Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has never been this jolly and confident as he was at the time of presenting the budget last Friday. That it was his fourth show in a row, or the absence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif whose shoes he is supposedly filling could be the factors behind his confidence. But it is not all. The supportive, if not submissive, stance of Opposition Leader in National Assembly Khursheed Shah hit you like a straight bullet when you happen to observe the budget proceedings from the press gallery. Has it not made the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) irrelevant in the current scenario? Consider: It is almost unprecedented in the history of parliament that a budget goes through without an incident. NA is not the floor to play goody-goody for the opposition. Opposition can afford to stay in darkness all through the year but not on the budget day. In the five years of the PPP era, we witnessed steamy sessions, the likes of Abid Sher Ali & Co. tearing up copies of bills and flying them to the face of Fahmida Mirza, the first woman speaker of the NA. No budget then went unchallenged. Leave the budget – never had it happened that the opposition entered an agreement with the government that it would be obedient like a school kid while the prime minister or the president speaks. President Asif Zardari had to address joint sitting of the Parliament annually as an army of hecklers shouted and marched by. On Friday, everybody missed Imran Khan. It is like this, we like it or not. Had he been in the house, Dar would never have been given the walkover he was by Shah. This situation is propping up Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as real opposition while the PPP is painted as supportive of the government. Imran Gabol, a feature writer with a keen eye on politics, believes that this trend is not going down well with the PPP stalwarts. “All this is going on in the name of reconciliation. The youth in the PPP believes that this is not the reconciliation spelled out by late Benazir Bhutto.” He said if the party needs to be alive, it has to be resistant. “Resistance is basically essence of the PPP,” he opines. We have seen that the party leaders look down upon the PTI every time the latter talks of dharna or roadblocks. The PPP leaders are seen telling the party rank and file that they do not approve of politics of protests and dharnas as matters should be settled in parliament, which they call is the democratic way to handle things. Agreed – But what then barred the PPP to put up a show in parliament when it is their turn is anyone’s guess. It, at times, seems that the party of labourers has transformed into a party of opportunists with no idea of how to run the opposition. It’s about time the Jiyalas let their rebel out to mark their existence, which lies in resistance.