In yet another hasty retreat from a terrible decision taken with aplomb, the government has decided to roll pack its actions even before the ink on the paper that put them into effect was dry. Once more the government acted without thinking and with malicious intentions. Once more it faced widespread criticism and it buckled under that pressure fast.

After passing multiple ordinances with military precision and an authoritarian resolve in the space of half an hour, the government and the opposition struck a ‘give and take’ deal in the National Assembly on Friday under which the former withdrew all 11 presidential ordinances and the latter dropped the no-trust motion against Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri. While the former Finance Minister Asad Umar was quick to hail the opposition’s gesture to withdraw, saying that “instead of engaging ourselves in confrontation we should focus on public problems for which the people have given us votes”, he seemed to overlook the fact that it was his party which was engaging in confrontation and refusing to use the Parliament the way it was intended too.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is already trying to spin this U-turn as a concession given to the opposition in the interest of preserving the sanctity of the parliamentary process, however, we must not forget the facts.

It was PTI which made a conscious and conniving attempt at bulldozing these ordinances through, and were it not for the opposition’s no confidence motion against the Deputy Speaker the government would not have reached out to the opposition to strike this compromise.

One strong armed action respecting the parliament is not enough to give oneself a pat on the back; the government must do more. This episode has exposed the real majoritarian face of the PTI government. It cannot wash that image away with mere words.