Surprise Twist

Author: Daily Times

In today’s volatile political climate, it seems that politics is just a game of unpredictabilities. One never knows what unexpected turn of events might occur next. Therefore, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party President Mehmood Khan Achakzai’s sudden shot to fame, thanks to the presidential nomination by the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehadi Council, is not as surprising as is being painted by his political rivals.

Although party spokespersons would have a hard time defending this decision, especially in the light of recorded evidence of PTI Founder Imran Khan’s much-talked-about mimicry and repeated onslaughts by the likes of Ali Muhammad Khan, it was evident from Mr Achakzai’s thundering, no-hold-barred speech in the National Assembly on Friday that he had chosen his side. But while his principled stance on advocacy for Pashtun rights and his anti-establishment narrative may not have changed, this time around, it is not Mr Khan casting aspersions on his credentials as “mouthpiece of Kabul and New Delhi” but his former colleagues from the opposition days.

As PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari turned his guns towards him, asking him to not call himself a “nationalist” now that he had become a candidate for the PTI and PML(N)’s Atta Tarar criticised his performance in the recently-held general elections, there’s all the more evidence to read into the fragility of political alliances in Pakistan. It goes without saying that politics cannot be run like mafia feuds that last lifetimes and only truly mature politicians realise the value of collaborating on a point-to-point basis. Before poking holes in the SIC bonhomie with Mr Achakzai, the ruling elite should have taken a cursory glance at the recent past: how the leading parties went from sworn enemies to sharing government under the PDM umbrella to ferocious competitors before stopping at the collaboration train station. However, if his opponents need a refresher course in the political chessboard, the PkMAP leader would have to realise that some positions, especially when they are at the pinnacle of the pecking order, don’t offer much space for fiery rhetoric and uncalled-for insinuations. At the end of the day, the entire country wishes nothing but elegance, moderation and progressive ideals in line with the constitution from its ceremonial figurehead. *

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