The new session of the National Assembly will take place on August 13 as President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain has approved a summary sent to him by caretaker Prime Minister Nasir ul Mulk. However, it seems that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) still lacks the required numbers that Imran will need to get elected as the Prime Minister (PM) of the country. Initially, the speculations were that PTI would cash on the symbolism of 14th August by arranging oath ceremony of Imran Khan as the PM of “Naya Pakistan”.
However, PTI asking President Mamnoon to drop his plan of leaving the country on 16th August for an official visit to Ireland confirms that PTI is yet to ensure the required votes. Requesting Mamnoon to drop his plan is time buying tactic. In the absence of the President, Chairman Senate functions as the acting president of the country, hence there is no constitutional hurdle in oath taking ceremony of Imran as PM.
On the other hand, the main opposition parties, i.e., Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have their own designs for the new session of the National Assembly. PML-N wants President and all the remaining governors of the provinces to follow the footsteps of the ex-governor of Sindh by resigning from their offices. Why do the PML-N and its leader keen on vacating the offices when such steps cannot create any difficulty for Imran and his party? At least, PML-N should allow the President to complete his term in office, even if his presence in the office is of not much help for PML-N.
The new assembly will see a lot of new faces including Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of PPP. Bilawal is determined to give tough time to the ruling party from the first day. The party already held a meeting on Thursday to devise a strategy for the election of the speaker of the lower house and future course of party's parliamentary politics.
Bilawal has already an agenda on his mind. He will agitate against the alleged rigging in the recently held elections. Whether there is an element of truth in the allegations of rigging in the polls or not, PPP’s chairman decision of pursuing the issue in the parliament is the most appropriate way to deal with the problem. Other opposition parties need to learn from PPP. Nevertheless, Imran and his party need to keep in mind that dealing with the opposition without a clear-cut majority will be challenging.