THE grand promise to purge the KP government of corruption could turn out to be a mere political ruse to get rid of unwanted allies. The PTI has thrown out the two KP ministers belonging to the Qaumi Watan Party ending an uneasy and short-lived partnership. The QWP is determined to not go out quietly, and there are some who point out that the real reason for the split could be the difference of opinion on political issues rather than allegations of corruption. It may be no coincidence that the parting of ways came just a week before the PTI’s scheduled blocking of the Nato supply route. Even though the truth is difficult to get to amid a plethora of allegations and counter-allegations, opposition to the Nato blockade by a coalition partner, the QWP, could have made it awkward for the PTI-led government. Imran Khan appears to be confident he has the numbers on his side in a house in which the PTI has 53 members out of a total strength of 124. But the mathematics apart, his praise for the JI ministers following the QWP sacking is reflective of his desire to be with ideologically compatible friends.
When Imran Khan made the pledge to dismiss corrupt ministers earlier this week, questions were raised as to how he could assign the job to Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. As the head of the cabinet, Mr Khattak had been tasked to carry out an exercise that could stigmatise his government. Still, principally, Mr Khan’s statement was hailed. So much so that the more hopeful in the crowd hastily celebrated it as, even if partial, fulfilment of the PTI’s flaunted dream for change. That hope has since been tempered by the demands of realpolitik and the much-trumpeted campaign against corruption is liable to be seen as discriminatory. The PTI might ultimately move to inspect and clean up its own stables, but that’s for the future. For the moment it must brace itself for a counter-attack projecting it as an agent of no-change dressed in pious clothing.