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Political parties, particularly Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), are greatly irked by the official protocol the interim governments at Centre and in Punjab have accorded to deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif upon his return to Pakistan on Saturday after spending four-year self-imposed exile in the UK.

Little do these parties realize that the current interim setup in the country is in fact an extension of the 16-month rule of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led coalition government that ended a couple of months ago. Not only has the arrival of caretaker setup helped facilitate the return of three-time former prime minister, it has also been working harder towards ensuring that PML-N that has lost a lot of ground to PTI in recent years regains both Punjab and KPK in order to form next government in the country.

Nawaz Sharif’s a rather ambiguous answer to a question about the delay in general election says it all. It appears that he wouldn’t mind if the interim setup lasts for one year or even more.

Meanwhile, an embittered chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who has been nursing ambitions to become country’s next prime minister, and rightly so, has expressed his anguish or dismay at the situation by saying that “country’s constitution, democracy and election have been stalled for only one person (Nawaz Sharif)”.

Although his concern is quite legitimate and plausible, he appears to have shown reluctance to accept the emergence of a new reality on the country’s political horizons that clearly shows Nawaz Sharif’s growing ascendancy that would ultimately help the latter to become country’s prime minister yet again.

Bilawal must be ready to become Leader of Opposition, a no less important position, nevertheless, to play a role that his late mother Benazir Bhutto had often played in a highly effective and meaningful manner.

Insofar as PTI’s prospects are concerned, nothing could be said with any degree of certainty in view of its unending travails — a price it has to pay.

Nasir Husain Bukhari (Multan)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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