IN THE NEWS: IMRAN, BILAWAL PROVE LUCKY FOR NAWAZ (JULY 23, 2016)

Written by admin on Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

Selected by Olivier Immig & Jan van Heugten

Imran, Bilawal prove lucky for Nawaz
SOURCE: The News International
Saturday, July 23, 2016
By ANSAR ABBASI

ISLAMABAD: Nawaz Sharif is lucky to have got an opposition like Imran Khan and Bilawal Zardari Bhutto, both of whom are more interested in politics of hurling allegations and counter allegations than performing in their respective domains or focusing on bringing pressure on the government for institution building and reforms.

Such is the fashion of the PPP and PTI’s politics that instead of denting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N, they are contributing to the popularity of the premier and his party. The AJK election result is just a reflection of the fact.

The Nawaz Sharif government has many weaknesses but because of the dismal performance of the PPP and PTI, the PML-N continues to be the most popular party despite being in power for the last three years.

The PML-N manifesto and its election promises generally remain unfulfilled despite the lapse of three years. Still the N-League is far more popular than the PPP and the PTI. Before the latest AJK elections, the PML-N had already outclassed the PPP and PTI in different by-elections, Gilgit-Baltistan electoral contest, local government and cantonment polls.

Generally, the ruling party becomes unpopular but it does not seem to be happening, at least till now, in case of the PML-N. For this, credit goes to the PPP and PTI than the Nawaz Sharif government, whose focus remains on mega projects than improving service delivery, introducing structural reforms, checking corruption, overhauling civil services, ensuring speedy and inexpensive justice, etc.

Imran Khan’s basic problem originates from his impatience from the very first year of the PML-N’s rule, to see Nawaz Sharif out of the government. He seems anxious to get himself enter into the Prime Minister’s Office without waiting for the 2018 elections. In his frustration to oust Sharif, Imran Khan does not even feel shy to look for the establishment’s help.

Against high expectations of the people, Imran Khan’s controversial politics brought him down to join the company of Shaikh Rashid Ahmad, the Chaudhries of Gujrat and Dr Tahirul Qadri — who are more known for conspiracies and scheming than anything else.

Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, which should have been the strength of the PTI for its future politics, has been greatly ignored by Imran Khan who himself admitted this fact more than once in the past. Khan wasted almost three years in repeating his allegations of rigging in the 2013 elections. He has been proved wrong by the judicial commission of his own choice yet he continues to repeat his allegations whenever he gets the opportunity.

The PTI lost to the PML-N in most of the post-2013 electoral contests held so far. The 2014 sit-in of PTI and Dr Tahirul Qadri-led PAT has also been an embarrassing failure for them. Unfortunately, the PTI leader is more interested in agitational politics than pursuing his agenda through institutional means.
The PPP and Bilawal Zardari Bhutto’s case is far worse than that of Imran Khan and the PTI. As against the PTI’s KPK government, which in certain areas is showing better performance even than Punjab, the PPP government in Sindh continues to be the sign of bad governance and corruption.

Instead of improving its performance, the PPP has launched Bilawal Zardari Bhutto to revive the party’s never-ending decline with the hope that being the son of Benazir and grandson of ZAB, the chairman PPP would help regain the lost grounds. But it is neither happening nor expected in the future unless the PPP delivers in Sindh.

Bilawal is trying to woo the voters merely through his hard-hitting speeches and Nawaz-specific criticism. He thought that his Modi-ka-Yaar slogan against Nawaz Sharif would win him the AJK elections. However, the AJK voters rejected him because the outgoing PPP government did not deliver and also faced serious charges of corruption.

If Bilawal is serious in politics and really keen to revive once the largest political party of the country, he has to cleanse PPP of corrupt elements. Instead of rhetoric and sloganeering, the Sindh government should have been the focus of Bilawal but it’s not the case.

The Panama Papers have been the most serious challenge for Nawaz Sharif and his family but both Imran and Bilawal have proved to be the PM’s greatest beneficiary as they adopted the flawed strategy of targeting only the prime minister. This policy of Imran and Bilawal divided the grand opposition as most of the parties are interested in across-the-board accountability.

To the satisfaction of Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N, now even the PPP and the PTI have different strategies on Nawaz Sharif’s Panama Papers issue.

Imran Khan is taking another solo flight by launching the PTI’s street movement against the PML-N government from next month. The PPP is not willing to join the agitation while other opposition parties have already distanced themselves from the PPP and PTI on Panama Papers. The PML-N knows that the divided opposition and isolated PTI are no threat to the ruling party and its leader.

 

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