative message to their supporters. If allegations and counter allegations are not stopped immediately, these would make it increasingly difficult for both sides to join hands again in days to come.
Sane voices from both sides have dropped hints about the possibility of convening a meeting of the PDM with the aim of ironing out differences. Mr Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told the media that he believed Mr Gilani should have been the Senate chief. The PPP’s Farhatullah Babar does not rule out the possibility of a no-confidence vote against the Senate Chairman, leading to the election of Mr Gilani to the office and of the JUI(F) and PML(N) getting the offices promised to them provided the PDM takes a joint decision. It remains to be seen if sane voices will prevail or drown in the cacophony of mutual allegations.