The ruling coalition government of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, is now faced with a daunting task to tackle former Prime Minister Imran Khans increasing political resistance.
Currently, the incumbent government seems to be having great trouble asserting itself while remaining within the limits of the law and seems to be inching towards going to any length — legal or illegal, democratic or undemocratic, principled or unprincipled — to counter Khan and his political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
A recent statement by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah who said that the government would go to any limits to counter PTI, just re-affirms the fact that Khan and his party has become the worst fear for the government, which is failing to tackle within the limits of the law.
Rana Sanaullah had said that “there are no laws and no rules binding the government any longer”, which essentially means that the ruling government was ready to abuse state power if needed to neutralise Khan and PTI.
“It is us or them.”
Analysts have expressed fears over the current political crisis in the country, stating that Pakistan is slowly but gradually sliding towards totalitarianism.
They that the position of the government, reflecting not only its fears but also its plan to handle a political resistance, is dangerous and hardly bodies well for national security.
While Rana Sanullah’s statement has been debated as a serious threat towards the country’s national security and criticized as it hints towards the government, the Minister maintained that his remark was not a threat and should be seen as a political testimony.
But one thing that has emerged out of such statements is that the ruling government under PML-N leadership has clearly struggled to counter PTI politically.
The mounting legal cases against Khan, seeking his disqualification from election race, arrests of PTI workers and government statements terming the former premier as corrupt, only seem to increase the support for him.
The recent massive public gathering of PTI at Lahore’s qbal Park should be taken as a clear message that using state-sanctioned violence to cut the party down to size does not appear to be working for the current government.