Why Opposition’s movement may prove barren?




In my Sept 21 piece, I dwelled upon various factors that led to holding of the All Parties Conference or some would call is Multiparty Conference in Islamabad on September 20, 2020. This is not for the first time that the opposition parties have joined hands against government.

Especially PPP and PML N have a history of forming alliances and then betraying each other. Analysts believe this time too history may repeat itself and these two main opposition parties once again leave each other in the lurch and at a time when their anti-government movement would be at its peak.

As discussed in my yesterday’s piece, both parties have their own axe to grind when it comes to dislodging the government or the supporters of this government, who according to these parties happen to be the establishment. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s September 20 speech from London was in fact an open challenge to the establishment that if voted to power again PML N would settle all scores. PML N critics believe if PML N is in deep crisis these days it is because of the belligerent attitude of its supreme leader.

Unlike, PML N President Shahbaz Sharif really wants to work with the establishment knowing the fact very well that their (establishment) role in Pakistan’s politics has become a reality now therefore politicians and the establishment will have to work in tandem for the smooth functioning of the system.   That is why Shahbaz Sharif during his APC speech did not touch upon anything that would draw ire of the powers that be.

Now the question is why the opposition parties have chose this period of time for their anti-govt rallies. According to their plan their movement will start in October and final showdown in the shape of long march will take place in January 2021. The opposition’s real predicament stems from the fact that in March 2021 Senate elections shall take place and since PTI has majority now in KPK, Center and Balochistan also therefore it will win majority in Senate as well after March elections. And majority in Senate means the govt will have two-thirds majority in the Parliament to amend Constriction.

Once govt gets majority then changing the 18th Amendment or legislation for a presidential form of government will become easy. Opposition wants to do some miracles meanwhile in order to stop PTI and its allies getting majority in the Senate. Then, PML N and PPP have realized that their survival lies in politics of agitation. That is the only way to keep their opponents at their tows. Politically that is a smart move so we can say better late never.

All said and done, what can be those factors due to which opposition’s movement may not prove a success? First, the opposition movement is driven by the fact that their leaders are facing charges or some are in prison so these parties want a relief for them. Secondly, the opposition is launching protests only because it thinks the government is illegitimate and thrust upon people by force. This excuse also appears to be flimsy and freak. History would bear testimony to the fact that all mass movements can only succeed if supported by general public. And in this case general public may not be interested for it has already tried and tested all these parties for more than once. Then these parties are facing internal problems as well. Half-hearted and disjointed movements can hardly yield any results. There is no denying the fact that even the PTI experience has backfired but then the alternate choices too may be equally dangerous and counterproductive.

So, we can rightly say that Pakistani people are indeed between the devil and the deep sea!!