- Mark the polarisation
For the PTI, July 16 marked the advent of a golden era. For the opposition it was a black day, for it marked the installation of a PM who enforced media control, and whose policies led to unemployment, high prices and poverty.
The PTI therefore observed the completion of one year of its rule as a Dy of thanksgiving. The occasion was celebrated in party offices by cutting cakes and praying for the government’s success. Party leaders in Karachi vowed to continue what they called accountability without discrimination but which is considered by the opposition a witch-hunt.
Confounding those who had predicted that the people would reject the opposition’s call for protests on Thursday, the parties put up an impressive show of power in all four provincial capitals. This dispelled the view that the opposition had lost public support on account of the barrage of government propaganda against its leadership. The claim that the opposition was divided and this would hinder any joint action turned out to be wishful thing. The opposition acted unitedly with the result that major leaders from all opposition parties delivered speeches from the same rostrum in Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta.
Despite several opposition figures being in the NAB custody and several others under probe, those left behind were nevertheless defiant. Speaker after speaker charged the PTI leadership with incompetence, mishandling the economy, shutting down of the businesses and pursuing anti-people policies. The opposition promised it would not allow the government to tamper with the constitution.
With one section of population viewing it as a thanksgiving day and another as a black day, polarisation in the country is getting deepened. Vindictive acts like depriving Nawaz Sharif, a three-time Prime Minister, of a TV and an air conditioner in jail would further add to it. There is little possibility of peace and stability in the country unless those in power and the opposition enter into talks to devise measures to reduce the political temperature.