The planning of a series of protests across the country and a long march from Lahore to Islamabad by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – a multi-party opposition alliance – may create ripples in the stagnant politics of the country. So far, the PTI is continuing its solo flight while the opposition parties have failed to give tough time to the rulers despite a record inflation rate in the country.
In the past, mainstream opposition parties like PML-N, PPP, JUI-F, ANP etc. have planned agitations separately as well as on the platform of the PDM, yet their movement did not get enough support apparently due to different approaches on how to get rid of current rulers and a lack of unity. However, this time opposition parties seem more united and they are claiming launching a meaningful protest movement till the end of the PTI government. The time is ideal for the opposition because the masses have also become sick of the policies of the PTI government. They are now searching for a saviour amid the ongoing inflation drive due to soaring prices of electricity, gas, petrol, wheat flour, ghee, sugar, medicines and other essential commodities. The economic woes of the country have multiplied during the last three and a half years. On its part, the PTI government is blaming the international inflation trend due to Corona pandemic for the present plight of the country. Prime Minister Imran Khan still claims that the prices of essential items are low in Pakistan compared to those available in other countries. He, however, has never presented a comparison of income of citizens living in other states.
So, it is undoubtedly, an ideal time for the opposition to stand against the policies of the present regime and win the masses’ support. But these protests should not be turned violent leading to the spread of anarchy in the country. The holding of peaceful protest is the right of opposition and they should not be barred from participating in any agitation movement. Though, the PTI government has also started holding public rallies in Sindh, yet it would not make any difference unless the government provides real relief to the citizens by bringing down the spiralling rate of inflation.