Winds of change start blowing for PTI?

ISLAMABAD  -  Some recent devel­opments have giv­en rise to assump­tions that perhaps there is some ma­jor breakthrough in the already soured relations between Pakistan Teh­reek-e-Insaf (PTI) and powers-that-be. Social media is also rife with speculations that powerful quarters have begun to show some flexibility for the party of impris­oned politician Imran Khan that is facing hard time after May 9 riots. At least three incidents pro­vide support to such be­liefs. Last week, a local anti-terrorism court in La­hore gave post-arrest bail to nine PTI leaders and activists, mostly wom­en, in a case of attacking the Jinnah House, which also serves as the corps commander’s residence. Former PTI MNA Rubi­na Jamil, and social me­dia activist Sanam Javed are prominent among them. Other good news for PTI is that Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Mon­day ordered the transfer of former prime minister Khan from Attock jail to Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail. The court has also direct­ed the jail authorities to provide the chairman PTI with better class facilities as per his entitlement. Earlier, better class facil­ities were not available in the jail located in the Attock jail. At the same time, pro-PTI YouTuber and anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan has returned home safely after remain­ing missing for more than four months. All this hap­pened at a time when former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is under fire within and outside his party for his statement seeking strict account­ability of former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa, ex-spymas­ter Faiz Hameed and two ex-chief justices of Paki­stan for their alleged in­volvement in a conspiracy to oust him from power in 2017. Critics say that his remarks have been taken critically within the ranks of the military establish­ment. Seasoned politician Senator Mushahid Hus­sain Syed opened anoth­er Pandora’s Box on Mon­day when he talked about the possibility of a deal between Khan and the establishment and called such an arrangement the “mother of all deals”. Sen­ator Syed, who is consid­ered very close to military circles, called for a politi­cal reconciliation and said that this was the only way to take the country for­ward. He said that the country couldn’t tolerate further confrontation and added that any party in­cluding PTI could not be kept out of the contest if they wanted credible elec­tions. Former information minister Mohammad Ali Durrani has recently held a meeting with President Arif Alvi for opening a di­alogue between the PTI and the military estab­lishment. He in a state­ment has also said that some confidence building measures (CBMs) would be taken for a broader po­litical reconciliation. In the light of given facts, it is likely that PTI may get some relief with regard to a crackdown on its lead­ers and workers in the days ahead but the par­ty is still in hot waters. The police have re-ar­rested those party wom­en who had been released on bail by the anti-ter­rorism court, according to some unconfirmed re­ports. There are no pros­pects of a smooth sailing for the party in the up­coming polls. The chanc­es for the PTI to make its way to power corridors still remain slim.

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