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Tuesday, May 17, 2022
EditorialA game-changer rally in Islamabad?

A game-changer rally in Islamabad?

At a time when the Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf (PTI) should have concentrated on drawing room politics to defeat the opposition’s onslaught in the form of a no-trust motion against the prime minister, the ruling party is much focused on public rallies. Now, all eyes are on the much-hyped PTI’s Parade Ground rally in Islamabad today, to which Prime Minister Imran Khan and his party cadres see a game-changer and a move that will turn the tables on the joint opposition. In a tit-for-tat move, the opposition has planned its rally on March 28. The Supreme Court issued directions to both sides to change venues and take measures to minimize tensions. The direction should have initiated a discussion within both sides over the pros and cons of the rallies, but both camps have now gone ahead with their respective plans. The PTI is also working to win back unhappy allies and the complaining members of the party, who have formed a camp of dissenters, and over a dozen have joined the camp. These troubling times should have made the prime minister a prudent politician, who should be ready to come up with a flexible narrative to reach some agreed formula with his allies and even the opposition for the smooth working ahead. But the prime minister fires saliva of profanity at his opponents every other day, and a similar response comes from the other side too. The prime minister holds public rallies on a daily basis much in the face of cheering crowds. These are the occasions, where he should sell the performance of his government, the projects, which can stand the test of times, such as Sehat Cards, house financing, youth development, Ehsaas Kafalat Programme, tree plantation, and so on. These are landmark projects, which will change the course of human development forever. But Imran Khan’s every speech produces new names for his opponents – Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Shehbaz Sharif, and Asif Ali Zardari.

At the Mansehra rally, Imran Khan said, “The three stooges are trying to scare me, but they should know that they would never succeed in their evil mission.” If he is not cursing the opposition, the prime minister is mostly talking about religious references. We have seen the other side of using religion in politics, and the outcome has been sectarian clashes and the radicalization of the society. As uncertainty prevails, the ruling party should also have its ‘Plan B’ on hand. In case, it fails to stop the opposition from reaching the magic number of 172 in the National Assembly, it should be ready to sit on the opposition bench and work for the completion of the remaining term of the assembly.

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