An opposition that stumped itself


The opposition main role is to question the government of the day and hold them accountable by pointing out their blunders and raise questions if they find anything against the interest of people and at the same time help the government in legislation for the betterment of the people and the country. Parliament is the centre and focus of a parliamentary democracy, and opposition is to be tolerated which keeps the government and the civil servants on toes. Unfortunately in Pakistan it has been noticed that opposition role irrespective of government has remained confined to boycotting, shouting, hurling abuses on each other, interrupting while some one speaking, making noise, encircling the speaker, tearing off the agenda papers, sometimes attacking the speaker, making personal attacks, using indecent language, sometimes throwing mics on each other and not the least hand to hand fight. It is also true it happens in almost all the Asian countries but soon they settle down get busy with the work but in Pakistan this war continues till the next elections.
Before we discuss the actual role of opposition, it is important to know what is expected from opposition. To criticise the government and attack on individual ministers on their performance and to oppose government’s actions. The government that has the majority faces no problem to govern but must learn to work under constant salvos by the opposition but show mild retaliation that is the part of democracy in which we don’t believe, that is how the trouble starts. The role played by parliamentary opposition is most essential as they are supposed to participate at every stage of legislation and present amendments with sound logic and convince the government by arguing but in Pakistan this practice is seldom followed. The blame has to be shared by the government also in not giving due respect to opposition and they also display attitude like opposition because of the majority they enjoy as a result opposition is ignored and not willing to accept criticism and over rule everything being in power and majority, ultimately it is the people who suffer.
Be it government or opposition the politicians in power always preferred centralised system of governance with one purpose to serve self interest. Let us glance through past the leader of PPP Shaheed Bhutto initially believed in decentralisation and was against giving authority to centre and advocated political autonomy. But when he came in power he forgot decentralisation and concentrated entire power with him and hurriedly made seven amendments with sole purpose of controlling single handedly. Although 18 amendment after many many years did empower the provinces the autonomy but centre tries to impose its authority and the tug of war is going on.
Where we go from here. No way out, confrontation is at the peak. Imran Khan keeps repeating at regular interval and says he will never give NRO to anyone to regularise their corruption. It is true that NRO given by Musharraf did great harm to country but let us be very fair he was pressurised by US to give NRO to pave way for return of democracy in the country. Musharraf has openly admitted that it was his greatest blunder to have given NRO that regularised killings of thousands of innocent people, allowing self exiled leader BB and Nawaz to return prematurely violating written agreement between him and the government that he would not return to Pakistan before 10 years.
The country has been looted without any fear of law and accountability. Ishaq Dar made a statement on the floor of the house that 200 billion dollars looted has been stashed in foreign banks, but failed to bring back. How could this happen when they themselves were involved in mega corruption? NAB is the only state organ that is chasing these corrupt politicians and so far have recovered over Rs 345 billion rupees through plea bargain. Billions of looted money is in pipelines but due to relief from courts things are moving slow. The corruption is so obvious and fully documented it just requires strong will to punish the corrupt instead dragging them in courts.
Question arises what is the choice available to opposition? Shout, create hurdles, float stories against government, create ruckus in the national assembly and for every case move the courts by engaging renowned lawyers by paying them hefty fees. Our judicial system which is awaiting reforms is allowing temporary relief to these corrupt past rulers who are now left with no choice except to surrender the looted money of poor people of Pakistan. Majority of the opposition top brass is involved in mega corruption that is fully documented therefore they have no chance this time to get away.
To release pressure on them and to pressurise the government a drama of APC ( All parties conference) was staged on 20 September, it apparently flopped as Jamat Islami, ANP and BNP leaders did not attend. The problem with opposition is they are facing opposition within therefore they pose no threat to the government. Nawaz Sharif, unfortunately again blundered and attacked Pakistan army without naming them without realising the damage caused to him and his party. He continues to pursue his narrative showing anti establishment stance in which he gained nothing in the past neither going to get any benefit now, it is only media that is keeping him alive in the politics. The opposition now stands fully exposed in public by boycotting voting on FATF that was a national issue but has been adopted by majority vote in spite of opposition’s numerical strength. 6 MNA’s and Senators remained absent from the joint parliament session, that’s why Imran Khan was so sure and had claimed that government will defeat opposition on FATF.
As long as entire opposition is not united and they remain divided as usual and looks like that they can never be on one page PTI shall have no problem in completing their term. We have seen longest Dharna of PTI for 126 days to oust Nawaz Sharif but it never saw the light of the day likewise opposition of the day shall meet the same fate, specially when establishment and government is at one page no harm can come to Imran Khan.
We are passing through most difficult period of our history surrounded by enemies with grave financial crisis people shall not allow any nonsense at this stage. Protests, agitation within the frame work of constitution is right of all the political parties including divided opposition shall be allowed but nothing beyond that should happen. Great leaders inspire. They maintain a hopeful attitude, even in the stage of discouraging setbacks, constant criticism and abundant opposition. People don’t follow discouraged leaders. They follow those who persist with hope.If you are going to do anything great in life, there will be opposition, setbacks, delays and critics. When you have big dreams, you are going to have big challenges. Pakistan is set to move forward and no one will be allowed to create hurdles as declared by IK, just one advise don’t ignore and write off opposition because democracy moves on four wheels not two wheels. Anti establishment narrative should be burried permanently through legislation.

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