As these lines are being written, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government is in the news for all the wrong reasons — federal finance minister Asad Umar has resigned, followed by predictions of more such resignations to follow. These are hard times not just for the PTI government but the whole political landscape of the country. The cabinet reshuffle does not come as a surprise though. It should nevertheless be a wake-up call for the PTI as a ruling political party. From day one, critics of the government had started pointing out lack of direction of policy makers on two major fronts: dealing with opposition parties and the ailing economy. On the other hand, for party loyalists this is Imran Khan following through on his promise of internal accountability.
While opposition parties, mainly the PML-N and PPP, were taken head on in the name of accountability despite calls to show political maturity and take the opposition along on issues of critical importance — economy and development — the PTI government continued with its rhetoric of punishing the ‘corrupt’.
As time has passed, cracks within the party have also come to the surface with groupings seen as the main reason behind lack of attention to basic issues. Even before the July 2018 general elections, political analysts had pointed to presence of factions in the party, including the one led by Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and another by Jahangir Tareen.
Also read: The political challenge
Today, the alleged efforts of the government to do away with the parliamentary form of government and rolling back the 18th Amendment have made things more uncertain. Whether political opposition unites against the government or not, the PTI government seems to be having a hard time of it even without any outside intervention.