The excitement, mystery and crescendo generated by the opposition parties’ campaign to table a no confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan has finally peaked. The long-awaited no confidence motion has now been submitted with the National Assembly secretariat, and the entire country awaits – with bated breath – the final outcome of this development.
Considering that only a year or so remains in the completion of the PTI government’s term, the opposition has really taken a big political risk to table this motion. The no confidence motion could prove to be the proverbial last nail in the coffin of the PTI or it could mean a new lease of life or a rebirth of the PTI. The result will have a huge impact on the coming general elections in 2023, it could boost the chances of the PTI for another term in office or prove to be a trump card for the opposition and give a boost to their vote bank across the country.
Imran Khan and the ruling party’s spin doctors are now busy twisting the issue to suggest that international conspiracies are taking place. In his public address in Mailsi, the prime minister spat fire and brimstone on leaders of the opposition, accusing them of massive corruption and misdeeds during their previous tenures in power. He accused them of everything wrong in the country and this no confidence move was just a ploy to get away with the spoils of their corruption and escape justice.
Continuing his barrage of criticism, the PM then addressed the ambassadors and high commissioners of the European Union based in Islamabad and questioned their motive in writing a letter to him about the Ukraine-Russia war. He went on to ask them why they had not written a similar letter to the Indian prime minister when India too had abstained from supporting the resolution in the general assembly of the UN. He did not elaborate as to what this has got to do with the present campaign of the opposition parties and the no confidence motion against him. His entire address was intended to convince the audience that all the European countries and the US have ganged up against him because he was following an independent foreign policy and will not be dictated to by these foreign powers.
Such posturing and irrational claims might win him some accolades and boost his image in the eyes of his followers but an irreparable damage could be caused to our foreign relations with terrible consequences to the country’s trade and economic interests. Even his own Finance Minister was critical of the PM’s statement.
Imran Khan and his brigade of political advisors are now busy concocting many fairy tales and conspiracy theories about the timing of this no confidence motion tabled by the opposition parties. According to the government, millions and billions are being offered to the PTI members to change their loyalties and side with the opposition in supporting the no confidence resolution. Charges of horse trading are being flung every day. Of course, this is not uncommon in Pakistan because it has happened repeatedly in our political history when the stakes are as high as they are today.
But the ground reality today is that the Imran Khan regime has failed to deliver on all their campaign promises. The rule of the PTI government during the last four years or so is a sad and pathetic tale of incompetence, mismanagement and corruption. Pakistan’s economic interests have not been looked after. The country is groaning under a massive weight of rising prices, unemployment, poverty and increasing crime. The government has danced to the tune of the religious extremists and religious terror and sectarian violence one again stalks the land.
Imran Khan and his cronies have used the religion card repeatedly to give false hopes to the people. After the use of the religion card, the government wants us to believe that the US and European countries are jointly engaged in a desperate struggle to destabilise Pakistan and the opposition leaders are hand in glove with the enemies of the country.
These are very serious charges, as the opposition leaders are being accused of treason and sedition without any proof. Some PTI stalwarts have even accused Nawaz Sharif of being an Indian agent and using their resources to win elections.
Imran Khan and his supporters are shouting from the rooftops that they have a definite plan in place and their numbers are more than satisfactory. They claim to inflict a crushing defeat on the opposition on the day of voting on this resolution. If they are so confident then why don’t they call the assembly session immediately? Why are they resorting to restricting the entry of their members on the fateful day? What are they scared of? For the last many days the entire government machinery is engaged in planning to thwart the no confidence movement and there appears to be no semblance of good governance.