Did Establishment Coerce Opposition Parties Into Supporting Army Act Amendment?

PTI government and two major opposition parties—PPP and PMLN—reached an agreement to pass the bill to amend the Army Act in order to give three years extension to COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Pakistan hardly witnesses such unanimity on political issues. Disagreement between government and opposition is norm in our political culture. Parliamentary consensus is rare development, which should be commended.

But there is a problem: This consensus has been reached in an unusual political environment, in which, normally speaking, consensus between conflicting political groups is not a possibility.

Here is a brief summary of what the political situation is: The two major opposition parties have been under tremendous pressure from the state machinery on account of the one-sided accountability drive that has put the top leaders of both the opposition parties in jail.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former President Asif Ali Zardari are victim of court verdict and highhanded prosecution by the state machinery respectively, whose partiality has been brought into doubt by public revelations of scandalous nature. Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is a beneficiary of this one-sided accountability drive, is the most enthusiastic supporter of prosecution of Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari at the hands of this biased state machinery.