It surprises many when Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan so simply threatens to dissolve his party-led coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is unclear whether it is an attempt to calm down dissidents within his party or he really wants to get rid of his own government.
At present, it is crystal clear that no opposition party has made any attempt to destabilise his party's government and those who are raising questions on the government's performance are his own party's lawmakers.
Imran has constantly been threatening to dissolve Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for the last five months if his party-led provincial government is destabilised. At one stage, he went one step ahead and also warned the PML-N-led federal government of retaliation if any attempt was made to topple his government in militancy-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
No doubt in initial days of the KP government, the JUI-F, main opposition party in the provincial assembly, had tried to do so. However, no political party encouraged its move.
Before having a meeting with at least 14 disgruntled lawmakers of his party, who had already submitted en masse resignations to deputy speaker of KP assembly, the PTI chairman said he would listen to complaints of the lawmakers but would prefer dissolution of the provincial assembly and going for new elections to getting blackmailed.
It is the PTI's constitutional right to call it a day. But is there no other best option available rather than dissolving the assembly? Everybody knows that Imran Khan's party does not have experience of power politics and it is the first time that the party has formed government.
The opposition parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly have termed the Khan's notion regarding dissolution of assembly as a childish statement. Talking to The Nation, JUI-F's Provincial Secretary Information Abdul Jalil Jan said, "Even thinking like this is totally against democratic spirit." By saying so, the PTI is itself looking for excuses to quit the government. Moreover, it reflects that the PTI's top brass thinks like a dictator. It is not a democratic approach at all, he added.
The PTI doesn't want to quit the government in any way, ANP's former provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussian told this scribe. Reacting to Khan's statement on dissolving the provincial assembly, he said that issues within his party legislators have been there since the day one. Major differences are corruption charges, poor performance and allotting portfolios to ministers on the basis of likes and dislike, he added. "If we go back, Imran Khan's sole agenda was to end corruption and ensure merit. Isn't it contrary to his own mission," he asked. "I am sure the PTI will not retain its position if re-elections are announced in the province. If the PTI could not run Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, how would it govern the whole country?" he further said. Imran is an emotional person and he should know the difference between cricket and politics, he concluded.
"Not only the federal government but the judiciary should also take note of Imran Khan's statement. Why has he constantly been issuing such warnings?" said PPP's lawmaker Nighat Orakzai. "I am going to submit an adjournment motion in the provincial assembly in this regard," she added. She said the PTI chairman should sit together with his lawmakers to overcome differences among them rather than issuing threats and deciding fate of the whole assembly. His statement is meant to derail democracy, she concluded.
Responding to the same query, QWP Parliamentary Leader in KP Assembly Sikandar Sherpao said that issuing such a statement by Khan was insult of the assembly. It proved that affairs of the provincial government were controlled from Bani Gala. The PTI has so far been unable to deliver and if it quits the government, it should not dissolve the whole assembly. There is a need to focus on restoration of peace instead of dissolving assembly, he added.
PML-N MPA Arbab Akbar Hayat said any such step by the PTI would not be in favour of Pakistan in general and this province in particular. "Why Imran is so nervous and under pressure in front of a few members of his party. Instead of threatening, the PTI chairman should resolve problems within his party," he said.