Even if casually scanning the regular print and social media, you must have realized by now that various partners of the Imran government are not feeling too good about the share they had managed from the coalition arrangement. For not being the majority party on its own, the PTI feels forced to pamper them and perhaps need to concede more to retain their support.

Yet, the Wednesday proceedings of the national assembly transmitted a doubly confounding message, i.e., things are not so smooth and honky dory even within the ruling party.

During the Question Hour, Riaz Mazari, a PTI MNA from Rajanpur, revealed a sizzling scandal. Standing akimbo, he claimed with absolute confidence that 21 persons from his constituency had to pay Rs. 150,000 each to get low-grade jobs with Pakistan Railways. The government’s claims of doling out such jobs, all across the country, “purely on merit,” were nothing but blatant lies. He also expressed the will to name names, “if someone really cared to order deep probe.”

Riaz Mazari is not an insignificant backbencher. Being a close relative of Mir Balakh Sher Mazari, a former caretaker prime minister and a highly influential Baloch Sardar, he rather represents the Mazari Patriarch in the current national assembly. His nephew, Daust Mazari, is the deputy speaker of the Punjab Assembly these days. The story told by him could thus not be dismissed just like that.

Farrukh Habib, the parliamentary secretary, was left with no option but to categorically promise a deep probe, with the vow that if Mazari’s claim proved correct, the persons found guilty would face “exemplary punishment.”

As if the scandalous story told by Riaz Mazari during the question hour were not enough to embarrass the government, another PTI backbencher from Karachi, Fahim Khan, also moved a calling-attention motion.

Ostensibly, his motion wanted to discuss multiple issues related to the management of Karachi Port Trust. Soon it became obvious, however, that along with five other PTI MNAs from Karachi, he wanted to embarrass the minister of ports and shipping, Ali Zaidi, by raising a taunting question, some of which implicitly accused the minister for indulging in nepotism as well.

During the election of July 2018, the PTI had surprised many by surfacing as the largest party from Karachi, which was considered an invincible citadel of the MQM for more than two decades. Two of the “freshmen,” Ali Zaidi and Faisal Vowda, were given lucrative ministries.

Both of them had essentially grabbed and retained Imran Khan’s attention for being the favorites of ratings-starved TV shows anchors. They habitually mock and humiliate the opposition representatives while participating in popular talk shows. The prime minister is genuinely fond of their “killing” style.

Many hearts among the PTI backbenchers from Karachi had visibly been burning for many months. They felt “neglected” by “the Leader.” Steadily but discreetly, at least seven of them turned into a cohesive group, desperately waiting for the moment to assert their presence.

Ali Zaidi surely helped their public outburst; also, by acting rude and dismissive. They were provoked to attempt reaching the Speaker’s dais and force Asad Qaisar to extract apology from Zaidi. Many of their panicky colleagues did everything possible to pacify them. For the press gallery, though, it was too obvious that the PTI was no more a unified and dynamic entity in Karachi. It has surely alienated most of its grass-roots activists.

From among the group of loudly protesting MNAs, Fahim Khan, Akram Cheema and Jamil Ahmad Khan represent the “coastal” constituencies of Karachi. These areas are too vibrant; no ethnic group can take them for granted. A political party has to have an inclusive and vibrant message to cultivate and sustain the support base there.

The PTI government had also “ignored” another PTI MNA from Karachi, Shakur Shad. This diehard activist from Lyari has givenhis entire youth to Pakistan Peoples Party. Eventually, he felt alienated and decided to contest for a national assembly seat from Lyari on PTI ticket against the youthful Chairman of the PPP. He surely made sensational headlines by defeating Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with a big margin, on a seat that the PPP had never lost since 1970, during the election of July 2018. Imran Khan is yet not motivated to recognize Shakur Shad’s worth and potential.

Amir Liaqut, a media-star-turned-politician, has also been feeling as if jilted by the PTI leader. Through a flurry of tweets, he also keeps expressing his frustration for the past two weeks.

Perhaps the growing frustrations among the majority of PTI MNAs from Karachi have also tempted the MQM to start showing some distance from the PTI. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, “the MQM leader” these days, announced to have resigned from the federal cabinet. Gradually returning to harp the narrative that wails over the accumulated and growing grievances of the “residents of Karachi,” his party surely seems trying to reclaim the territory it had lost to the PTI in July 2018. Still, the Prime Minister does not appear really worried about the obvious withering of his support base in Karachi.

He might be relishing the drift that had recently hit his main opponents, crowding the PML-N. Fairly a sizeable number of the PML-N backbenchers, its grassroots activists and consistent voters are not feeling good over the manner, the Sharif family rushed to furnish “unconditional support” to a law that the Supreme Court had demanded from parliament to settle multiple issues, related to the appointments of Services’ Chiefs and fixing their tenures.

Most of the avid supporters of the PML-N seriously feel that their leaders have abandoned the so-called cause of civil supremacy to seek relief for their personal problems, mostly accumulated due to cases filed and pursued against them under serious charges of corruption.

Hardly a person from among the top ranking leadership of the PML-N is willing to weave a comprehensive narrative to alleviate the shame and pain of their “vote bank.” Maryam Aurangzeb used to spin morale-boasting stories for PML-N supporters. But she has gone to Australia to spend time with her husband and family and does not intend to return soon.

Shahid Khakan Abbassi had come to parliament house from Adyala jail Tuesday. He, however, kept sitting in the chambers allotted to the PML-N leader and the opposition leader in the national assembly, Shahbaz Sharif, and deliberately eluded the SOTs-seeking media.

Khawaja Asif and Rana Tanvir, considered close to Shahbaz Sharif these days, preferred to ignore Shahid Khakan’s presence. They opted to stay put in another room and never approached him, even for a casual hello-hi.

Hawks and doves of the PML-N are fast drifting to separate camps of their own. As if to stoke and solidify more divisions among them, ministers like Faisal Vowda had begun to appear on TV screens with “props,” leading actors of the theater of the Absurd often use to “rub in the wounds” of characters, already feeling unbearably humiliated.

On the last day of the national assembly session, the political scene in Islamabad surely looked tormented by an unmanageable flux.