I prefer sticking to the position that five months comprise too short a period for judging the performance of a government elected for the five-year term. Yet, we have some media stars. Since years they have been vigorously promoting Imran Khan as the promised Messiah this nation kept waiting for many decades. With the advent of the sixth month of his government, however, they have begun to loudly express disappointment and lamenting over their self-confessed “poor judgment.”

The causes of gloom hitting the passionate types are understandable and there have been various incidents that make you question the governance mode of these days. The sluggish state of our economy is the main reason that triggers the stories of gloom and doom about this government, however.

Although headed by a very articulate finance minister, this government’s economic team is still not able to define its priorities and the time line set to achieving them. The Prime Minister and his team simply look averting the fear of economic crisis by traveling to friendly and brotherly countries.

If you go by the government’s claims only, a flurry of foreign visits helped Pakistan to prevent the imagined crisis. After this finance minister also looks not too keen to approach the IMF with the request of a bailout package.

Some course correction is still required and the government intends to get it done by introducing a ‘mini budget’ next week. Without preparing the expected budget, the government does not need to call another session of the national assembly that held its first sitting Monday evening.

In the absence of an engaging agenda this sitting appeared a reckless move in time wasting. Shahbaz Sharif, the opposition leader, did make a half-hearted attempt to embarrass the government by posing, mostly technical, questions related to the award of a contract for building Mohmand Dam to a company owned by Razzaq Daud, a powerful advisor and very old friend of the prime minister.

The story Shahbaz Sharif told could have sounded forceful or convincing to a technocrat familiar with profit seeking tricks, investors all across the world often employ to get contracts of mega projects from pliable governments.

For the press gallery, however, the opposition leader hardly had any stuff that might have made a sensational and scandalous story. Razzaq Daud did appear extracting a preferential treatment. What else could we expect, however, when the previous government of the PML-N had paved way for the single bidding process for the said project.

The journos rather felt more intrigued when the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif firmly asserted that Saudi Arabia and the UAE had not agreed to furnish substantive financial cushions to Pakistan, to “please Imran Khan.” Pakistan got their timely help, “solely because of” the Chief of Pak Army, General Bajwa.

Asif Ali Zardari did not endorse his claim, though. Taking the floor immediately after Shahbaz Sharif, the former President rather insisted that brotherly and friendly countries did not want Pakistan to fail as a state.

Yet for Zardari the PTI government has put Pakistan’s economy on the “sliding path” and we were fast heading to a point where the best of our friends might not be able to protect us from a financial collapse.

The former President, apparently, took the floor to plead that NAB Chairman should be summoned to parliament to explain his doings. Without the approval of a house committee, his outfit should have no authority of arresting a sitting parliamentarian to probe the charges of corruption against him or her.

In different times, the pleas of Asif Ali Zardari might have sounded logical and reasonable to many hearts and minds. In the context of a plethora of calculated leaks that project the former President as ultimate beneficiary of multiple “fake accounts,” he sounded as if seeking parliamentary protection from his possible arrest.

As a street-smart person, he knew his vulnerability in the given context and took taunts from the treasury benches with a defiant but smiling face. “I am so used to jails and interrogations by the NAB,” he recalled with a straight face.

“I am suggesting checks on the NAB to protect you,” he mockingly forewarned while pointing at treasury benches. They dismissed his “concern” with a contemptuous smirk.

At least two PTI MNAs, known for their access to powerful quarters, separately told me in the lobby that their leadership had not given up the idea of pulling the rug from under the PPP government in Sindh. “Maximum by the end of March 2019, you will see Asif Ali Zardari in jail,” they pronounced with utter confidence.

They sounded too certain in claiming that after the arrest of Zardari, “at least 22 PPP members of the Sindh Assembly,” would come against him into the open. That will lead to the removal of Murad Ali Shah from the office of Chief Minister.

In short, we will see the repeat of what had happened with the PML-N-led government in Balochistan during the culminating days of the government led by Shahid Khaqan Abbassi in early 2018.

Ironically the former President had then played the role of a key disrupter. The strategy and tactics he had employed to get the Nawaz-friendly government in Balochistan may now be employed to topple a government in another province that is led by the PPP.

Although a PML-N MNA, who seemed too delighted over the praising words of Shahbaz Sharif for General Bajwa, tried to suggest me in conspiratorial tone that “much before the PTI’s strike in Sindh, things will turn chaotic for its government” in the most populous province of Pakistan, i.e., Punjab.

I didn’t feel motivated to chase the conspiratorial gossip with reporters’ legwork and preferred rushing to home to punch this column.