People who have been keeping track of Parliamentary proceedings of last week or so, are aware of a new buzz word ‘ Selected’ being used for the Prime Minister of Pakistan. This word had been doing rounds in the parliament in the past as well. The only difference being no one tagged with this word before had tried to rebuff the word and brush aside it with this much might. The acting speaker – responsible with putting the house in order- was so much annoyed with the word that he banned the word in parliamentary proceedings and ordered this word not be made part of the parliamentary record. Banning this word gave it what the joint opposition was unable to give (it became the buzz word in Media as well as Parliament).
When a member from the Opposition party was asked not to use the word ‘Selected’ for the PM Imran Khan, all the members of the opposition parties present in the Parliament rallied behind that elected member and chanted slogans against this draconian order of banning the word. Genesis of this word could be traced back to the allegations of the opposition that PTI’s government wasn’t elected on votes of the public rather it was selected by the unforeseen hands of the establishment. This allegation wasn’t new to the people of Pakistan. Following every elections in the short democratic history of Pakistan, every losing party saw the hidden hand of the establishment function behind the victory of the winning party. Winning candidate claiming to have confidence of the general public reposed in him and losing side accusing the former of being the pawn of the establishment and hence playing a second fiddle, became a new normal for the people of Pakistan.
But this happened for the first time –the government and the opposition parties taking on each other on the word ‘selected’. As if there was paucity of issues to discuss in the parliament regarding woes of a common man, so the government benches decided to settle this issue of false labeling -least important- once and for all. The opposition seems vindicated in their stance when they claim the Government benches cannot stand any word or claim voiced from the opposition benches because in the eyes of the former the latter are but ‘liars and looters’. It also seems inappropriate to ban words of the opposition benches when the government is faced with more dire issues of wooing their voters and the general Public viz- a- viz increased inflation and crippled economy.
Past experiences and history suggest that now important issues like debating on budget and pointing towards lacunas in it would be drowned by fierce speeches of banning and unbanning words. Media [like politicians] are also bent upon pushing the important issues to the back burner and giving prime time to non-issues. This is a new thing in ‘New Pakistan’ where average performance of the government is covered by creating storms in the Tea cup.