ISLAMABAD - The multi-party conference of major opposition factions has undoubtedly removed the tag of friendly opposition on it. Though the opposition, in its first formal anti-government move, has not rushed to announce its future course of action yet it has clearly given a message of its offensive approach in days to come.

Maulana Fazlur Rahman, a religio-political figure, was seemingly in a mood to go for adopting some strict stance against the government but he could not garner full support of his alliance against the Imran-led government. The PTI government was celebrating its success which it achieved in the joint sitting of the parliament when the appearance of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in APC had surprised it and rejuvenated the opposition especially the members of Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz [PML-N].

The sudden reaction of ruling clique members, before and after the multi-party conference, was evident of the fact that it would continue to behave aggressively in and outside the parliament. The mysterious disappearance of two dozen opposition members in the joint session of the parliament has paved a way for the PTI government to meet requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to bring Pakistan out of the grey-list.

The government with the support of its 200 lawmakers, in the last week, hardly could manage to approve three FATF-related bills including “The Islamabad Capital Territory Waqf Properties Bill” and “The Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020”.

The situation would have been different if 32 opposition members had taken part in the important legislative business. Among others, senior members including PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N’s Riaz Hussain Pirzada, JUI-F’s Maulana Attaur Rahman and others had not participated in the legislation.

Political pundits viewed that the opposition with its numerical strength could easily defeat the government in the joint sitting but it failed due to its poor strategy. As the total numerical strength of National Assembly [342] and Senate [104], so total 53 including 32 were missing in the house. The government side had relished victory to approve FATF-related legislation with only 10 members more than the opposition in the house. The upcoming session of the National Assembly is expected to be summoned next week, in which the government side would prefer to dispose of pending legislative business.