EDITORIAL: The anti-government opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has given yet another deadline by which it will be able to overthrow the government. It has decided to march on Islamabad on March 23 and turn the entire city into a D-Chowk ‘dharna’ even if it would be interrupting the Pakistan Day parade. It is however important to note that the PDM is no more as unified and inclusive as it was at the time of its formation in September last year.
In fact, its unity began breaking down from the very day the PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) walked out of the anti-government movement. If the PDM had any chance of out-voting the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government at the Centre it was because of its components’ massive presence in both the houses of parliament and expected floor-crossing by the government’s disgruntled allies.
Despite nurturing negative positions on a number of issues the PTI allies haven’t parted ways with majority party PTI. Will they change their mind and move? It’s no more a possibility as the PDM is lost in wilderness. An in-house change is now out of question.
Resigning from the elected houses was another arm against the government in the PDM’s armoury. But the alliance could not use it because of growing lack of unanimity among its components over that option. The PPP is already out of this game, and why not when it enjoys unchallenged power in its home province of Sindh. The PDM says it will build its march on Islamabad on the issue of price hike and rising inflation.
In a working democracy rule by a party or coalition having even a wafer thin majority in parliament is no issue. Yes, the opposition has the right to vote out the incumbent government. But more importantly, particularly in a country like Pakistan which is beset with grave national and international challenges, the opposition is expected to help the government overcome these challenges.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021