Prominent Pakistani journalist and political analyst Najam Sethi, a strong critic of Prime Minister Imran Khan, sees desperation among the Pakistani Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders. In a recent interview with well-known journalists Raza Rumi and Murtaza Solangi on Naya Daur social media channel, Sethi said the Pakistani opposition, particularly PMLN, believe it is "now or never" for them.
|PDM Leadership L to R: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Maryam Nawaz|
Najam Sethi added that if the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government led by Prime Minister Khan survives the current 5 year term and succeeds in stabilizing the nation's economy, the ruling party will be re-elected for another 5 year term in 2023 with the support of what Sethi calls "Miltablishment" (a euphemism for Pakistani military). This, Sethi said, would mean that the PMLN would break up and lose its relevance. Sethi acknowledges there is genuine support for PTI in spite of Imran Khan government's failures in the first two years. This support is particularly strong among the youthful voters who are willing to forgive PTI's poor handling of the economy.
Dr. Rasul Bakhsh Rais, Professor of political science at Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS), has offered similar analysis in an op ed published in Arab News. He asks: "Why can’t opposition parties wait for the next elections, is the six-million-dollar question". Here's an excerpt from Rais's op ed that captures its essence:
"The two major dynastic parties— the Pakistan Muslim League (N) and the Pakistan People’s Party are concerned that if Khan continues to stabilize and devise strategies for reforms, which he is set to roll out in the coming months, he may win the next election. If that happens, it will end dynastic elite politics, as staying in the political wilderness could cause splits, defections and fragmentation".
"Resigning from the assemblies is an option, but why would the PPP do so, losing its government in Sindh. Things may not be easy for the government of Khan either, as instability and confrontation may continue to divert his attention away from reforms and rebuilding a ‘new’ Pakistan. Failure then would work well into the strategy of the opposition for the next elections".
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