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Can opposition sell any narrative to show PTI government the door?

Among multiple challenges faced by the incumbent government after coming to power in 2018, resistance by the opposition is the mammoth one. Irrefutably, the opposition has given PM Imran Khan a tough time in generating the range of narratives to convince the public of his inefficiency. However, can they sell whichever narrative they wish to formulate just to grab some votes to their side?

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Undeniably after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf making the government in the 2018 elections, the opposition has fuelled contrary narratives in the wake. By blaming the incumbent government for rigging the elections, it had tried to develop a trust deficit among the public and the ruling party. Additionally, with the formation of the Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDM) the opposition has worked on selling multiple agendas and stances against the PTI government to mar their credibility and efforts.

Recently, there has been a change in the tone and content of these narratives. The opposition has tried to sell their perspectives at multiple forums in the lieu of discrediting the incumbent government’s chances to gather popular support in the next election. But the question remains; can it sell any narrative that has blatant loopholes to maneuver public opinion easily?

PM Imran Khan is the US agent?

Fazul Rehman in his speech in Swat tried to sell his perspective that Prime Minister Imran Khan in the US and Israeli agent is working with the concealed motive of harming Pakistan. Over time, the “Israeli-agent” narrative has become over-rated and reflects the lack of basic understanding over construed evidence.

Maulana Fazul Rehman pitched his stance in the wake of Imran Khan’s meeting with Former President Donald Trump when the latter drew parallels with “winning the world cup. Even by taking this statement out of context, Maulana Sahab cannot sell his narrative so easily.

Read more: All the Claims of “Jew’s Agent” & Imran Khan wins “Muslim Man of the Year” Award

It is because the public opinion is centered over the fact that PM Imran Khan’s meeting with Donald Trump was a notable event in Pakistan’s foreign relations with the US. After all, for the first time, the US agreed to view Pakistan out of the lens of Afghanistan. The important gains from this meeting were conducive to revitalizing the fractured Pak-US ties and the leverage Pakistan attained over areas of strategic interest in the region.

Selling Kashmir for vested interests

Similarly, Marium Nawaz, tried to sell her stance on Imran Khan that the latter had sold Kashmir to India in the context of fulfilling his vested interests. She reiterated this view by claiming the Indian government’s decision to scrap Article 370 and 35A from the Indian constitution was due to a negotiated agreement between PM Imran Khan and Indian PM Narendra Modi.

She explicated the fact by arguing that our PM’s endeavors to raise Kashmir Issue internationally are only garbs to convince the public of his loyalty to Pakistan and Kashmiris brethren. Once again, such a stance is difficult to convince the public opinion as PM Imran Khan’s international laudability and extensive diplomatic support to the Kashmiris prove otherwise.

The incumbent government has perpetuated corruption

Shahbaz Shareef, in his press conference, claimed that PM Imran Khan is a corrupt politician and the alleged corruption by the government officials bears testimony to his flawed governance. Yet again, this standpoint is taken with a grain of salt because PTI’s performance in these three years speaks volumes about their zero-tolerance on corruption.

The PTI government came to power after the 2018 elections by effectively selling the narrative of eradicating corruption from Pakistan which is the mother of all ills. Also, their anti-corruption drives by empowering the autonomy of NAB over fake accounts and overseas investment have countered this narrative.

Strengths and weaknesses

Nonetheless, there are certain areas where the PTI government is unable to deliver the results. They include lowering inflation, building infrastructure, ensuring strong governance in Punjab, conducting local government elections, and strengthening the bureaucracy.

Read more: PM ready for ‘environment’ dialogue with opposition parties

Such shortcomings can become strong evidence against PTI’s performance, however, Pakistan’s perceived successes on the foreign policy front, ensuring socio-economic development through Ehsaas and PM Yes scheme along with the Covid-19 curtailment measures are worth laudable.

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