Cracks are wider than ever
After the shock failure in the Senate elections, the opposition is in complete disarray. They had gathered good momentum just before the said elections and were almost over the line when they fell short by a fraction – three votes that is. No one knows who the 14 senators were who defected.
There were some initial outburst – loudest of them all was Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who are being doubted as the ones who did a double game – and then everyone went silent. If there is some truth to the news of last minute arm-twisting of the party’s top leadership then it is less likely that the truth shall be out.
The Opposition has another setback with the arrest of Maryam Nawaz Sharif who has proved herself to be the greatest crowdpuller after Nawaz Sharif. She also was taking a hard line on issues. In her absence and with Shehbaz Sharif in the lead there is no chance of a joint opposition stance that aggressively takes on the government.
The next no confidence move against the Senate chief has some time limit. Also without amending the rules of secret ballots, it would be naïve of the opposition to think of different results with the same set of players. So Sadiq Sanjrani is safe for a few months at least if not for his entire tenure.
Meanwhile the plan of a long march on Islamabad is also in doldrums. The statements appearing in the press by the leaders of the smaller yet active parties in the opposition alliance smell of inaction and low morale. They however look to put up a bold face and say that a next meeting is due soon where a change of plan shall be discussed. They also say that the distrust created by Senate debacle shall not go away unless the larger parties take action against the defaulters.
In the meanwhile the government is not going any easy on the opposition and is making arrests one after the other. It remains to be seen whether this move dampens the Opp’s spirits or gives them a much needed impetus.