By Aasma Zulfiqar Syed
The general public seemed indifferent to Imran Khan’s call against rise in petrol prices. But ruling coalition is under economic and political pressures, which might lead to early election. While Imran Khan wants role of neutrals and judiciary.
No major protests were seen in any city, including the capital. There were limited demonstrations in some cities.
Activists in Islamabad protest carrying lanterns, administration to issue permits for driving horses and donkeys, PTi secretary general Asad Umar came to sit in Tanga.
At Liberty Chowk Lahore there have been protests against rising inflation, rising prices of petroleum products and load shedding.
The PTI district staged a protest in front of the Quetta Press Club.
Former Prime Minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan is increasingly pressuring the military establishment to help him regain power through his political ambitions and early election, but the establishment is determined to remain neutral.
Some renowned analysts quoting informed defense source said that the military establishment did not like Imran Khan’s attempt to drag the army into politics, the establishment could not be intimidated and they would not come under pressure to bring pressure on the PTI chairman.
It is being said, the military establishment had learned from its past mistakes and was therefore determined to limit itself to its constitutional role. Therefore, neither Imran Khan nor any other politician should expect the army to interfere in politics as before. He said that there would be no interference in politics, politicians should decide their own affairs.
Referring to a recent meeting between the government and the opposition in the establishment’s mediation, the source said that the establishment could do at the most, even if mediation was requested. So that the politicians could come together and find a lasting solution to the problems facing the country and the nation.
Will the government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif be able to withstand the growing pressure from the people as the main opposition leader, former Prime Minister Imran Khan, has come up with a new plan and is pressuring the government to leave power and announce general election.
Ever since Imran Khan was ousted from power, he has been directly or indirectly targeting the strong institution and calling it an accomplice in the US conspiracy to overthrow his government.
At first, the allegations against his establishment were ambiguous, but later he began to speak in clear and unequivocal terms, leaving no doubt as to who his real target was.
In a recent interview to a private TV channel, the former prime minister said that the current political situation was a problem not only for the country but also for the establishment. “If the establishment does not make the right decision, I can assure you in writing that it and the strong will be destroyed because what will happen to them if the country goes bankrupt,” he said.
On the other hand, Jamaat-e-Islami also staged protests on Friday against the recent rise in prices of petroleum products. While Imran Khan is to announce the second phase of the protest plan today (Saturday).
The finance minister will present the national budget next week. Many believe that in the current economic situation, it will be very difficult.
Reliable sources say that there have been reports of differences in the meeting of the leaders of the ruling coalition in the face of increasing pressure after some tough decisions. After which some important decisions are expected next week, including tackling economic and political issues and holding elections later this year or early 2023.
In this situation, will the ruling parties be able to perform well in the by-elections for 20 MPAs seats in Punjab next month? Apart from this, there are also local body elections which will be held in Sindh this month and next month in Karachi and Hyderabad.
Senior analysts believe, tThis election will be the real test for the ruling parties and the PTI, which will determine the next general election. As is the case today, opposition leader Imran Khan has a lead over the ruling coalition.
But he still lacks confidence and seeks political support from the establishment, which he believes could play a decisive role in toppling the government and in the next general election. He also wants the active role of the judiciary to decide the long march of their future and the cases against Zardari and Sharif family as soon as possible.