It seems that the leader of the government is not the only leadership position that will have changed in 2017’s parliament. This year has certainly been a most happening year for members of the national assembly with the change in the prime minister and now potentially, the leader of the opposition as well - if the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has its way.

With less than nine months in the 2018 general elections, PTI I has started making attempts to replace Leader of Opposition Khursheed Shah with its own — Shah Mehmood Qureshi. PTI is in consultation with other political parties, mainly Mutthida Qaumi Movement (MQM) over this decision. If PTI can win the support of the other parties in the opposition – which it seems to have had – it is likely that they will be able to replace Khursheed Shah with a new Leader of Opposition and there is nothing in the rules of the Parliament that can stop them.

While many would argue that it is futile to make such a change when the 2013’s assembly’s reign is almost over, however, in many ways this is clever move. The caretaker government during the elections is formed with the consensus of the ruling party and the main opposition and PTI wants to ensure that the caretaker Prime Minister is of its choice. The leader of the opposition has a crucial input in electing NAB’s chairman, which will ensure the upcoming accountability trials to be more transparent and unbiased.

A confrontational opposition leader – which PTI promises to provide - would be conducive to transparency and the appearance of impartiality in the upcoming elections. Perhaps most importantly, it is reflective of the changing political scenario which has seen PPP’s influence decaying and PTI’s resurgence as the second biggest political party in the country. Considering how PTI has virtually been the main opposition party for the majority of this term and is the main contender against the PML-N, perhaps it is appropriate that it leads of the opposition.