Opposition need to change ways

July 31, 2019

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan is right in saying that in the past, dynastic politics prevailed in the South Asian countries, but today all has changed. Like India and Sri Lanka, the rule of dynasties has ended in Pakistan with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) coming to power. The people of Pakistan, particularly the youth, rejected the two dynastic parties i.e. Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the last general election. It were the youth, who played a pivotal role in ending the rule of dynasties across the region and same was the case in Pakistan, where they voted for the PTI. Today social media has become a big tool where the youth are expressing their views freely and having great influence over the country’s politics. Imran Khan’s political tsunami humbled a lot of political leaders besides knocking the wind out of the extremist and sectarian networks and making heads of religious parties bite the dust. Major Pashtun and Baloch nationalist leaders too lost elections. PTI demolished MQM-P and PSP leadership and wrested 15 national assembly seats from Karachi. While the leaders of the PPP managed to save their seats and increase their parliamentary strength, Bilawal Bhutto lost elections from his party stronghold of Lyari and was defeated in Malakand. Notwithstanding the allegations of pre-poll meddling having affected the PML-N, the PTI by and large acted as a big leveler. Even after Nawaz Sharif was felled by a judicial verdict on charges of corruption and nepotism, the family’s power remains pre-eminent in his party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). His move to install brother Shehbaz was foiled by a provision in the Constitution that required Shehbaz to win a Parliamentary election first. Not long ago the Pakistani social sphere went wild when Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, declared herself a part of ruling family thus suggesting as if she and her family, somehow, should enjoy some special privileges and rights. In a democracy such ideas are bizarre, but unfortunately some major political parties in Pakistan are built as dynasties and the top ranks of these political parties still comprise of either the children of their founders or near relatives. In the new political dynamics, the opposition should alter their ways and do politics of serving the masses instead of working for their own vested interests. The opposition leaders are facing consequences of their corrupt practices and that is why they are voicing statements against the NAB chairman and planning protests against the government.

The opposition needs to allow the PTI government to concentrate on resolving the serious challenges faced by the country.