U-turn after Hakeemullah Mehsud’s death?


It seems like seesaw, especially evident from the pitch created soon after Hakeemullah Mehsud saga, marked with rising sentiments. But now as opposed to the initial reaction, mourning and crowning, there is a 180-degree U-turn taking place in the country with PTI Chairman Imran Khan finding himself isolated after announcing a deadline to stop NATO supplies.
With dust settling now the political circles and opinion leaders are not sure if the closure of NATO supplies could serve its purpose and so the right course to follow. Those advising a more hawkish approach following the killing of the TTP leader slowly and gradually are coming to terms with reality. Hence we are into debate weighing pros and cons of any extreme measure, including the suspension of NATO supplies. The debate has rather drifted into province-versus federation issue with experts questioning if the KP government could step into federal government’s domain.
Interestingly, by now all the main parties have distanced themselves from the position adopted by Imran Khan and his party following the initial outbursts of Chaudhry Nisar, the interior minister.
The PPP was first to show its reaction over PTI’s position. It has decided not to support PTI in its quest to stop NATO supplies at its hurriedly called CEC meeting the other day in Karachi. PTI Central information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira said the PTI was stepping into the federal government’s shoes by trying to address an issue that did not fall into its domain.
“Foreign policy and related issues is the sole preserve of federal government and the KP government has no authority to stop NATO routes. If today, it is KP, tomorrow it will be Sindh or Balochistan or Punjab interfering in the authority of federal government. The end result would be the erosion of authority of the federal government and chaos in the country,” the PPP leader argued.
The PPP is not even interested in the ongoing debate and would like to see how the PML-N and PTI sorted out on the issue between themselves. But anyway, it cannot have any sympathy for person or group considered to be the murderer of Benazir Bhutto.
The ruling party did not take that long to respond to Imran Khan’s posturing on the issue and decision on NATO supplies. PML-N firebrand Rana Sanaullah made it clear that the KP government could stop the supplies. He said the PTI’s call was impractical and unwise. Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid had also ruled out the closure as envisaged by the PTI.
As such chances of getting any support from the PML-N in the end is quite remote despite the PML-N’s public posturing on drones.
Even the JUI-F and other parties based in frontier are bit surprised at the position taken by the PTI on the issue.
Experts say that it would be difficult for the PTI to meet the deadline of November 20. They believe that political leadership both at provincial and national levels would not lend support to PTI in this regard. Even the parties based in KP are least interested in PTI call.