The recent loss faced by Prime Minister Imran Khan and his PTI led government in the Senate elections appears to have shaken the ruling coalition so much that instead of stepping back to rethink, they believe that attacking the opposition is the path forward.

According to veteran columnist and activist, IA Rahman, the Prime Minister’s “assault on institutions of governance without offering better and workable alternatives was like flogging an exhausted horse without any possibility of a useful outcome.”

Rahman notes that the “declaration by a government spokesperson that from now on the government would respond to the opposition’s malevolence with matching medicine of its own” means that “the head of government is threatening institutions of governance which he is required to protect and use in the interest of the people. Some of these institutions, such as the ECP, can deliver only when their autonomy is inviolable in letter and spirit.”

Referring to the ongoing “sabre rattling” as “unnecessary” Rahman points out that the government would only “harm itself by trying to fight shadows. It faces no real threat from the opposition, at least not in the immediate future. Now is the time to replace governance by rhetoric with governance that puts people-friendly initiatives at the centre — governance that should offer the nation legitimate hope of a much-needed turnaround in the situation.”

In the end Rahman’s advice is that “Any informed observer of national politics would be able to tell the prime minister that the attempt to tilt at windmills is not warranted as the government faces no difficulty in carrying out its policies. Indeed, the fears the government betrays now and then suggest weaknesses of which the people are not aware. The institutions that the prime minister has attacked are vital pillars of governance. Pulling them down will only lead to the government’s collapse and that would serve nobody’s purpose.”