Imran Khan and the ‘dead elephant’

As jointly-read page goes missing   

The Interior Minister has called PDM a “dead elephant”. On Tuesday the PDM chief announced the beginning of countrywide protests against the back-breaking rise in prices. He had in fact been overtaken by events as protests had already broken out in a number of cities across the country. The participants not only comprised common people but also members of the legal community. Lawyers boycotted courts all over KP while they took out rallies in numerous cities of the province, including Peshawar. Lawyers took to streets all over Sindh also while the PML(N) workers protested outside the Karachi Press Club. The issue was highlighted by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly after which the PML(N) set up an anti-inflation camp outside the Assembly.

While Prime Minister Imran Khan had earlier promised to bring down prices and claimed that the rupee too would strengthen soon, PTI spokesmen subsequently expressed helplessness, calling inflation a worldwide phenomenon. Planning Minister Asad Umar has meanwhile promised to extend targeted subsidies on essential commodities which he hopes would bring down inflation from March next year. How big a difference this would make was not spelt out.

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Suddenly the Tehrik Labbaik Pakistan, which had been dormant for months, has sprung into action. What is responsible is government’s reluctance to take effective legal measures to sentence its leadership whom the government itself had accused of arson, murder and the kidnapping of government personnel. There is a rebellion within the BAP in Balochistan, reminding many of the ominous developments of the sort in the province that had served as a precursor to the end of PML(N) rule.

In a situation marked by institutional disharmony, one is not sure of the PTI getting out-of-the-way support from those who matter. The otherwise accident-prone PTI government will be on its own while it deals with the serious challenges that lie ahead in months to come. The Election Commission of Pakistan is scheduled to deliver verdict on the foreign funding case, cases of defamation against two federal ministers are going to be decided and the Daska election verdict or open trial too would cause a fallout. The government would face strong reaction to the Pakistan Media Development Authority Ordinance from journalists and civil society at large. It remains to be seen if formidable earthly issues of the sort can be resolved though spiritual means alone.

Editorial
The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]

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