ISLAMABAD   -   As the alliance of major opposition parties has announced protest rallies countrywide seeking ouster of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is set to finalise a counter strategy to make this move ineffective, official party sources informed The Nation.

The ruling party believes that this has become of utmost importance that a “real narrative” should be brought before the public to defeat the “weak rhetoric” of the opposition that is being seen as “anti-state” within the government circles, a senior party leader said. He said that the party would soon launch a strategy to counter the opposition’s “so-called” anti-government campaign.

“We will keep the public aware about the weak rhetoric that opposition is trying to build up on the allegations of rigging in last general elections and weak economy,” Senator Faisal Javed Khan, a close aide to PM Imran Khan, told The Nation.

Earlier this week, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a newly formed alliance of almost all major opposition parties in the country, announced its first public meeting on October 11 in Quetta saying this would mark the beginning of their anti-government campaign.  

After this, the opposition would hold public meetings throughout the country in line with last month’s opposition-led All Parties Conference (APC) that had questioned the legitimacy of PTI government and last 2018 General Elections. It had also alleged PTI government for bringing the country’s economy near to collapse.

As part of its strategy to country the opposition’s move, PTI will renew its efforts to bring back former prime minister and opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif from abroad who was allowed to fly abroad to London for his medical treatment in November 2019, the sources privy to the development informed.

Prime Minister Imran Khan made it clear for a number of times that it was the right of the opposition to hold peaceful protests but anyone who tried to take the law into his/her owned hands would be taken to task.

Background interviews with some senior PTI leaders indicate that the ruling party fears that the opposition wanted to sabotage the Senate elections that are due in March next year because it will lose its majority in the 104-member house as a result of this election. PTI and its allied parties are set to get a thin majority in the Senate that remained dominated by the opposition during the last more than two years since PTI came into power.

Many PTI leaders are of the opinion that the opposition has so far failed to bring a meaningful narrative while questioning the legitimacy of either 2018 General Elections or Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government. The say that opposition during last more than two years has neither raised serious questions on the transparency of the general elections nor it got itself engaged at a serious parliamentary or judicial forum to get answers of these questions.

“PTI had approached every forum to get its rigging claims in 2013 General Elections probed and we had announced a sit-in in the capital after failing to get justice from any forum,” said Senator Faisal Javed Khan. The opposition’s rhetoric is weak because it has not approached any forum to get the rigging allegations probed, he said. He added that that opposition’s stance on weak economy also held no ground because Pakistan’s economy is no showing positive indicators after recovering from COVID-19 pandemic.

PTI lawmaker said that the major opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and PML-N were likely to be failed to get support of people for this “So-called” anti-government campaign in the same manner when Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) had announced a protest sit-in in the capital in 2019.