A government’s function is more than just economic development. At the heart of it, the majority party is tasked with ensuring healthy debate occurs in the parliament and working with the opposition to pass legislature beneficial for the country.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) definitely has achievements to show for in its first 100 days. It has secured good bailout packages from Saudi Arabia and China, and has pulled us out of a balance of payments crisis. Yet when it comes to moderating the parliament and bringing the best out of parliamentarians, PTI leaves much to be desired for. This is evidenced in the fact that in its first 100 days, the majority party has not been able to pass any piece of legislature. The National Assembly, during its four sessions since August 13, has not passed any legislation, except the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2018, and that too because it is a money bill, meaning it does not need the assent of the Senate.

For its failure in legislative work, PTI has nobody but itself to blame for. The unforgivable delay in the formation of the committees by Speaker Asad Qaiser has almost made parliament non-functional. With no committees formed with which members can consult their legislative ideas with, the debates in the sessions of the lower house of Parliament have been replete of any substance or healthy discussion on issues. Rather the debate on the floor is reduced to shouting matches and continuous blame games between the government and opposition, with members throwing baseless accusations and continuing their corruption tirades against each other.

The reason for the delay can be attributed to the on-going conflict between PTI and the opposition parties over the issue of chairmanship of the all-powerful Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Technically there is no legal restriction on the government that on who to appoint as the Chairman- yet traditionally, it is almost an unspoken agreement that the Leader of the Opposition will be the Chairman-which is a good way to balance the hierarchy of power in the government. Yet PTI has categorically announced that it will not allow Shahbaz Sharif to become the Chairman of PAC- which has led to a deadlock between PTI and the opposition.

PTI must soon realise the cost of running a country while harbouring excessive antagonism with the opposition- the result is that the government will not be able to pass good legislation. A major part of PTI’s agenda for the first 100 days was to pass good reform to inculcate FATA into KPK- for this, it needs the cooperation of the opposition.