PTI is up to nothing, again


One had hoped that the several electoral defeats the PTI suffered this year would have brought a sense of realism to Imran Khan. These have however strengthened the view that he has been wronged by political opponents, media, ECP and even the SC appointed inquiry commission. Chaudhary Sarwar seems to have further contributed to Khan’s political paranoia. Instead of advising him to accept the results of NA-122, Sarwar threatened to take the issue to European Union and the United Nations leading many to wonder what role he wanted these to play in an electoral dispute in Pakistan. Now Sarwar has called a meeting of the opposition parties to hold consultations over the alleged manipulation of voters’ lists in NA-122.

The way Imran Khan has ridiculed the opposition leaders and encouraged defections in other parties there is little likelihood of the invitation getting an enthusiastic response. The gathering can at best attract malcontents from JI, PAT and PML-Q who are either PTI’s current allies or were part of the last year’s sit-ins. The tendency to settle disputes outside Parliament, particularly common among the PTI and JI, continues to weaken the system. Despite being a member of the NA, Sirajul Haq has contributed little to debates on vital issues. Instead of raising the issue in NA, he has announced a rally in front of Parliament to demand early return of the IDPs to their homes, calling on other parties to join him in the protest.

While it is understandable on the part of interest groups which go unrepresented in the NA to take to streets to record their demands, it is incomprehensible on the part of political parties duly represented in Parliament to take resort to demagoguery. The performance of the PTI and JI in Parliament has been abysmal. While their top leaders revel in soap box oratory in public gatherings, they fail to make use of parliamentary debates to criticise government policies or to come up with their own positive proposals.