Uncertain times

Govt in several minds as crises deepen

5

Everybody, even those who are the most in the know, is at a loss as to what this government was up to. Perhaps the government itself is at a loss too. Leaving aside the governance issues, all the allies of the government are up in arms and are complaining about lack of seriousness on the part of the government. They say the government has failed to come through on its promises made at the time of forging alliances.

If we begin with MQM Pakistan, their grievance is Karachi and other urban centres in Sindh have been ignored and there is no development worth its name. They were actively engaged in the beginning but then things went in a limbo. BNP Mengal has its own list of things. It however has not been airing them as aggressively as others. Then come the heavy weights of the past, the PMLQ.  They have been in the headlines for a few days consistently. Everyone knows what do they want of the government. A little respect, and coming through on the agreement reached between the two parties.

This is three of their four allies and one does not know how to wrap one’s head around how the government has dealt with the crisis of sorts. A committee of three including Jehangir Tareen and Pervaiz Khattak had been negotiating with the disgruntled allies and had come to some solution as well but then suddenly fresh committees were announced. The PMLQ and the MQM P did not take well to this change. Despite the fact that Shafqat Mehmood has reached out to the chaudhrys with his fresh mandate but there is no headway.

Reports were that Tareen was removed for two reasons. One people within the close circle of the PM thought their negotiator was too lenient in his dealings. Second reason is the sugar and flour crises that put government in serious trouble. The Opposition without wasting a moment called out the government for deliberately causing this shortage of flour to benefit the mafia within its ranks. They were referring to Tareen and Khusro Bakhtiar who as per their statistics own over 40 per cent of the sugar business in the country.

Such paralysis can come either when you are undecided on what course to take or there is too much on your hands. In PTI’s case, it looks as if it is beset with both the situations. The allies after having spent one and a half year need their due share in the government as well as in the development funds which is a fair ask, by any standards. This deadlock cannot continue and the government will have to and must move to assuage their concerns if it were to get things on track. As for having too much on their plate, well that is what being at the helm means. There may be many ready to take credit for all the good that happens, but when it comes to missteps and failures, it is the government of the day where the blame always sticks.