IN a further sign of weakening of the 11-party alliance of the opposition parties — Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has called upon other component parties to table a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Industrial Estate in Larkana on Friday, he said this approach would be more effective than the existing strategy of holding rallies.
The latest remarks of the PPP leader are reflective of further division and differences within the PDM on the issue of how to proceed against the Government. Earlier, the alliance was forced to change its plans for a march on Islamabad and resignations from the assemblies apparently when PPP, one of the major parties of the alliance, differed on the issue and announced its decision to contest both bye-elections for vacant seats of the National and Provincial Assemblies and Senate polls even without taking other parties on board. Later, in an attempt to keep the alliance intact, other parties also endorsed the decision of the PPP. Similarly, the deadline for the long march was also changed and now Bilawal has publicly expressed his party’s preference for in-house change rather than trying to make attempts to bring down the Government through pressure tactics. This would be meaningful in the backdrop of rumours that keep on circulating in the federal capital that the party was in back-door contacts with powers that be. There was also an impression that the PPP was in no mood to sacrifice its Government in Sindh and might be interested in seeking some sort of relief for former President Asif Ali Zardari, who is facing a flurry of cases. Irrespective of differences of approach within the opposition alliance, the strategy of no-confidence is a legal and democratic option. Instead of wasting time and energy on tactics that produce no result but only cause uncertainty and harm plans to revive the economy, the opposition should try constitutional ways to dislodge the Government. It is, however, to be seen whether or not other opposition parties would endorse the idea as they feel betrayed after what they experienced during the no-confidence motion against the Chairman Senate.