- Opposition remains united despite pressure
Pressures continue to be mounted on the PDM to force it to change its anti-government stance. PML(N) stalwart Khwaja Asif was arrested on Tuesday in a case of assets beyond known sources after he reportedly refused to dissociate himself from his party’s position. NAB has meanwhile opened another enquiry against PML(N) senior vice president Khaqan Abbassi. A new faction has suddenly emerged in the JUI(F) which opposes Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s policy of confrontation with the government and the establishment. NAB has announced that it is going to summon the JUI(F) chief in corruption enquiries.
The pressure has failed to produce the desired result. The government’s spokespersons were predicting that the PPP was about to part ways with the PDM. On Tuesday the PPP Central Executive Committee (CEC) announced instead that it would hold no talks with the government till resignation by the PM. Further that the party would follow the decisions taken by the PDM. Last week Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah informed that PPP lawmakers had submitted their resignations to the party chairman and now it was for the leadership to decide when and how to use them.
Gradually a consensus appears to be emerging over the issue of contesting the bye-polls and taking part in Senate elections. It is feared that a boycott would provide the PTI a chance to dominate the Senate and introduce constitutional amendments of its liking, thus wreaking havoc on the country’s federal and democratic structure, beginning with rescinding the 18th amendment. As PML(N) leader Khurram Dastgir put it, the matter is under discussion in his party also with quite a few supporting participation in the Senate elections. This could put the issue of resignations on the backburner for the time being. The PPP’s Central Executive Committee visualizes challenging the PTI government at every forum from the streets to courts and through no confidence votes in the National and Punjab Assemblies .
As the political crisis deepens by the day there is a need on the part of those who matter to realize the failure of pressure tactics and instead seek its resolution by opening up to the opposition.