Role of opposition in a democratic setup
Asmat Shah Garwaki
As history depicts, Hujras (guesthouses) in Pashtun-dominated areas have been playing a highly significant role to keep people abreast of day to day events, national and even international developments.
Hujra is common gathering place in a village where people get together after evening till late night, sipping green tea and exchanging views on current events such as increase of prices in daily use commodities in the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government and Indian move to change the status of Indian occupied Kashmir.
In brief, Hujra still serves as the best available forum to discuss the prevailing regional and international political affairs.
In a nutshell, people were not happy regarding the performance of the current government, which they said failed to ensure provision of any facility to poor segment of society.
Among the colleagues at Hujra, there were those who appreciated the PTI government to deal with corruption and improve governance but there were those who vehemently denounced the incumbent government for failing to curb rising trend of corruption, inflation and skyrocketing prices of daily use commodities.
The pro-PTI school of thought was of the opinion that the government has the credit to project the Kashmir imbroglio on international level but the anti-PTI school of thought was of the opinion that it was the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who annexed the Kashmir through article 370, which helped the issue surfaced on international politics.
Meanwhile, the dominated topic of at the Hujras these days was the performance of the incumbent PTI government while some were calling huge protest of opposition against government for not taking measures (change) in favor of masses.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is reluctant or unable to tackle pressing demands of the opposition such as hike in prices of commodities, petrol and unprecedented rise in dollar price.
It is saying that treasury benches as well as opposition are the beauty of democracy which runs the wheel of parliament to run the affairs of the state. The opposition guides and suggests treasury benches to ensure better governance and to extend facilities to masses at their door step.
In addition opposition and democracy are interchangeable with one another. One cannot think of a successful democracy without strong opposition because opposition works as a watchdog to highlight issues of people and present before the government.
The opposition criticizes government legislation, policies and problems for the sake of people to fulfill the public interest.
Opposition and government are of paramount importance to run the country’s affairs smoothly but the opposition is the guardian of public interest and reminds its pledges made with the people during general elections.
Indubitably, the opposition works for public interest but it should appreciate the government steps and measures for the welfare of masses and also follows the democratic culture.
In the current setup, two major parties such as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) to raise the issues in parliament but having no intention to come out on roads against the government because they fear for sabotaging of democracy in the country due to their protests and demonstrations.
After general elections 2018 they did not accept the elections and mandate of PTI but never try to come on road because it dangerous for democracy.
Similarly, a number of people criticized the Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) for protesting against the government but the students of seminaries are waiting for a signal of JUIF Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and other leader of ruling government challenged the opposition to stage protest and the government will provide container to them but the opposition did not because to save democracy in the country.
The opposition had much reservation on recently held vote of no confidence on Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani but the never tried to stage protest against government as just expressed allegations of horse trading.
Opposition know rights of people and stand for its obligations to play role in services made by government.
In every democratic setup, the role of the opposition is highly important to keep a check on the working of the ruling party and serve as a watchdog on overall internal and external policies of the government.