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The neutrality of allies and muscle power


ISLAMABAD:

The political parties have started to slowly converge towards the federal capital as they usher in the penultimate round of the no-confidence tussle and seek to flex muscles both inside and outside the parliament.

But as lawmakers prepare to answer the callings of their “conscience” during the no-trust vote in the National Assembly, the rising tensions may prove to be a potential recipe for a violent clash.

Before the assembly takes up the motion and goes for a vote on it, it is important to recall how all the political forces began to march towards Islamabad and why a constitutional matter has become a battle between “evil and good”.

The clouds of fear are hovering over Islamabad since the opposition parties and Prime Minister Imran Khan announced to hold rallies but what really brought the political armies to actually come to the boiling point was the silence of the allies amid disgruntled members of the ruling party coming out in the open.

Also read: No-confidence vote likely to be held on April 3 or 4: Rashid

For the past few weeks, the ruling party’s allies – PML-Q, MQM-P and BAP – have been mulling over only one question: if they should stand by the government or side with the opposition parties over the no-trust motion. Meetings after meetings with the government and opposition as well as among the allies have been going on for weeks now but guess what; they had this one job to do and they haven’t decided yet.

To add insult to injury, the coalition partners of the government are now considering staying neutral – a trait that the premier feels best describes animals. Though they might come up with a clear stance just before the voting day, the newly-added dimension of staying neutral on deciding the fate of PM Imran has allowed the government and opposition parties to go ahead with their rallies to show that the public was on their side.

Amid political volatility, the allies could easily have deflated the situation by openly announcing their support for the side of their choosing but they have been busy gauging which side is offering more without realizing that the politics of conflict could turn ugly if, God forbid, any clash takes place or any third force seizes the opportunity and leaves painful scars.

Apart from paving the way for the rallies, the undecided allies have also contributed to putting the core issues like sky-rocketing inflation, rampant unemployment, deteriorating law and order situation, mounting debt, ever-increasing current account deficit, on the back burner.

Apparently, for the sake of their greed, they have calmly been seeing the country sliding deeper into troubles every day but haven’t shown the courage to come out in the open.

Also read: NA session put off sans tabling of no-trust

With political parties marching into Islamabad, the silence of the allies is further fueling the fears of witnessing an attack like Capitol Hill in the United States. Every day, the key political players meet just to decide that they should meet again to discuss further what they have been discussing for months now.

Some political observers believe that the decision to pick sides by the allies will be made once they finally start receiving “phone calls” from the “powerful circles”.

Others, however, say that it is more about getting a better offer from the government and the opposition, especially, after the powerful circles have frequently conveyed that they would stay neutral in the situation.

Despite the tall claims of being neutral, the government and the opposition leadership constantly taunt each other of seeking support from the powers that be by accusing the other side of ‘polishing boots’ or worse seeking the opportunity of ‘licking boots’.

Apparently, no one really cares that the accusations of polishing or licking boots strengthen the notion that the political parties need blessings of powerful quarters more than public vote to come into power.

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