The current political situation is very interesting in Pakistan. At a time when people are anticipating the next season of their favourite Netflix series, the people of Pakistan are anticipating National Assembly sessions. Forget the World Cup, because opposition versus government is more interesting than Pakistan versus India final.
The National Assembly session started at 9:00am and we politics geeks got ourselves glued to the TV. Opposition members were glowing as they thought it would be the final, whereas PTI government members were nowhere to be found. Then, after a while, a few members reached parliament and the speaker finally began the session at 10:30am.
But the speaker said that foreign conspiracy will be discussed in the parliament, it seemed like the government was in full mood to get on the nerves of the opposition. And they did it. It was obvious that the government was trying to delay the voting for the no-confidence motion on purpose, despite the ruling of the Supreme Court that had ordered the speaker to conduct the voting on April 9 at all costs.
Since Imran Khan is a cricketer, he made sure that the viewers watch the match till the last ball. He made sure that Pakistani politics will not be a one-sided boring match and viewers will chew their nails through to the end.
His Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid wrote a letter for Imran Khan’s security as the former prime minister, which suggested that Imran Khan might resign, but then there was a statement from Prime Minister House denying the resignation and reaffirming that he will “absolutely not” resign. Then the mysterious cars near PM House, the Islamabad High Court lighting up, the parliamentarians in the assembly, the helicopter and then the rumour that Imran Khan tried to oust the army chief was categorically denied by the premier. It was too much to process for us.
This is the outcome of the thought process of the PTI; the problematic thought process of the PTI. It likes to play James Bond movies even though they cost the game itself. Delaying voting on the date that was given by Supreme Court was a terrible idea. [Former] Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser knew that delaying voting will enrage the Supreme Court and there might be another unpleasant ruling by the court on this intentional delay. He might be jailed or he might be dismissed for life. The PTI might get disqualified for life. But the PTI being PTI decided to mess with the Supreme Court anyway just to drag down the opposition (for a while). They once again risked their long term politics for some short term suffering of the opposition.
The government had said that there will be a surprise for the opposition on April 9 and if this delay was the surprise, then Khan, it is not a flattering surprise and we, the voters, are not wooed. At this point, it was cringeworthy to see the situation of the parliament. What was the PTI thinking? For how long they could postpone voting? And even if they bought some time, what would they achieve in these few borrowed days?
The PTI learned nothing from the previous session. The speaker made the same mistake as the deputy speaker. Why were PTI members risking the future of the party? Either they were trying to create an environment for martial law, or they were trying to be disqualified before elections just so that Shehbaz Sharif wouldn’t be the prime minister. Yes, the primary goal of the PTI was not to save its government or the party, its primary goal was to make sure that Shehbaz Sharif did not get to become the prime minister.
Meanwhile, if the opposition had presented the no-confidence motion against the speaker and deputy speaker first, the session could be different. It would be much easier to oust Imran Khan with Ayaz Sadiq as the speaker. But the opposition took Imran khan way too easy. He is a cricketer and a cricketer can turn the table.
But the opposition is still strong in the game because it chose the constitutional way against the government. So one way or another, the government was bound to lose and it knew that very well. Delaying tactics could not take PTI far.