What is supposed to be a model province for the rest of the country has often turned Ainto a headache for the sitting government. PTI has already been at the helm of affairs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) for almost seven years now, which is why one can consider it to be the ruling party’s home base. However, successive failures to bridge the gap between the treasury and opposition benches has ended up making a spectacle out of KP Assembly proceedings on more than one occasion.

From fist fights in the past, to Tuesday’s business of whistles and trumpets being blown by the opposition in a bid to disrupt proceedings, there is very little in the way of constructive debate currently taking place in the provincial house.

The opposition’s antagonistic attitude stems from grievances regarding the release of developmental funds and the supposed ‘bias’ of the speaker for the ruling party. PTI’s 95 seats against the opposition’s combined 41 out of a total 145 means that in principle, the ruling party does not have to bring the opposition on its side to pass motions.

But this does not mean that it should allow things to stay as acrimonious as they are. The principles of democracy are centred on debate, discussion and bridging gaps between arguments to reach a consensus. Bulldozing the parliament by passing bills without waiting to hear what the opposition has to say is just as bad as bringing trumpets to the house with the singular intention to derail proceedings.

Both sides are clearly in the wrong. But it is the government’s responsibility to find a middle ground. PTI is the one controlling the assembly, and has been for so many years. If it cannot control proceedings on home soil, how will it ever manage to settle differences in the other provinces, or the centre? Tuesday was a new low for the KP Assembly, it is up to PTI to stop it from sinking even lower.