The ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is committing one mistake after another. The latest one is the appointment of two members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) without consulting the opposition. Asking the opposition benches over the selection of the ECP members is a constitutional requirement. The government cannot violate the procedure.

The fact that the Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan is reluctant to engage with the opposition reveals the present state of Pakistan’s current parliament and a looming crisis of governance. The government has not overcome all the hurdles in its path. It may need the cooperation of opposition in the days to come. Why is then the government keen on self-inflicted harm by widening the gap between the opposition and itself?

Moreover, the PM is going against his own words when his government acts in such a unilateral manner. Quite contrary to what he said, the government is not taking along opposition on issues of national concern. Nor is his party heeding to any sincere piece of advice from the opposition benches. The opposition benches have been saying that ECP is not impartial for a long time.

Nevertheless, the government move to appoint its nominees, as members of ECP will severely damage the reputation of the ECP. Why is the government not consulting the opposition over such vital issues? Does the ruling party think that the other half of the parliament has no role in the decision-making process? If PTI thinks of Pakistan as a democratic country, then it cannot take decisions on its own.

From the very beginning, the government has shown an attitude of contempt towards the opposition benches. Especially in the case of appointing members of ECP, the government has violated the procedure that is laid down in the constitution. The contempt that the ruling party shows to the opposition tells something disturbing about PTI. It reveals that the ruling party does not understand how democratic setups function. Is this the right way to do politics and rule the country, if one may ask the PTI leadership?

Before anything else, PTI needs to show some political maturity if it can. It is opposition’s task to debate the government choices and hold her accountable for her actions. Opposition benches in the parliament are the first tier of check and balances that democracy imposes on the government. The ruling party should know it better than anyone else that opposition’s criticism of its policies does not mean obstruction in its functioning. The day PTI understands this fine point will be the day when the government will take the opposition on board.