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Rift between Govt and Establishment: Windfall for Opposition?

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Given the ostensibly sour relations between the PTI and the establishment over the appointment of the DG ISI, the opposition parties are rightfully mulling over an opportunity worth exploiting.

President of the PDM, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, has announced that a public protest drive starting with public rallies, aimed at highlighting the back-breaking inflation that has made the common citizen’s life miserable, will be launched.

The PDM appears to have swung into action: it held a sizeable rally in Faisalabad in which both Maryam Nawaz and Maulana Fazlur Rehman set the stage ablaze with their fiery speeches. Then, on Sunday, the PPP held another successful rally in which Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari went a step ahead and said the time for Imran Khan government was up.

Considering an apparent rupture between the government and the establishment, coupled with the effects of rocketing inflation, the opposition parties believe it’s the right time to up the ante and produce the momentum to send the PTI government home. But the task is not as easy as it sounds.

Although he sounds confident after presiding over a meeting of the PDM, Maulana Fazlur Rehman need not forget that the last PDM campaign to oust the PTI government miserably failed. But there’s no doubt that, in the light of galloping inflation and the rocky relationship between the government and the army, the opposition parties are well-positioned to exploit the situation and spark a spate of public protests that could weaken the present set-up.

What the opposition can do — and reports suggest that it is planning on doing this — is to make the most of the fissure between PTI and the establishment, perhaps even amplify it, and then seek to leverage this cleavage to intensify the popular displeasure over inflation and misgovernance.

The opposition parties have a window of opportunity to exploit that they did not a few weeks ago. But these parties are marred by their own internal conflicts which may dilute the impact that they would want to have on the political scene arising after these new emerging fault lines. The PPP, which parted ways with the PDM, is not likely to join it anytime soon.

These complexities continue to bedevil the opposition and, until these are effectively dealt with, the challenge to de-seat the Imran Khan government will not get easier.

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Rava Desk

Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.

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