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New Pak Government still weak

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on May 26, 2022 with No Comments

Though Shahbaz Sharif  has been able to form a new government in Pakistan, however there are serious questions on the stability of the new government specially the process that was deployed to form the government. The no-confidence motion against Imran Khan’s government was passed by a majority of just two votes in the Pakistani parliament. It got 174 votes, while the parliament has 348 members. Considering, it has only has a marginal support, it has to be seen how well this government will run and how it maintains its relation with United States, India, Russia and China.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in its inaugural address, though he expressed his desire to have good relations with India, however, as always this came with serious questions being raised on Kashmir.  Shahbaz is neither a complacent leader like former Prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto nor does he have the kind of aggression that can irritate the Pakistani army. However, by raising the Kashmir issue he has tried to get the Army on his side.

Shahbaz Sharif brings with him the experience of being the Chief Minister of  Punjab, the largest province in Pakistan. At present, his party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) has only 84 MPs out of 348 members. Apart from the Pakistan People’s Party, Shahbaz Sharif will have to seek  cooperation of other minor parties to run the government. How will Shahbaz Sharif be able to manage the tantrums of the leaders of all these parties and balance his act. These smaller parties have been spewing venom against each other in the past, however they have only got together to be the part of the government. Nevertheless, the bigger challenge for Shabhaz Sharif is that if his government completes its term in the next one and a half years and elections are held after that, will he be able to secure a clear majority in September 2023 to  run a government?  For that these parties have to stay together to contest the 2023 elections. Shahbaz Sharif will also have to face the parties and defectors of Maulana Fazlur Rehman and other leaders. How will the Shahbaz government overcome Pakistan’s problems like inflation, unemployment, foreign debt?. Shahbaz Sharif may be able to draw some benefit from the experiences of his brother Nawaz Sharif, who himself would be facing a tough time in courts on his comeback in Pakistan. On the other hand the possibility of Imran Khan and other opponents trying to create a  mass movement can’t be ruled out.

Imran Khan argument that  his government was brought down at the behest of America doesn’t find much merit, but his ability to address rallies and convince people is immense and he may create a public opinion.  Till now, most of the Pakistani governments have survived on the strength of the army. How well Shahbaz Sharif be able to keep the Army on his side, will be another factor to be considered.

Odds are stacked against the government and how well will it be able to handle adversaries will determine its stability.




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