Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) seems to have forgotten that the democratic project does not conclude with the general election, it is where it begins. Having come into power on a slim majority, the need to cooperate with the opposition and coalition parties was apparent from the first day. Yet the PTI has taken its majority as a license to rule unfettered, disregarding the rest of the Parliament – which represents almost half of the country – as a nuisance to be managed, never to be engaged. This is not democracy, this is majoritarianism. This is not a consensus, it is dictation.

The Parliament, where the nation’s representatives are supposed to congregate and deliberate on the decisions needed to move the country forward on our behalf, has been tuned into a cesspool of insults and mudslinging. The government has ostracized the opposition, refused to cooperate even on constitutionally mandated appointments – such as the Public Accounts Committee Chairmanship and the Election Commission of Pakistan leadership – and failed to submit any notable legislation into the chamber for debate and deliberation. Ministers don’t attend – even the Prime Minister is seldom seen despite his earnest promises to the contrary in his inaugural speech – and the parliamentarians present are focused on slander and petty point scoring rather than and constructive debate. The final nail in the coffin of parliamentary democracy is the new revelation that the law ministry has sent yet another summary to the federal cabinet to get approval for six more ordinances. It is not as if these ordinances were made to deal with exigent problems on an emergency basis; these are the bills that have been pending before deferent committees of the Parliament – instead of taking the time to develop consensus and incorporate the objections of the opposition, the government would rather jam them down the throat of the nation in the form of presidential ordinances.

For a party that rose to power in opposition to the Sharif family’s “monarchic and autocratic” style of governance, Imran Khan’s party is being surprisingly dictatorial too. Can the PTI really blame the Bhuttos for concentrating power at the top, when it itself refuses to listen to the rest of the political spectrum and decides to rule by royal decrees instead?

The rule passed that forbids Parliamentary committees to meet outside a regular session – ostensibly foe austerity reasons – has actively scuttled the bastion of democracy further. It is a shame to see the “tsunami” of the people turn into the very thing they swore to overthrow.