New Senate session with divided opposition


PPP and PML-N have only themselves to blame because, now that the dust from the Senate election has settled, the new session of the upper house of parliament has begun with the government in majority and the opposition divided and pretty much in tatters. Sure, the government has the offices of both chairman and deputy chairman, but PTI will still need to get along nicely with its allies to ensure smooth sailing in the upper house in the half term that it has left. And, quite naturally, it will feed off all the differences in the opposition as it goes about its business as well.
It’s not immediately clear what is going to become of the opposition’s combined push to unseat the government, especially now that things have come to such a pass that the nation will be treated to the sight of two opposition factions within the Senate. As things stand, what is left of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is trying to find ways to gang up on PPP for going behind their backs and having their candidate “selected” for the position of opposition leader in the august house. So it can be pretty safely said that whatever will occupy them, at least in the immediate term, will have little to do with providing relief to the people or even hurting Imran Khan and his government, but rather tightening the noose around PPP; whatever that is worth at the end of the day.
All this has come from over-extending and playing a hand, just out of over-confidence, that did not suit the reality on the ground. PDM was actually going downhill ever since the much hyped Lahore jalsa turned out to be a flop show. They did manage to win back considerable momentum with Yousaf Gilani’s win from the Islamabad seat in the Senate election, but that euphoria turned out to be rather short-lived, and all that remains is the strain from that unnatural coming together of two intense, time-tested rivals that few people expected to stand the test of time in the first place. It also seems that simply going back to the drawing board is not an option for PDM, at least not in the sense that it would have been just a few days ago because it must do whatever it will do now without PPP. It seems some more surprises might yet be in store for us as Senate proceedings begin.