PDM rift continues

The rift continues with the PDM as it has still failed to come with a coherent strategy to oust the government. With the PPP backing out from mass resignations, it seems that the PML-N could also flip leaving JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman the last man standing.

The PDM held another meeting to decide its future course of action but failed to reach a decision. The deadline for submission of resignations has passed but it is unsure whether all opposition lawmakers have submitted them. There is also uncertainty whether the PDM will use the resignations en masse as a weapon in its quest to topple the government. There is even greater uncertainty on the final date of the decisive long march to Islamabad.

The PDM wants to take its time claiming that it has given a January 31 deadline for the prime minister’s resignation. The PDM chief has dispelled the impression that there is any rift within the multi-party alliance but the delaying tactics and differing statements from opposition leaders show a clear difference of opinion particularly when it comes to leaving the field open for the PTI.

The first stage of the PDM’s protest ending abruptly on December 13 after the Lahore rally when it failed to come up with the next phase of protests including street agitation, shutter down strikes and rallies, neither was the date for the anticipated long march given. There have been sporadic protests in small towns but the grand and final strategy to bring down the government is still missing.

This has left the JUI-F chief frustrated that his strategy is not working. He has hinted that the long march could be to Rawalpindi rather than Islamabad, taking a direct hit at the army. It was the earlier stance of the PDM by targeting state institutions that created discord and resentment among its most ardent supporters. The criticism of the military by the opposition was unprecedented and forced others like the PPP to soften their stance as it was not ready for an open confrontation.

It is unlikely that the PDM will achieve much this month and the demand for the prime minister’s resignation is tactfully placed close to the Senate elections. There is a probability that it could defer its decision to contest Senate polls till the eleventh hour. The PPP’s somersault has brought the PDM’s momentum to a grinding halt and given a new lifeline to the government.

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