Friendly opposition


Mutual interests?

PTI’s muk muka charge received a shot in the arm by none other than the interior minister the other day; when he initiated the small war with Khurshid Shah over receiving benefits from the government. Yet just like his famous quarrel with Aitzaz Ahson in the House – at the height of the dharna – the puffing and shouting was followed by nothing at all. Once the bigger leaders of the parties got involved, it was back to business soon enough. It’s this trend that leads to repeated muk muka accusations. Both parties are fond of criticising the other, but they are hardly ever a really potent opposition, and never really big on holding the other accountable since the Charter of Democracy.

There have been signs of late, though, that the ‘arrangement’ might be under more stress than usual. The Karachi Operation put off the PPP to no end ever since Rangers expanded it from MQM to Dr Asim. At some times the ruling party has simply been unable to lend a hand in this matter – everybody knows who is really holding the remote control. But at others it has not seemed to willing to go out of its way to help PPP. The PIA privatisation disaster did not help the relationship much either.

Yet despite the obvious discontent it is still not completely clear if the romance has really ended. The two are definitely not as close as they were during the dharna – when PPP sided with the government to ‘save democracy’ – but more will become clear when the operation inevitably moves to Punjab. If, like PPP in Sindh, elements of Punjab’s ruling party are also caught in the net, will PML-N once again resort to the ‘democracy in danger’ slogan, as always? If so, which is very likely, will it not miss PPP’s political support if the two have really drifted as far as sections of the media like to portray? So far mutual interests have allegedly kept the two watching each other’s back. And as much as one might be cross with the other for the moment, it is likely that they will come together once again, especially when it’s a matter of survival.


  1. Another English daily has termed Rangers' involvement in nabbing 'corrupt' politicians in Punjab as "second marriage". The Central Government will never allow that Karachi type of Operation in Punjab in general and Lahore in particular since it will expose many PML(N) leaders to corruption alongwith many left over PPP's. It is NOT that the ruling party is free of Corrupt leaders. But it should be done if democracy is to advance in this country. In Pakistan in general and Karachi in particular, everything ( including target killing) is done in the name of 'democracy'.

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