Government under siege, as usual



March 12, 2022

Government under siege


Government under siege & Pakistani political governance practice keeps on moving in circles defying the laws of evolution and real change. The most problematic aspect of this merry-go-round is the viciousness with which this is seen practiced in this benighted land. It is a well-known and widely accepted fact that in democratic perception, parlance and practice an incumbent government is always under threat of a hostile takeover. The democratic concept of governance promotes dispersal of power but the pre-eminent governing apparatus is assigned with comparatively more power that is consistently challenged by relevant political grouping as well as other segments of the cumulative polity. Such opposition is considered a normal course of action and is an accepted phenomenon in democratic system.
Pakistani political governance system however simply does not accept, adhere to or follow the rational principles of democratic governance owing to the decisive duplicity of power prevalent in the country. Resultantly, tug of war is witnessed to be in vogue since the first military takeover of the country badly tarnishing the essentials of democratic norms of governance and creating a grotesque ruling pattern that has kept the country under a constant state of upheaval hindering the much needed development of the country. It is precisely due to an arbitrary dominance in the country that is primarily instrumental in regular disruptions in governance creating extremely harmful turbulence for the people.
True to its traditions, the current civil political chief executive is under pressure facing the prospects of being ousted from office. What is happening now is that political developments are unfolding at a quickening pace and the opposition appears to be finalising its much-trumpeted vote of no confidence against the prime minister. The combined move of the opposition parties have brought about gravest crisis for the PTI regime since it assumed power in 2018. Not only that the incumbent party is under duress at the federal level but is also against a major challenge in Punjab too. PTI is currently holding power in the federation, Punjab and KP and two of its ramparts are under attack currently.
It must be realised that Islamabad and Lahore are heating up simultaneously which is simply not a coincidence and there is a lot in this revolt that does not meet the eye. It is certainly the hidden hand of the arbitrary that has made this turn-around possible but what they want to get out of this rumpus is shrouded in mystery. The quiet action has now resulted in the fact that the opposition wants to pile maximum pressure on the government through the numbers game in the assemblies. Betraying typical similarity the political game in the parliament it is hard not to notice the zealous march of PPP cadres that is now poised to apply the same kind of agitational pressure that the incumbent prime minister is now confronted with.
Very predictably, the sitting PM is taking the familiar route of trying to show his popularity that made him to address a public meeting, in all probability, organised by the unseen forces as was evident by his body language that betrayed intense surprise at the large number of people gathered there. More ironic similarity could be gauged from the fact that he has taken the favourite stance of launching a diplomatic attack on the West and accusing them to destabilise his government. Along with using harsh language against his opponents the prime minister also piled on criticism of the EU and the US at a time when Pakistan needs to balance its relationship between the West and Russia in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
By taking on the opposition and extraneous forces the prime minister suggests that he is keenly keeping an eye on the electorate and the narrative that he may choose were he to hit the election campaign trail at some point. This again is the classic reaction faced by civilian political leaders when cornered and it has never succeeded in the past unless supported by the arbitrary forces. By doing so the PM is increasing temperature but the actual target of his diatribe and frustration is not the opposition that he knows is toothless but the ones who he thinks are his former mentors.
Again, keeping in view the historical tradition the current position is extremely dicey, as the forces that be always keep their cards very close to their chests. The fact of the matter is the forces of status quo dislike giving away their dominance particularly when they have attained the cumbersome goal of institutional control and would be loathed to part away with. It is quite obvious from the chequered history of civilian political governance that the dominant arbitrary forces are just showing that they have the ability to play game with any segment in the polity on any turf and can beat anyone in any game they venture to play. TW


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