Opposition increases pressure

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AT A time when the country badly needs at least a working relationship between the Government and the Opposition in view of the challenges facing the country in the realms of economy, security and foreign affairs, it is a matter of concern for sober-minded people that neither the Government nor the Opposition was interested in positive and constructive engagement.

No doubt, both are entitled to initiate political moves while remaining within the ambit of the Constitution, law and traditions but their recent statements and actions add to the uncertainty, which does not augur well for the country.

The verbal duels in Parliament these days are quite understandable as the opposition has found a God-given opportunity to lambast the Government over the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021, which is now being dubbed by the critics as the ‘mega budget’ because of heavy taxation measures it contains, and the treasury benches are trying to defend the onslaught but moves outside Parliament are somewhat worrying.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who is otherwise known for his reconciliatory posture, met leader of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM and chief of JUI(F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday where they agreed to discuss the option of moving a no-trust motion against the incumbent Government during January 25 meeting of the alliance.

While Fazlur Rehman asserted that they were considering options which can be used to immediately send this government packing, Shahbaz Sharif said ‘time has come to use all constitutional, legal and political weapons’ for the purpose.

The development comes as the Government is, once again, proactively considering options to increase the political woes of Sharif brothers including ways and means to bring the elder brother back from London, hold younger brother responsible as guarantor for his return and initiation of new references against Shahbaz Sharif.

There is, however, no clarity on the part of the Opposition as apart from the possibility of no-confidence move, it is also making preparations for a long march.

PPP, which in the past, was not in favour of destabilization of the Government through tactics like long march, has also announced its own programme for a march on Islamabad.

The party has also expressed its repeated willingness to become part of the no-confidence plan but the remarks made by Maulana Fazlur Rehman clearly indicated that the Opposition was eyeing the cooperation of the allies of the Government for success of such a move.

Given the demonstrated ability of Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure continued support of the allies, the talk about no-confidence is nothing but a pressure tactic.

We believe that instead of wasting their time and energies on moves that only create confusion, both sides should focus on improving their performance both within Parliament and outside especially when local government elections are also fast approaching.

 

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