The Parliament – both the Senate and the National Assembly – seems to epitomise the word ‘dysfunctional’ these days. Sluggish, stagnant and hostile, the prime institution of democracy in this country has simply become a well-appointed stage to play out verbal battles. While a fractured and highly polarised political environment in the lead-up to the election can be partially blamed for this, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government – which is the custodian of the institution and is supposed to run it efficiently, must shoulder its share of the blame too.

Where governments use the precious weeks following an electoral victory to mend broken bridges, bury hatchets and quickly come to common ground with the opposition on mutual issues to pass important legislation, the government has persisted in its conflict based approach – from the formations of constitutional committees to the floor of the house. The result is such a fractured legislature that nothing of any consequence has been done, or perhaps can be done. What’s worse, we may have more conflict ahead of us.

While the exact contours of this development are still unknown, the Senate deputy chairman Saleem Madviwalla on Friday confirmed reports that efforts were under way to remove Senate chairman Sadiq Sanjrani from his office. It does not bode well that so soon into a new term, possibilities of no-confidence votes are being raised.

The opposition certainly has the numbers to make that change in the Senate. We must remember that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had a crucial role to play in Sanjrani’s upset Senate success, and now, being under the tightening screw of the government it might not be feeling so cooperative.

Weather other opposition parties will band together remains to be seen, but this development must worry the government, which cannot afford any more hiccups in its legislative agenda. It must reconsider its policies inside the Parliament, and make the institution functional again – for the sake of the people they represent.