Under the leadership of Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) took charge of Pakistan’s government in 2018. It completed its two years’ term in august 2020 and with the completion of two years, certain achievements were listed by the government publicly.
On the economic front, despite facing both internal and external factors, several economic indicators have shown positive advancements in Pakistan’s economy. The economy has been cheered by international organizations like International Monetary Fund (IMF), Moody’s and Fitch. PM’s finance adviser Abdul Hafiz Sheikh claimed that, Pakistan Stock Market has been recognized as the best performing market by Bloomberg. it was due to PTI’s prudent policies that the current account deficit dropped from $20 billion to $3 billion. The initiatives were focused on enhancing foreign exchange reserves and the government was successful in repaying Rs5,000 billion loans borrowed by past governments”.
In the foreign affairs, Imran khan has been pretty successful at various fronts. Pakistan played a pivotal role in bringing Afghan Talibans and Afghan government together in Qatar for the peace talks which has been highly appreciated by USA. Under PTI’s government, the foreign office developed economic partnerships with various African countries for trade investments. Pakistan’s relationship with China have become stronger than ever as the second phase of CPEC has started under PTI’s government. Most importantly, despite the isolationist efforts by India towards Pakistan, Imran Khan has successfully raised the Kashmir dispute at UN General Assembly and other international platforms. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi highlighted the foreign accomplishments saying that, “a dramatic shift can be seen from diplomatic isolation to effective representation ever since the PTI government took over in August 2018”.
PTI’s government has been quite composed and successful in handling the pandemic Covid-19. Several relief packages were given to tackle poverty during pandemic and special steps were taken to assist the labor class. The Ehsaas program has been the greatest success of Imran Khan’s government.
But these achievements do not seem enough to satisfy the opposition parties of Pakistan. After Staying Missing in Action for a very longtime, PML-N’s leader Nawaz Sharif made a virtual appearance for the public from London on 20th September 2020 during the Multi Party Conference held by the Opposition. It has now been changed into the name of Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDA). The Opposition has a clear and to-the-point demand and that is to remove the Corrupt, Selected government of PTI.
Nawaz Sharif has given three ferocious and hard-hitting speeches against Imran Khan’s government. He took a lot of time and silence before coming out publicly and speaking his strategies out. Nawaz Sharif’s physical absence is not to be taken lightly because he is not a weak opponent. No one in today’s politics knows the system of Pakistan better than Nawaz Sharif who has worked for and governed the country for more than three decades. He is well informed of how the politics work, what the politicians think and how the bureaucracy moves here. He has taken a firm decision for fighting PTI’s government and has the support of all the major Opposition parties of Pakistan. His speeches have been both provocative and passionate at the same time and he seems to be using confrontation as a tool for rational acts.
The PDA has decided a full-fledged plan against the government of Imran Khan and it seems that they will not be backing out from their policies anytime soon or before the government is overthrown. The alliance has decided to hold joint rallies in all four provinces of Pakistan in the month of October 2020 starting from Gujranwala on 16th October 2020 which has been termed as the First Phase by Opposition. In the second phase, huge public demonstrations will be held across the country in December 2020. In the third and final phase, a decisive long march will be held during January 2021. The Opposition seems rock solid on their stance and strategy against the government.
Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam’s leader Maulana Fazl ur Rehman has been appointed as the leader of Pakistan Democratic Alliance most recently. The appointment of a right-wing Islamist as a leader of a country-wide movement is being questioned by many and regarded as a possible weakness for the alliance. But Maulana seems strong and determined to break apart his opponents despite the arrest threats from the government. At a reception in Muzaffarabad on 28th September 2020, he stated that, “Pakistan is my home, Pakistan is my state, I do not consider you the heir of Pakistan, you are scaring me with small arrests? You are a puppet of America; we do not want war”.
The opposition’s alliance has some weaknesses to it amongst which the most important one is the physical absence of the person who is apparently the mastermind of PDA, Nawaz Sharif. The reluctance by certain parties in the alliance to give their resignations from National Assembly and Senate also adds up to the weakness of the alliance. But it does not weigh up to Imran Khan’s strengths either.
PTI’s government and Imran Khan have some pretty loose strands in their hair as well. Imran Khan has been known for being the Not Corrupt, the Not Dishonest one but his failure in communicating and addressing well to the main concerns of his government has weakened his side. He has been so obsessed with condemning the Opposition that he is unable to focus on the ground issues of the country including inflation, unemployment, wheat and sugar scandals, the absence of a structural reform etc.
A war is coming for Imran Khan and he does not seem fully prepared for it. it did not have to be this way for him but his policy has been that of criticism rather than constructivism which is going to cost him a lot. It could all turn into bad karma for him because he is seen as the king of communications and his opponent Nawaz Sharif has come into the battleground with his speeches as artillery bombardment which could make Khan loose. Whose communication and skills will overpower the other, the answer is waiting patiently.
Author is doing BS in International Relation from Lahore College for Women University. She is a freelance writer. Previously worked with The Frontier Post, Dawn and Express Tribune.