News Analysis |
Opposition political parties in Pakistan are going to organize a Multi-parties conference today to find out mutually defined political strategy to counter the incumbent government’s accountability drive. The conference has been called by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, a staunch political opponent of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The JUI-F has apparently used all tactics to stop Imran Khan from doing politics.
In May 2013, Maulana Fazlur Rehman declared it ‘haram’ to vote in favor of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Chief Imran Khan and his candidates. He alleged Imran Khan for being sponsored by the West and the Jewish lobby. He also called Imran an agent of “Americans, Jews, Ahmadis and a person of ill character”.
After the PTI won the general elections in 2018, and it was able to form the government, Maulana not only challenged the party but also threatened him of dire consequences if it decides to assume the office. The anger was high since the PTI white washed MMA led by JUI-F and JI in KPK which was understood as a strong threshold of the MMA. Later on, JUI-F’s ‘friends’ told Maulana to step aside.
Opposition except JUI-F does not want the government to topple but wants it to offer politically favorable environment where they can live without being arrested or questioned about the money they laundered.
The agenda of today’s MPC is common for the parties attending it but there is a difference with regard to their political strategy to pursue it.
G-M Pitafi, a Lahore-based academic and political analyst, believes that the JUI-F and Maryam Nawaz are on the same page and want a disruptive so-called revolution against the incumbent government to topple it but, at the same time, Shahbaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari do not want direct confrontation with the establishment and wish to give time to government if it agrees to give them some concession.
Favorable Political Environment
Shahbaz Sharif is out on bail in a corruption case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Asif Zardari is in the custody of the bureau these days. Both leaders have many times hinted at cooperating with the government if it decides to offer some concession and compromises its ongoing strict accountability campaign against the opposition.
However, Maryam and Bilawal have repeatedly said that such one-sided accountability of the opposition is actually political victimization which must be stopped at any cost.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Imran Khan made it clear on Tuesday that no matter whoever contacts him, he is not going to offer any deal or NRO to anyone who looted the money.
Analysts believe that in today’s meeting the opposition leaders will pacify the angry JUI-F chief and will come up with a strategy which may put more pressure on the government to offer some concession. Opposition except JUI-F does not want the government to topple but wants it to offer politically favorable environment where they can live without being arrested or questioned about the money they laundered.
Both PPP and PML-N are likely to gain something from today’s meeting but the formidable political rival of Imran Khan, JUI-F chief, will probably be betrayed once again.