You don’t even have to look very far anymore to see how this government is crumbling. There’s a reason that the top job of its henchmen these days is putting the microscope on everything the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) does to try and exploit anything that doesn’t make sense to them about the opposition’s negotiations or their tactics. The reason is that the ruling party of the selected prime minister is coming under increasing pressure from above (the establishment that selected them) as well as below (the people who were made to believe that they elected them), and that is making them desperate. For people, largely, would have let the government get on with its vicitimisation drive in the name of accountability if it had really ushered in an era of unparalleled prosperity in their lives, or the illusion that PTI fed them on the campaign trail had indeed come true. In fact, that is all they would have needed to believe that the Messiah had finally come in the form of Imran Khan, and that all previous leaders were indeed looters and plunderers just as PTI was saying all along. Instead the reality has been very different. The Pakistani economy suddenly stopped growing quite literally from the moment this new government took over. It can use the pandemic as an excuse all it likes, but one only has to go on the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) websites to see what trends GDP growth, unemployment, inflation, revenue collection, etc, were registering even before the virus came to Pakistan. And surely nobody can forget about the high prices of some of the most essential items of daily use like sugar and wheat; the latter being the country’s staple food. How often has the selected prime minister held mafias responsible for the high prices? And what has he or his government been able to do about these problems in two-and-a-half years? And, more importantly from the people’s point of view, why weren’t these mafias allowed to jack up prices so blatantly when previous governments were in power? Actually the people have been seeing with their own eyes who the real looters and plunderers are, and that is now making PTI very nervous. The establishment isn’t very happy with it either. That is why the rhetoric from Bani Gala has shifted from ‘we are on the same page’ to ‘they are under me and report to me’. The fact is that actions speak louder than words, and some actions are simply too loud to ignore. That is why PTI spokespersons have been running around like headless chicken ever since somebody started moving puppet-strings again and suddenly PML-F Central Secretary General Muhammad Ali Durrani was seen talking to PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif in Kot Lakhpat jail and then Maulana Fazlur Rehman also in Lahore about the need for a grand national dialogue and all that. Quite clearly those that selected and backed the present government so far are having second thoughts about its one-point agenda of political victimisation even at the cost of the welfare of the people and the country. Instead, they can see strength in the unity of the opposition and PDM’s own one-point agenda to send the government packing. Sandwiched this way between the establishment and the people, both of which are not very happy with the government, its representatives are trying to create a false impression of divisions within PDM. All of a sudden who didn’t attend which meeting is the most important news of the day for them. And that is why they are also trying to appear on the front foot, so to speak, on the matter of the resignations. They can beat their chests as much as they want but the fact remains that if and when so many hundreds of resignations go through, both the government and the so called establishment would be stripped of all legitimacy. That is why those that propped this government up are having very serious second thoughts about its effectiveness. And the more eager minor players within PTI, who can do no better than echo their master’s voice to find favour in government, do their party’s chances no good by trying to make a joke of the resignations on social media. Such cheap actions might get them a pat on the back from their party leadership, but they are more likely to get the party a rebuke from the powers it relies on to stay on the job. When push comes to shove, which is going to be very soon now, look to PTI’s so called electables to leave the party like rats jumping a sinking ship. That is, after all, what they have always done and that is how they ended up in the selected party in the first place. The coming few weeks should be decisive.