The decision of the ruling party Pakistan Thereek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to allocate development funds to its members of provincial assembly (MPAs) is the first reversal of PTI’s promise to spend on the public through the local government system. Another U-turn! As if this was not enough, the ruling party also reverted on its promise of allocating 35 % of the total development funds to the members of the opposition parties. The recent move of the provincial government of just spending development funds through its own MPAs has offended the members of the joint opposition who have tendered their resignations from all standing committees of the provincial assembly.

By allocating the funds to its members, PTI is no different than other parties, though it claims to be a party that takes the opposition on board on all matters. Also, the practice of the ruling party is the continuation of promoting uneven development in the province. While allocating the development funds to MPAs from the treasury benches, the PTI government is violating one foundational principle of democracy: ignoring that the members of opposition parties enjoy the public mandate. How can PTI ignore this? The behaviour of PTI over the matter of funds distribution is no different than the parties that it used to criticise in the past.

In times when people are questioning the performance of the ruling party, any attempt of pushing the opposition to the wall for trivial political gains will prove counterproductive. Moreover, what PTI ignores is the fact that by depriving the MPAs of the opposition parties while allocating development funds, it is punishing the ordinary people for not voting for the ruling party’s candidates. Is this the party’s understanding of democracy? If yes, then it will only help in alienating the masses from the ruling party. The ruling party should rethink its behaviour for the smooth functioning of democracy.