As expected, Prime Minister Imran Khan has secured a vote of confidence after securing 178 votes during a special session of the National Assembly on Saturday. It was six more than the required number of 172.
The special session of National Assembly was a show of strength for Imran Khan who on Thursday had said that he would seek vote of confidence for his government after losing senate seat. PM Imran had sought the trust vote after the shocking defeat of PTI candidate for the Senate seat on March 3.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has proved that his government enjoys the support of majority members of national assembly. But the biggest question is whether this vote of confidence will bring much needed political stability in the country. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Even though, Pakistan needs political stability for economic recovery, development and to attract foreign investment.
The PTI leaders and workers are celebrating this victory. They are hoping that this victory will strengthen the government that was shaken by the surprise victory of opposition candidate on Islamabad Senate seat. But this jubilation seems to be temporary and short lived. The Experts believe the political instability that started after the Wednesday Senate elections will continue even after the vote of confidence.
The PTI government will find itself in a much weaker situation. It might survive the onslaught from opposition but with a very weak position. Many people are not happy with the government due to high inflation and rising cost of living.
Is the current political discourse and model of governance appropriate for navigating the country towards a better future? Would it not push it into greater political uncertainty and yield further space to non-democratic institutions? The non-stop war of words between the government and the opposition and a dysfunctional parliament that is more a political battleground than a forum for oversight and serious legislation, raises serious concerns.
The politics of extreme antagonism may well be a global trend as witnessed even in some of the older and mature democracies. But the institutions, legal framework and traditions of these countries are so strong that they can bear these political digressions and yet retain their democratic character. There is, however, a big difference between criticising and humiliating one’s political opponents and that seems to be conveniently overlooked.
Hardly any local or foreign investor likes to make investment in an unstable and polarised political situation. The political stability also needed for a government to concentrate on its performance, service delivery and to implement its promised policies. There is no immediate danger to the PTI government but situation might change after few months.
The poor performance of PTI government is the mater of real concern. The poor performance of this government has allowed the opposition to come back and strengthen its position. The blaming others strategy is not going to work anymore. As the elections draw near, the government will come under more pressure to fulfill its promises and pledges to provide cheap homes, jobs and prosper life.
The united opposition will continue to pose serious challenge to the government. If PDM succeeded to elect its chairman senate, it will further weaken the government.
PTI depends on the votes of allied parties to maintain the majority in the parliament. MQM-P, PML-Q and BAP are important for the government to remain in power. If MQM-P alone withdraws the support, this government will lose majority in the national assembly.
The other problem is the divisions and frictions within the ruling party. Many MNAs are not happy with party leadership. The allies will increase pressure on the government. Despite becoming the largest party in the senate, it was forced to accept Sadiq Sanjrani as the candidate for Chairman Senate. Sadiq Sanjrani is the current chairman of senate and belongs to Balochistan Awami Party, an ally of PTI government.
The government is not trying to defuse the situation and to bring down the political temperatures in the country. The government is not ready to mend its strained relations with opposition. PM Imran Khan continues to repeat its narrative that opposition leadership is corrupt and he is not ready to talk to them or cooperate with them on important national security issues and problems faced by Pakistani masses.
The situation might become much more tense and polarised as the date of long march of opposition PDM parties will come close. The opposition parties have already announced a march towards federal capital Islamabad on March 26.
It is feared that possible long march and sit-in in Islamabad might further polarised the already tense political situation. Any violence during long march will further increase the uncertainty and destabilisation. The emotions are running high.
What happened today in Islamabad outside the parliament house could be repeated on bigger scale in the coming period. The senior PML-N leaders were beaten and harassed including a female leader by the supporters of PTI. This incident clearly indicates that situation is hostile, polarised and volatile.
It seems we have still not realised that democratic development is the only sustainable solution to address the complex problems that Pakistan faces whether it be the economy, national security or earning respect among the community of nations. Linked to that is the development of
credible institutions that include the judiciary, full respect for the rule of law and last but not the least economic, social and human development.
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