ISLAMABAD - The fiasco, which has made the joint opposition fall apart even before its takeoff, would on one hand ease out the fragile multi-partners’ coalition government led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf while on the other hand dent the joint opposition’s thrust to get the government on its knees and dictate their demands on the probe of alleged massive rigging in the July 25 elections.
In the process all the opposition parties would be on the losing end but the loss of Pakistan People’s Party would be much more as the acrimony with Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) would immediately cost them the slot of Leader of Opposition in Senate of Pakistan which after the change of guards would change and being the single largest party in Senate the slot would go to PML-N.
The position of Leader of House in Senate would go to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf after the formation of PTI government at centre and the incumbent Raja Zafarul Haq would be replaced by some PTI man in the Upper House.
Pakistan People’s Party has to once again carry the burden of friendly opposition as the way they have abruptly withdrew its support to joint opposition candidate for Prime Minister’s elections.
It has raised many a questions and some senior leaders in Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) even attributed it to the burden of inquiries against PPPP President Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur which led to this compromise.
PPP was already carrying the bad baggage of friendly opposition in the previous PML-N government which the PPP leadership had attributed to the politics of reconciliation and the party had to shun it at the fag-end of the PML-N government.
JUI-F chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman had tried his level best to make Asif Ali Zardari agree on extending support to the candidature of Shahbaz Sharif for the slot of Prime Minister but could not succeed, however, he stood by his commitment to support Shahbaz Sharif as agreed in the meetings of joint opposition parties at the residence of former Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.
A senior JUI-F leader informed that Moulana Fazlur Rehman was very much dejected over all this and said that this break-up in the joint opposition would immensely damage their struggle to get probe into what he termed stealing of their mandate.
Awami National Party also stood by its commitment and its sole MNA voted for Shahbaz Sharif for the election of prime minister.
ANP leaders said that although their votes, even PPP votes, would not make any difference in the contest but the seed of discord sowed by PPP would greatly damage the united opposition and he was pessimistic about any patch-up in near future.
A senior Parliamentarian said that it was noticed by many the indifference with which Shahbaz Sharif shook hands with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and it clearly indicates the future ties of both these parties in the Parliament.
A senior PML-N Senator said that PPP had ditched the joint opposition and they had actually stepped in the whole saga to divide the opposition and to facilitate the fragile government.
He said that it was actually the PPP leaders who had pushed PML-N to field Shahbaz Sharif for the slot of prime minister’s elections, otherwise they were even prepared to dole out this position to Pakistan People’s Party.
But it would be embarrassing for the party to replace Shahbaz Sharif with some other party Parliamentarian once his name was made public, a senior PML-N leader said adding that the party was not prepared to take dictation from another party in the joint opposition when each and every thing was already decided and slots for the elections for Chief Executive, Speaker and Deputy Speaker were allocated to PML-N, PPP and MMA with no pre-conditions.
Political analysts said that the division in the joint opposition was sharp and deep and would unlikely to be bridged easily and the main beneficiary of all this would be the PTI-led fragile coalition while in the face of this division in opposition now PTI would be well poised to secure the slot of President of Pakistan, which otherwise would be a cliff-hanger like situation if the opposition parties stood united.
This division in opposition would also help grant a new lease of life to incumbent Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, who otherwise would have no chance to stay in office.
Though badly failed in his attempt to keep the opposition parties intact, JUI-F chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman, known for his political wizardry, has still not lost the hope, a senior Parliamentarian claimed.
Only time will tell whether he will succeed in bringing back the opposition parties on one platform and making them united on some common agreeable points.