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THE PTI government is in hot water for more reasons than one, but poor governance and political instability top the list. From the governance perspective, skyrocketing inflation has severely dented the government’s popularity, with hikes in petrol prices and food items bringing immense hardship and grinding suffering to the poorest and the most vulnerable sections of society. The government’s spokesmen’s effort to spin this problem has been an exercise in vain, and has drawn widespread censure from the opposition and the public.
If the graph of inflation continues to rise, it will take a toll so high that the PTI government will find it impossible to salvage its political standing among its voters.
Now add the monster of inflation with the government’s strained relations with the Miltablishment over the appointment of the new commanding officer in the ISI, and you will see a weakened government reeling without the support of the organs of the state that brought it to power. Its retinue of ministers have been harping the mantra of ‘all is well’, but the reality is just the opposite: all is not well.
A fresh wave of discontent expressed by the government’s coalition partners betrays this fact. Of late, legislators from the MQM and PML-Q have ventilated their gripes against the government on several media platforms in unequivocal terms. In fact, they have even stated that they will be forced to take difficult decision if matters do not look up with the government. This is a clear enough clue that the allies can step out of the coalition, making the government fall.
The opposition appears keen to exploit this fissure, and the talk of a move to de-seat the Senate chairman is also doing the rounds. Simply put, the government is taking a beating from all sides and seems shaky and edgy.
And therein lies a lesson for all political forces in the country: if a party is dependent on the Miltablishment to come to power, it will remain dependent on it to remain in power. The ‘hybrid’ system has not and will not work. Instability and in-built distortions will continue to mar Pakistan’s politics so long as it stays attached to a system that revolves around the Miltablishment. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s troubles are a perfect example of what happens when your ascent to power is not fully organic. The electorate of this country must be cherished for their choice; future governments should be reliant only on the public’s mandate and not on the ‘umpire’s finger’.