WEB DESK: The PTI does not seem to believe that unity is strength when political parties form an alliance on a single point agenda, like in the case of the opposition parties coming together to hold Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to account for his family’s alleged involvement in the Panama leaks corruption scandal.
Almost all in the combined opposition have distanced themselves from the PTI’s plan to hold a protest rally outside the PM’s Raiwind Road residence in Lahore, saying they do not like the idea of demonstration at a private residence. Even the government’s staunch opponents, such as the PML-Q and Tahirul Qadri’s PAT, are unwilling to join in. In any event, the PPP as a major political party is not expected to participate in any agitation activity led by the PTI.
The initial understanding seemed to be that they would put pressure on the government for the acceptance of their common demand for accountability by staging protest rallies in their respective areas of strength. As things stand, PTI Chairman Imran Khan is determined to go ahead with the Raiwind march, arguing that during the Leghari presidency the PML-N had marched on to the Leghari home in Choti Zareen and also tried to climb wall of the President’s House. Nonetheless, in view of the other parties’ reaction, the PTI appears to be back-pedaling a little deciding to make a slight change in the venue. Taking to the social media the other day, Imran tweeted, “PTI’s Raiwind march is a peaceful protest… We are not marching onto anyone’s home.”
He also needs to unlearn his habit of embarking on solo flights, and show some respect to his colleagues in the opposition parties. A case in point is his last week’s appearance in the National Assembly to lash out at the Speaker, Ayaz Sadiq, for forwarding to the Election Commission the treasury benches references against him and party Secretary General Jahangir Khan Tareen seeking their disqualification and rejecting the opposition’s six references against the PM and his relatives.
After delivering an angry speech Imran left without waiting for the Leader of the Opposition, Syed Khurshid Shah to give his statement and lead opposition legislators’ walkout in support of the PTI’s call. He could have waited outside for the others to join in; instead he said his peace to journalists outside the Parliament House and departed. During the presser he should have thanked the parties for show of support at the very least. But he did no such thing. To put it mildly, the attitude is unbecoming of the leader of the second largest party in Parliament.
It is worthwhile to note also that the PTI Chairman had made a rare appearance in the House only to protest against the Speaker’s discriminatory approach in dealing with disqualification references. Whenever an opportunity presents itself he criticises the PM for his failure to regularly attend parliamentary proceedings.
He has also been pointing out that in British parliamentary system when the House of Commons in session the prime minister responds to the MPs’ questions every week in a special sitting known as the Questions to the Prime Minister. Sadly, however, like PM Nawaz Sharif, Imran himself attends the NA proceedings only when he has some pressing need to do so. He should set a better example rather than following something he constantly criticises.
And of course, he needs to understand that success of any united front requires regular consultations.
Source: Business Recorder