Waqas Shabbir |
The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) suffered an unlikely defeat at the hands of opposition nexus. PML-N accused the opposition parties of playing in the hands of undemocratic forces. The ruling party had a consensus over the opposition’s political maneuvering aimed at denting PML-N chances of making desired legislation in future.
No one had seen this coming given the Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaf-(PTI’s) animosity with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Asif Ali Zardari. Senate results had put PTI in an awkward and testing position. The usual stiffness would have seen PML-Ns Chairmanship, but Imran had other thoughts this time, much to Zardari’s liking.
The desire to beat PML-N amid fear of probable legislation favoring Nawaz was the prime agenda. Given the PTI stance on PPP, it looked near to impossible that PTI will support any of leading candidates for Senate Chairmanship from PPP. Imran Khan has been a fierce critic of Zardari’s politics and performance.
Presumably, if PTI wins KP, PPP win Sindh along with MQM, and PTI dismantles PML-N enough to avoid taking complete control of Punjab, and Abdul Quddus Bazinjo group generates enough seats, the replication of Senate results may become probable.
In such a situation, PTI’s move to support Baloch Senator was arguably the best way to support a candidate without publically supporting the party [PPP]. Meanwhile, it could gather support to refrain PML-N from legislating new laws which could facilitate Sharif’s against the charges of corruption.
But PML-N’s senior leadership is bashing PTI over its rhetoric to not support PPP. For Imran Khan who has been equally vocal against Muttahida Qaumi Movement–Pakistan (MQM-P) forming an alliance to beat PML-N was indeed a political masterstroke. The opponents may cry foul but deep inside, they will be aware of the game being played. But it should not be surprising for Nawaz who himself has been subject to such alliances with PPP when circumstances demanded.
Read more: Sadiq Sanjrani elected as Chairman Senate
Whether it was a genuine effort to mitigate the sense of deprivation among the citizens of Balochistan or a political gimmick at the behest of non-democratic forces who orchestrated a mission which was executed to perfection using democratic forces, PML-N’s confidence is brutally crushed.
PML-N has lost its first battle. With general elections looming, the apparent horse-trading and keen interest of the non-democratic forces apparently working in shadows, writing is on the wall. We have a big battle ahead.
Accountability court verdicts may lead to the political awakening of certain legislators, which may still believe in Nawaz’s innocence. Opportunists which joined PML-N having seen PML-Q sink may opt to join a party which takes ascendency in the countdown to pools.
It has pointed towards the expected events in summer. It will be more intensified political maneuvering across the country. With Nawaz waging an all-out war against the establishment, the opposition political parties and even the opportunistic elements akin to unhappy defected members of Balochistan assembly would like to capitalize on opportunity to make quick few bucks and more likely next term in the parliament.
Ever since his double-ousting, Nawaz has continued his anti-establishment and anti-judiciary campaign with more vigor and zeal. He is already claiming that next general election will be a referendum against his ousting and has urged the supporters across Pakistan to bring a revolution under which respect for the people’s mandate would be restored.
Read more: Significance of a Baloch Senate chairman
Best line of defense for Nawaz in the current circumstances is a more vicious attack. After holding massive rallies across Pakistan, and demonstrating street power, the father-daughter duo look more confident and have challenged the non-democratic forces and used the phrase ‘rok Sako tu rok lo’ very often pointing towards an expected win in next elections.
Maryam has been a trump card for Nawaz and has been able to draw big crowds and provide a befitting reply to Khan’s anti-government campaigns. She had hoped that win in Senate and next elections may open the way for new legislation which may restrict and define the domain for institutions which seem to work outside their jurisdiction.
The opponents may cry foul but deep inside, they will be aware of the game being played. But it should not be surprising for Nawaz who himself has been subject to such alliances with PPP when circumstances demanded.
The platform is laid, using victim card. Any unfavorable decision in accountability court will create an uproar and reaction translated in the ballot box in favor of Nawaz. Despite the defeat in Senate, it may not be the end of the road for Nawaz. Apparently, Nawaz is hugely successful in his election campaigns and public reaction and support for Nawaz are increasing as he continues to play the victim card to perfection.
Nawaz believes judiciary is at work through a carefully crafted plan to end his political career. After Senate, accountability court verdicts may lead to the political awakening of certain legislators, which may still believe in Nawaz’s innocence. Opportunists which joined PML-N having seen PML-Q sink may opt to join a party which takes ascendency in the countdown to pools.
There is a possibility that opposition alliance may want to extend this partnership into general elections. Presumably, if PTI wins KP, PPP win Sindh along with MQM, and PTI dismantles PML-N enough to avoid taking complete control of Punjab, and Abdul Quddus Bazinjo group generates enough seats, the replication of Senate results may become probable. Will the confrontational politics and accountability court decisions end the Nawaz show, given the Senate results, it may not be impossible anymore?