Karachi Power Show

The Pakistan Democratic Movement’s power show on Sunday in Karachi, after a long hiatus, was well received by those in attendance at the gathering. The tone and content of the speeches was very similar to the ones being delivered before this break in between rallies, with the notable absence of PPP however, ever since the split took place.

The gathering is indicative of the PDM’s plan to continue its strategy before the impromptu pause. Rallies—with the addition of ‘road caravans’—and a march to the capital are on the cards. But things have changed since the opposition alliance last took to the stage. Will this be enough for the PDM to rally the support of the public and galvanise its own workers enough to overthrow the government? Is there even an appetite right now for these demands to be fulfilled?

One of the biggest weapons in PDM’s arsenal was the bleak economic situation; price hikes, lack of job opportunities and a current account balance in deficit were some obvious indicators and a reason for segments of the public to take to the roads.

But the overall economic picture looks to be improving. Some of these issues still remain—food prices are still on the up and the rise in imports is overshadowing our total export bill. But there have been attempts to bring in stability by the government and the economy has looked to get back on track with increased public and private spending driving up growth and production once more.

Whether the public will support the opposition in the tail end of the government’s tenure—when it has been seen to have made improvements—is a big question mark on this entire effort by the alliance. In any case, the ‘march’ to the capital has no date or proper plan in place. We have been hearing of this ambition since 2018 now. What this latest round of demonstrations brings remains to be seen.

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