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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Are PTI’s government and Establishment on the same page?

Is a section of media deliberately publishing reports and creating a perception that there is a tussle between the government and establishment? Who will benefit if there if this stands to be true?

There are rumors and some unverified reports, claiming a tussle is going on between the establishment and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). GVS contacted several sources within the PTI and the country’s power circles to confirm if there is ‘really’ a tussle or disagreement over any outstanding issue between Prime Minister Imran Khan and the powers-that-be on the other side. There seems to be no challenge the PTI government is likely to face in the near future after General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s extension in service. Sources maintain that the government is destined to complete its tenure despite a patchy political road in the country.

Arifa Noor, prominent journalist and columnist, wrote a piece for Dawn and raised several important questions.  She questioned “if someone, somewhere has decided to send the PTI packing, then why not pull the bandage off in one go? Why first have the allies do rona dhona (lament) so everyone and their aunt has time to dust off all the conspiracy theories and predict gloom and doom for the PTI before finally doing the deed? Why give time to the PTI or Imran Khan to get prepared for whatever bad is coming their way? Or give people the chance to speculate that everything is being orchestrated? Wouldn’t it be easier to surprise them with a fait accompli?”

Read more: No, No, Establishment is Not Packing Imran Government

Another report claimed that “a figure close to the high quarters of establishment, who is also considered a focal person in branding the country’s image all over the world said that major changes were expected in Pakistan’s government. This was because of deep seated dissatisfaction with the governance and delivery of current government.  The first change will come about in the Punjab assembly as the Chief Minister’s head could be the first one to roll”.  The report further claims that “they [unnamed sources] said that this will gradually lead to a change in the federal government however no indication was given to the avenue with which it might occur. An in house change was not ruled out by this person, who spoke on the basis of strict anonymity”.

“They” are on the same page

An Islamabad-based senior PTI leader told GVS that there were some issues related to Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari and Maryam Nawaz. “Prime Minister Imran Khan wants no deal or compromise with them. But he is being advised to review his decision and compromise on some points in order to run his government without any hurdle,” he said.

Similarly, well-placed sources rejected media reports and maintained that Prime Minister Imran Khan enjoys full support of “all those who really matter”. “Prime Minister is leading the team in difficult times. We understand it. General Bajwa is personally involved in tackling with tattering economy which means Khan has army behind him,” he asserted.

Read more: Army and Government are On the Same Page, DG ISPR

An Assistant Professor of Political Science at a private university, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke to GVS and explained the situation. “We need to understand a few things. The establishment in Pakistan always interferes into political process whenever they think their institutional interests are under threat. In the present case, we have seen PTI is absolutely comfortable to be in a working relationship with the establishment. PM Imran Khan and Armed forces or any other nationalist force in the country share the same vision when it comes to Kashmir, Pakistan’s Middle East policy or any other matter related to the national security. If they share the same ideological base, how can you expect them to be at war with each other?”

Pakistan is moving in the right direction

Dr. Farid A. Malik, a prominent technical and management expert in engineering and high-tech industry, believes that “Pakistan and its resources have been shamelessly robbed by the imposed political leadership. Their blatant misuse of authority for personal benefits stands fully exposed. Today PTI is the only hope of civilian supremacy but without the tainted political players of the past”. He further noted that “for the first time since 1977, Pakistan is now moving in the right direction with PTI and establishment being on the same page for common good of the nation”.

Read more: Has Nawaz Sharif finally signed a deal with the establishment?

Political commentators are of the view that certain political parties or interests groups are deliberately spreading rumors about an alleged dispute between the establishment and government to fulfill their myopic political interests. This is important to remember as to who will benefit, cui bono, if there is really a tussle between the power circles and the government?