Airing your own party’s dirty laundry out in public has never worn out well. This is a lesson that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders need to learn, as the party seems to be undergoing a very public civil war within its ranks.

There had long been rumours of two different camps within PTI- one of the Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and the other of businessman Jahangir Tareen, who is viewed as one of the most influential men in PTI, and was earlier disqualified by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Tales about internal factions plague nearly every political party- in a conference on Monday, Shah Mehmood Qureshi went ahead to confirm them when he opined that Jahangir Tareen should not attend cabinet meetings since his presence provided the opposition with an opportunity to criticise the party. In response to the statement, Tareen added further fuel to the fire by putting out a statement on Twitter where he took a swipe at Quereshi, saying that he only considered Imran Khan his leader, and the opinion of “others” did not affect him.

Perhaps if the issue had been left at that, this exchange could have been counted as a difference of opinion between the two politicians, but alas it was not so. Soon others from the party also weighed in, including Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and cabinet member Faisal Vawda, both of whom lent support to Tareen, saying he attended cabinet meetings on the instruction of the Prime Minister.

With so much sub-tweeting and shots directed at each other, one could be forgiven for thinking this might be occurring in a high school rather than in the halls of government. With prices increasing day by day, and the consistent rupee devaluation, most of the country’s citizens are worried about their livelihoods and maintaining their standard of living. These theatrics on twitter do not give an impression of a collected government which knows what it is doing. In times of crises, and this can be called an economic crisis, it is important for the government to show a united strong front. A public power struggle is the last thing the country needs right now.

From an outsider’s perspective, the conflict seems resolvable. From practical, legal and public relation purposes, it does not make sense for Tareen, a person disqualified by the SC, to attend cabinet meetings. Prolonging a public conflict on such an unnecessary issue, when PTI’s popularity is already decreasing, is a bad move.