Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) may form government in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and part ways with the newly-made alliance of 11 opposition parties, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). Senior analyst Haroon ur Rasheed in a talk-show that Bilawal may be offered some support and form the government. “This can happen. Don’t expect much from politicians. They bargain and take advantage of the situation,” he added.
Notably, GB is going to hold an election on November 15. This will be the region’s third election since GB was given the power to rule itself in 2009 through its assembly. In the first election in 2009, the PPP won, followed by the PML-N in 2015.
The PML-N completed its term on June 23, 2020, and the Legislative Assembly wrapped up after five years in power. Mir Afzal was sworn in as the caretaker chief minister for GB on June 24.
What is PDM?
PDM is an alliance of about a dozen parties headed by Mualana Fazl ur Rehman of JUI-F. Some analysts are of the view that it is like the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) created to fight military ruler Zia-ul-Haq and the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) against Gen Pervez Musharraf.
The PDM has announced a 26 point charter of demands which among other things seeks end of the establishment’s role in politics, production of missing persons, end of media restrictions, reduction in prices of commodities of everyday use, and the resignation of PM Imran Khan in 10 days followed by free and transparent elections.
PTI’s real challenger?
Sources claim that Nawaz Sharif and Mulana Fazl have no stakes in the current system and they may want to ‘topple it’. However, PPP is reportedly careful about its move and ‘limits’.
It is important to mention here the PTI is not facing a political backlash for the first time. Maulana Fazl presided over a meeting of multi-conference after the ‘unprecedented’ electoral win of PTI. But soon after the meeting, PPP decided not to reject the elections and formed a government in Sindh.
Once again, the PPP is expected to form the government in GB and leave the PDM for its political interest. Analysts also point out that unlike the PML-N leadership, PPP has not crossed a red line. “Bilawal is making speeches. Some of them are quite well. However, he knows where to stop,” a PPP leader told GVS.
Interestingly, back in 2018, PML-N made all efforts to form its government in Punjab, but of no use. The MQM-P, PML-Q, and other parties from Baluchistan and GDA became part of the ruling alliance.
Despite all criticism and upright refusal to accept the legitimate right of the present government to rule the country, Maulana was the joint presidential candidate of the opposition parties except the PPP.
Maulana, however, remained unable to show any impressive performance since the lawmakers within the PML-N were not happy over his nomination.
Read More: Is PDM a product of poor governance?
Notably, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an alliance of the five Islamic parties – JUI-F, Jamaat-e-Islami, Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith, Islami Tehreek and Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan – could manage to get a dozen Provincial Assembly seats mainly from the traditional stronghold of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P)., whereas, the ruling party in KPK, PTI, managed to get 66 seats.
It is important to mention here how it is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that a single party got elected for the second time from KPK.
Why will PDM fail?
Hassan Askari Rizvi, a political analyst who served as a senior official during the 2018 polls, said during a talk-show on Dunya TV that “the movement will likely involve more rhetoric than action”. Dr. Rizvi was of the view that the opposition parties won’t be able to stay united as many of them have “competing and contradictory interests”.
There is also an opinion that the opposition is likely to fail due to an obvious that it has no anti-government plan. “The opposition will not be able to sell out its narrative. Khan’s government has a success story when it comes to Foreign Relations, it has an exemplary performance when it comes to defeating COVID-19, and Khan’s speeches at the UN made him a hero,” a senior bureaucrat told GVS. The officer was of the view that the opposition could set the agenda on high inflation but that is insufficient to shape an anti-government narrative when the current government seems to have done more than its capacity.