Imran Khan has said elections are the only way to avert revolution looming large at the country. Keeping the establishment’s sensitivities in mind this time, Imran Khan avoided mentioning the bloody revolution brought by Imam Khomeini. Instead he wanted peaceful transition of power through free and transparent elections. Khan nevertheless issued an ultimatum to the PML-N led administration: Announce elections or face long march sometime by the end of September. The PML-N and its allies will obviously opt for facing the march on Islamabad.
Last year while in the opposition, the PML-N and its allies defeated the ruling PTI in nearly all by- elections, hands down. Once in power at the center and Punjab, the PML-N-led coalition’s ratings fell like stone as inflation rose, there were job cuts in industry, prices of petroleum products continued to be enhanced, the rupee continued to lose value, and the common man’s purchasing power was squeezed. The federal finance minister meanwhile put the blame for the economic downturn on the PTI government and took credit for saving the country from default. This provided little solace to the common man who sees the economic hardships increasing under the PML-N led government. Fearing that it might not be able to put the economy on rails in a short period, a section of the party has started using religious card to gain the support of extreme right minority baiters.
Meanwhile the rains-cum-floods have created another challenge for the government. The climate induced human suffering on a colossal scale requires mega funds to rescue and rehabilitate 30 million affectees who lost houses, farms, orchards and small businesses. More and more children as well as well as adults are falling prey to disease. They require immediate treatment. There are widespread complaints of elected reps and government ministers, particularly in PTI ruled Sindh, having abandoned their voters to their fate. Some have been accused of diverting the flood waters from their farms to the habitations of the poor. Stories about the theft of relief goods or their distribution among undeserving have started appearing. To win the next election what is required from the PML-N led coalition is nothing short of a Houdini act or support from deuce ex machina.