The twists and turns of Imran Khan’s political tactics to create political pressure on the Shehbaz Sharif-led government to announce early elections, seem to be failing as after the dissolution of two provincial assemblies, Imran Khan’s desire to challenge the premier’s seat through a vote of confidence demand in the parliament have also diminished. This has happened after Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan Raja Pervez Ashraf, who initially accepted 11 resignations of PTI members, which was followed by the recent acceptance of 35 more members, has now accepted at least 43 resignations, leaving behind only 2 current members, who were on leave.
This smart and timely move of the government has not only washed out the PTI’s presence from the parliament but has also come at a time when PTI has dissolved its two powerhouses of provincial governments in Punjab and KP.
With this, Imran Khan’s party will not have any say in the appointment of a caretaker federal government for 90 days, which will come with a mandate to hold general elections in the country going forward.
“PTI MNAs should blame themselves for their immature and irrational decision of tendering uncalled for resignations from the National Assembly in April 2022. This will cost them even more politically in the upcoming elections,” said Walid Ali Khan of Awami National Party (ANP).
“Now, it doesn’t matter if the elections will be early or on its scheduled time. PTI will not have any role or relevance in selecting the caretaker Prime Minister. So PTI and Imran Khan, who have lost the battle in the winds of claiming every immature move as Khan’s master stroke,” he added.
Interestingly, after the mass resignations by PTI members of the parliament in April 2022, when Imran Khan was ousted from power through a no-confidence vote, spearheaded by the then opposition coalition the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM); PTI and Imran Khan himself have been demanding acceptance of all resignations, which were withheld by the speaker.
However, now that the resignations have been accepted, the Speaker maintains that he wanted to make sure that all resignations were confirmed by the MNAs (Members of the National Assembly) – PTI members have been protesting with demands that their resignations should not be withdrawn.
“Imran Khan initially made a wrong calculation that his threats of dissolving provincial assemblies would put enough pressure on the government to announce early elections. Then he thought that by dissolving the provincial assemblies, he would push the federal government to be forced into elections. And then, when the government refused to let go of the federal government, he tried to use the pending resignations, which mind you, were rendered on his orders to his party leaders, to oust the government through demands of a vote of confidence for PM Shehbaz Sharif in the parliament and then use their political pressure to get a caretaker setup of their choice, has also failed and fallen apart,” said senior analyst Rizwan Razi.
Imran Khan’s popularity and narrative building are taking a toll with every passing day and the government’s moves are further weakening his position and also his political relevance.
And with a caretaker setup of the government’s choice in the Punjab province, already in place, coupled with an expected government-friendly caretaker setup in the federal government; Imran Khan’s chances of regaining power are becoming grimmer and grimmer.