Opposition leaders, critics, and some anchors believe that there may be minus-Khan formula or the early election in Pakistan as of result of the incumbent’s failure to effectively combat the COVID-19 outbreak and an unprecedented economic recession. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders on Thursday, while terming the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as the “most corrupt” party in the history of the country, claimed that there is not going to be minus-Khan, rather minus PTI in the coming future.
However, analysts believe that the PML-N seems to be exaggerating the current political situation and economic downslide to earn some political capital to maintain its relevance. The number game in the lower house of the parliament still confirms that the PTI’s government is unlikely to face any unwanted political scenario in the near future.
Minus-Khan or minus-PTI: PML-N’s position
PML-N holds the PTI responsible for economic uncertainty, price hikes, inflation and a ‘flawed’ Kashmir policy. Addressing a press conference at the Parliament Lodges on Thursday, PML-N leader and former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is defaming Pakistan due to his ego, adding that it was not opposition but the rulers themselves were undermining due to their actions.
He said that the government’s performance has raised questions on every institution, adding that the PIA plane crash incident caused damaged to Pakistan’s credibility all over the world.
The former minister went on to say that the lockdown in India occupied Kashmur (IOK) is about to complete one year but Pakistan’s government could do nothing except making speeches. “People are being slaughtered in Kashmir every day in front of their young children but the government has wasted a year,” Iqbal said and demanded to convene a meeting of the National Assembly (NA) on the Kashmir issue.
Number game in the lower house is in PTI’s favor?
Akhtar Mengal’s Balochistan National Party has withdrawn its support from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government. The party has four members in the National Assembly.
To form the government, a party needs at least 172 seats. Even after losing Mengal’s support, the PTI and coalition parties have 180 seats in NA. PM Khan’s PTI has 156 seats in the assembly, while it has the support of seven members of Karachi-based MQM-P.
The PTI’s coalition partners PML-Q and BAP have five seats each in the lower house, while GDA has three seats in the assembly.
Sheikh Rashid, an MNA of his AML party and two other independent MNAs are also supporting PM Khan’s government.
Mengal has left the PTI coalition but he hasn’t joined the opposition’s alliance, which has 157 members in the assembly.
The PML-N has 84 MNAs, the PPP has 55 MNAs, the MMA has 15 MNAs and the ANP has one MNA in the lower house of the parliament.
Two independent MNAs are also sitting on the opposition benches. The opposition parties will have 161 seats in the assembly if Mengal decides to join them but it would not be enough to topple PM Khan’s government.
PPP-PML-N government on the cards?
Interestingly, the PML-N has 84 MNAs, the PPP has 55 MNAs, the MMA has 15 MNAs and the ANP has one MNA in the lower house of the parliament. The joint opposition has 157 members in the assembly. The ruling party, PTI, has 156 seats. Waseem Badami, a prominent political commentator, believes that it is not possible given the circumstance that the PPP and PML-N can form a government after sending PM Khan back to home.
“If Imran Khan with 156 seats cannot manage to run a government how it comes that the scattered opposition with conflicting and contradictory interests can have a government without any disruption?” he asked.
Analysts maintain that the government, which has apparently the support of the establishment and all other institutions, is likely to complete its tenure, and minus-Khan formula is not a relaity. However, Prime Minister Khan is suggested to have thoroughly reviewed his economic team and the policies his government is pursuing at the moment. Experts believe that a thorough revision of the government’s policies may help it to regain mass support.