THE opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), which was previously considered to be almost dead because of mysterious inactivation after expulsion of PPP and ANP from the alliance, made a strong comeback on Sunday by holding a successful show of strength in Karachi.
In their speeches, the opposition leaders vowed to re-launch the anti-government movement that would culminate in a march towards Islamabad, but gave no details or timeframe.
There are serious questions about the ability of the PDM to build the necessary tempo that could culminate into an effective march on the Federal Capital as the alliance failed to muster strength to do so at the height of its protest campaign.
Sharp differences among the component parties on the issue of March, sit-in and resignations from legislatuares resulted in parting of ways by two otherwise active component parties of the alliance.
An impression was also conveyed that the PDM can manage its plans without PPP and ANP but then rumours surfaced about differences of approach between hawks and doves within PML(N).
Bagh-e-Jinnah’s rally has put at rest such rumour mongering as, apart from the party supremo Mian Nawaz Sharif, the gathering was also addressed by Mian Shahbaz Sharif, whose announcement for the proposed Long March is significant in that that he has been a strong advocate of the dialogue process to resolve political differences.
Analysts point out that the Government has to blame itself for this change of mind on the part of the younger brother as peace overtures were reciprocated by opening of fresh cases against him.
The video-link address of Nawaz Sharif also made it clear that the party is sticking to its previous policy of ‘respect for vote’.
The opposition has demonstrated maturity by not announcing any date or details about the march on Islamabad as the country was passing through a testing time in view of the dramatic changes taking place on the Western borders.
Things would become clear in coming weeks and months as these would determine the ability of the opposition to mobilize the masses, who are getting no relief from the worst inflationary trends.
It is time for the Government to concentrate on measures aimed at provision of genuine relief to the people.