History repeats itself: dispute in the newly formed Pakistan government

Islamabad, Pakistan:

If the statements of several leaders of the coalition government, as well as the political experts, are to go by it is evident that the main point of contention is the duration of the incumbent government’s tenure, Express Tribune reported.

The stalemate between the government and military establishment is not only becoming visible with every passing day but causing delays in the decision-making process of the government and, thus, affecting the economy and the country itself, the report said.

The uncertainty coupled with former premier Imran Khan’s planned rally and sit-in in the capital has also pushed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to repeatedly postpone his address to the nation where he is expected to present his economic plan.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, while speaking in Sargodha asked the rally participants should PML-N take the blame for PTI’s bad performance and should PML-N stay in government or leave it. “It would be better to say goodbye than take the blame for the poor performance of the previous government,” she said.

Another hint about the stalemate between Islamabad and Rawalpindi emerged when Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Khursheed Shah clearly said that the coalition government was ready for the elections and they would be happy if the government was ended. “We would thank you for freeing us in just one month,” he reportedly said.

The fear of the establishment ‘forcefully’ ending the government pushed the coalition partners in the Shehbaz Sharif government to the extent that they even floated the suggestion to summon a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) to discuss the issue in detail and reach a decision.

The coalition partners maintained that the current situation was not suitable for stabilising the economy and things would further deteriorate if the caretaker government was tasked with making tough decisions, the report said.

Since its inception, the report said citing political experts, the new Pakistani government has been mulling about deciding the tenure of the government and the timeframe for the next elections but could not reach any decision as they do not have assurance from the military establishment that they would be able to complete a full term.

Apparently, the government is stuck between a rock and a hard place as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has already said that it cannot hold elections in the next few months and the military establishment wants the coalition government to go ahead with the fiscal measures without giving any assurance with regards to the duration of their government, the report said.

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