The recent exchange between the leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Jamat-i-Islami confirms that there are no permanent friends in politics but only shared interests. Sirajul Haq while addressing a rally in Mansehra on Wednesday took a shot at PML (N) and PTI calling them “two sides of the same coin” as both parties involved in the current political crisis show a lack of concern in solving people’s problems. This did not sit well with Imran Khan who in return demanded that JI should stop playing on both sides of the wicket and support either status quo or change.
Despite the visible cracks in the fragile partnership between the two coalition partners, both parties understand that a clash is not in the interest of either due to their standing in the Khyber Pakhtunkwa assembly. JI remains to be the only coalition partner of PTI (46 MPAs) with 8 MPAs in the house, JUI-F and PML-N in the opposition with 16 members each followed by 5 ANP and 11 independent members. Consequently, Sirajul Haq issued a clarification later stating that the newspaper misquoted his statement regarding PTI.
Another political liaison that has come to an untimely end for PTI is its budding friendship with Pakistan Awami Tehreek. The sudden departure of Tahir-ul-Qadri from Pakistan, ending his sit-in in Islamabad is likely to serve as a blow to PTI led anti-government movement. The number of supporters present at the sit-in seems to be decreasing already, taking away most of the fervor associated with it in its initial days. To state the obvious, it has been more than 70 days and none of the demands have been met by the ruling party, due to PTI’s insistence on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation. While PTI is looking for an all out win, it must comprehend that their rigid approach on the negotiation table may lead to an all out failure of the movement.
The reluctance shown by members of PTI particularly Shah Mehmood Qureshi to verify their resignations from National Assembly sheds some light on PTI’s political paranoia. Many believe that their refusal to verify resignations individually can be attributed to existing mistrust amidst party members as some of them are not in favor of resigning. Reportedly, one of the major reservations has been leadership’s partial decision to stay in power in KP. For one reason or the other, it is apparent that PTI has been using delaying tactics since August and the government on the other hand is not in favor of verifying their resignations either as it will take PTI out of the democratic process to a fully committed movement on the streets.
Meanwhile, where PML (N) is playing it safe by trying to stay out of trouble, PPP is building up hopes for a strong comeback with the launch of Bilawal Bhutto in 2018 general elections and seems rather uninterested in the current political deadlock. With Tahir-ul-Qadri out of the picture, PTI’s only ally JI is also acting as a mediator rather than a pressure building force. Therefore, it is high time for PTI to come back on the negotiating table with a flexible approach unless it is still waiting for the umpire’s finger to go up.