Imran’s patient handling pays off, for PDM split is now imminent

Salahuddin Haider

A fighter all along, PTI chief Imran Khan is trained to brave heaviest of odds. No matter how challenging the situation could be, he never gives up, for the word” defeat” instead of demoralizing, adds to his determination to wrest back the initiative, irrespective as to how strong the opponent is.

That extraordinary quality has finally won him the battle against the 11-party alliance of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) which after suffering persistent reverses, has now finally been jolted to the hilt.

All its plans, from primary aim of dislodging the present government and sending it homewards, to dissolution of assemblies, resignations from the parliament, and besieging the Capital city of Islamabad, seems to have met the fate it was bound to meet.

The reason behind such a memorable success, is Imran’s cool and calm nature. He kept watching the situation but refrained from over-reacting, lest it rebounds on him like a thunder.

Just the opposite to it was the arrogance of Maryam Nawaz, and JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, both of them, grudging and loaded with revenge or personal vendetta.

An issue, initiated in November last year, kept declining in severity with the passage of time, and finally ended on a note of disappointment and despondency on March 16 during a council meeting of heads of component parties.

Expectations from neutral observers that friction and gap in thinking and approach of alliance parties, was widening proved true as the high profile meeting ended in fiasco.

Of the three major components of the grand alliance, Peoples Party, stuck to stand it had taken weeks, or atleast a month ago that instead of resignations from assemblies of Parliament’s two houses, democratic means should be resorted to.

The remaining two bigger partners—PML (N), and JUI (F)—remained adamant, changing their stance that Long March to Islamabad, Faizabad or Rawalpindi, will be linked with resignations.

Such a pre-condition obviously was loaded with all kinds of eventualities, and finally stood rejected by Peoples Party’s principal player—Asif Ali Zardari.

He not only was frank and straight in his assertion, but looked angry on Maryam or Fazlur Rehman.

both of them relying in extreme positions, which was least required for the chess board of politics.

His assertions and choice of harsh words at the meeting through video-link from Karachi, fell like a bombshell on the stubborn and uncompromising stance of Maryam Nawaz, who took guidance from his father, in self exile for over a year in London, and on JUI chief who had already seen division within his party after Qazi Hussain Ahmad and others had bidden him farewell, poured water on a fire, that had already turned into inferno.

A reference here of the sentences he surprisingly chose to target Nawaz Sharif, could easily convince anyone who thought that the conference was called to create consensus among different ideologies.

“Mian Saheb, (he started addressing Nawaz Sharif who too was on video link) , you are representing Punjab here, but I have a different domicile”.

This was too deep a dig for the latter and must have obviously taken him by surprise, or may well have been a rude shock. Maryam too appeared long-faced, dismayed, and did not know where to look.

The JUI chief, head of the 11-party conglomerate, was taken aback also, for he considered Zardari his old and trusted friend.

But Zardari had his own axe to grind. Resignations would have meant for him sacrificing his provincial government in Sindh, which surely was too heavy a cost to bear.

He kept hammering, charging that Sharif’s “samdhi” (brother in law in English, for it is no substitute for such a definition of close relationship in Urdu), did not care to show up for the senate polls of March 3 or 12.

The senate election saw PTI, and its allies, dejected after Yusuf Reza Gilani defeated sitting finance minister Hafiz Sheikh by a margin of 6 votes, but then Imran and allies regrouped themselves to pay back the rivals in the same coin.

Their victory for Senate Chairman and his Deputy, was again by the same margin of 6 votes, but Maulana Ghafoor Hyderi lost by ten votes, which naturally infuriated the JUI chief, for his nominee was left in the lurch.

The government defenders—ministers, advisers- kept emphasizing that PDM stood at the edge or precipice, but Imran Khan, after analyzing the situation carefully, finally announced that he knew the fate of PDM.

It never was a winning horse, and so had failed in fight for supremacy.

There is no need to worry about PDM. Imran’s chose his words for his reaction on PDM failure carefully, showing lot of maturity, which should prove valuable asset for him in coming days, provided he activates his party, and squeezes time to cash on the success that has come his way.

The victory for PTI and allies, is like winning a battle. The war is far from being over. Pundits would wait for the two sides to see what strategy they now adopt.

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