The political landscape – what some are also referring to as the political kitchen – of the country is abuzz with news of opposition parties gearing up to move a no-trust motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan to dislodge the incumbent government. The talk of a no-confidence motion had been doing rounds since last year but only gained momentum recently after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif supposedly gave his approval, following a ‘deal’ with the powers that be. But there was no deal, or at least not one that could be claimed publicly. However, there is definitely a shift in the direction of the winds as the opposition parties are gearing up against the incumbent government with much more fervor than witnessed previously. In their latest attempts to use ‘all options’ against the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), they met with the federal government’s coalition partners – the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) – to seek their support against the ruling party.
Some ‘new dishes’ are being cooked in this kitchen, making the PM Imran-led government loose its appetite. This is why federal ministers are losing no opportunity to criticize the opposition, from speaking at memorials to terming the opposition parties as ‘dacoits’ while addressing ceremonies. The premier himself during a recently held launching ceremony of the Naya Pakistan Sehat Card Program in Faisalabad came hard at the opposition and said “dacoit leaders are ganging up in a fear of getting sentenced on their cases of corruption.” As if that wasn’t enough, the government is also engaged in trying to divert the public’s attention from the real issues – inflation, unemployment and price hikes – by handing out ‘appreciation certificates’ to ministries. We are not sure what these ministries have really achieved in the past 3.5 years of PTI’s governance to be rewarded for.
And then there is the mass contact drive scheduled for this month with PM Imran himself in the lead, while behind the scenes, PTI stalwarts are meeting the coalition partners to inquire about their meetings with the opposition. But will the ally’s dish out any information? It seems unlikely because cracks are increasingly visible. PML-Q’s Kamil Ali Agha recently said that “his party was with the state of Pakistan and not with PM Imran.” On Friday, another of the government’s coalition partner – the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) – threatened to leave the ruling PTI if it was not given adequate representation in the cabinet. The steam in this kitchen is getting hotter but more for the masses whose problems are being ignored as the opposition and the government play politics.