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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Opposition Desperate for In-House Change: Will Khan survive?

The opposition parties are desperately working for an in-house change. Their goal is to create split between PTI and its allies. Given PTI's slim majorities in both National Assembly and Punjab for how long can PTI survive these continuous moves? Will Khan come up with a new strategy to survive?

Opposition parties are now reportedly working to bring an in-house change in the national assembly. In-house change refers to the replacement of Prime Minister Imran Khan with another member of the assembly. The Rehbar Committee, which was formed before the so-called Azadi March led by Maulana Fazl ur Rehman in Islamabad, is reportedly approaching several political leaders and allies of the government to ‘ditch’ the premier.

“The Rehbar Committee will start holding meetings with the allied parties of the government from next month to find out the solution to the prevailing crises especially diplomatic and economic. Since the PTI government has a thin margin (in the National Assembly) its coalition partners (PML-Q, MQM, and BNP-M) will have to decide whether they should continue providing support to the Imran Khan dispensation that plunged the country into a host of crises or plays their role in steering Pakistan out of the quagmire,” PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal told media on Saturday.

To a question whether the opposition was optimistic about an in-house change, Mr. Iqbal, who is also a member of the Rehbar Committee, said: “The government is so afraid of any such move that whosoever in the opposition speaks against it and is active in this respect is targeted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at its (government) behest. Earlier, the NAB had summoned Rehbar Committee convener Akram Khan Durrani (of JUI-F) and now I have been called by NAB on Monday (in Narowal Sports Complex investigation).”

Read more: End of Maulana’s Azadi March: A Tale of Failed Dharna

The PML-N leader said the opposition believed that after the in-house change electoral reforms should be introduced before calling for the fresh elections in 2020. “In medical science, 2020 is referred to as a clear vision…so this clear vision should be adopted in 2020 in Pakistani politics too,” he said.

Recently, JUI-F decided to give a tough time to the ruling party and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan. A sit-in was organized in Islamabad where students of several religious seminaries participated. Notably, there was no considerable presence of general masses and the middle class from Lahore and Islamabad. Analysts believe that the march was a show of power by the JUI-F in Islamabad by using students of seminaries working under his watch. Probably this was the reason that the party remained unsuccessful to get anything for face-saving and left the federal capital. “Lack of public support to the march led to its expected failure,” a government official told GVS.

Prime Minister Imran made it clear during his maiden speech that whenever there will be an accountability-driven agenda followed by the current government, there is likely to be resentment and political opposition.

Read more: Zardari warns “Go Imran Go” slogans to echo across the country

Opposition leaders from various parties are now attempting to exploit the current political crisis in the country where judiciary and military are at loggerheads after the former delivered a strong-worded against former military dictator Pervez Musharraf. PML-N is certain to exert more pressure on the government since the federal cabinet’s committee has declined to allow Maryam Nawaz to leave Pakistan. The pressure can be generated by standing by the establishment and not uttering a single word about the verdict of the decision. It is pertinent to mention here that the case against Musharraf was filed by the PML-N almost six years ago.

However, reliable sources confirmed to GVS that the government is not afraid of the opposition’s virulent propaganda with the help of some segments of media and opinion-makers. “We are confident about our allies. We address their reservations and work together for the betterment of Pakistan,” a source close to PTI’s Jahangir Khan Tareen told GVS.