After taking my seat in the press gallery Monday evening, I was pleasantly surprised to notice the presence of a big number of ruling party MNAs in their benches. After the weekend break, they usually take long to reach there.

Yet, Amir Dogar, the Chief Whip, looked tense, overactive and constantly busy in doing eye counts of the PTI strength. Carefully combing of the agenda set for the day did not help me guessing the reason for his edgy conduct.

Soon I discovered, however, that the government was adamant to get a resolution passed with solid majority. Through the same, it simply wanted to extend the enforcement of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Ordinance, 2019 for another 120 days. And the government did succeed managing it with convincing voice vote.

In the broader context of the current political mood in the country, passage of the said Ordinance did not look significant. But people deputed to deliver the legislative agenda for the government, surely had firm directions to get it done to convey a message, which I doubt was registered by many, especially the opposition members, as desired.

After exclusively talking to a handler of parliamentary business, I did find that the government had been feeling jittery about rumors, constantly spread through various WhatsApp groups, that Prime Minister Imran was fast losing his command and control, not only over his government but also the ruling party.

The PTI, these days, has been looking like a miserably divided house. As if the real or presumed groups, allegedly headed by Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Jehangir Tareen, were not enough to stir the feeling of chaos about it, multiple contenders had also been surfacing to pull the rug from the under the chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoon Khawa.

By suddenly demanding the division of Sindh in two provinces the MQM appeared looking for an excuse to leave the coalition government and things with Sardar Akhter Mengal’s BNP didn’t look comfortable either.

The incessant chatter on social media forced many to presume that the PTI government might fail to get its first budget passed from the national assembly. “Deluge” was the sole word that springs up when you ask “what next?”

By getting an insignificant Ordinance extended through a convincing voice vote, the government had tried to scuttle the same feeling of instability about it.

Monday evening, some of its backbenchers also ganged up with MQM legislators to tell the world that recent deaths of some kids in Karachi, due to callous negligence of doctors working for private hospitals, clearly reflected the “bad governance” that the PPP had brought to Sindh since 2008.

By showing its total control over parliamentary business, the government has also tried to prevent a “sabotaging move,” that the PPP and the PML-N have been planning is whispers.

Rumors are rife in Islamabad that soon after reaching a workable understanding with IMF delegation, currently visiting Pakistan for two weeks, Dr Hafeez Shaikh will introduce a Grand Amnesty Scheme. The expected scheme is set to concede huge concessions to habitual tax evaders.

Real estate tycoons and holders of “BENAMI” properties may also extract a “golden chance” for declaring their hidden assets.

The expected scheme would certainly be sold as a “one-time concession.” It, however, will dampen the anti-corruption rhetoric of the PTI and is all-set to disappoint its spirited cadres. They want the Imran government to hang all “looters and plunderers” upside down, until they returned the “looted wealth to national kitty.”

Miserably failing in meeting the revenue targets, set in the previous budget, Asad Umar had been actively contemplating to introduce a similar scheme. Two consecutive meetings of the cabinet disapproved his idea. In spite of casually supporting Umar, Imran Khan did not stand firmly by his finance minister.

Eventually, after returning from his meetings with IMF officials in Washington early April, he was asked to vacate the ministry of finance for Dr Hafeez Shaikh.

Some PTI leaders are seriously wondering as to how they would be able to support the same amnesty scheme and defend it on TV talk show that was originally conceived by one of their own comrades, who had joined the PTI in its formative and very struggling days.

Jittery behavior is welcome no more in the party however. It’s a “friend or foe?” moment and the prime minister is ruthlessly set to deliver, whatever ‘technocrats’ like Dr Hafeez Shaikh conceive for the survival and longevity of his government. Monday evening was the “trailer-intro” of the said resolve.

Both the PML-N and the PPP look oblivious of this resolve however. Hoping against hope, their lead stars keep insisting in private conversations that the government will just not be able to manage the gathering chaos, essentially triggered due to dismal-looking economic realities of the day.

They are certain that the IMF will set unbearably “tough” conditions before conceding another bailout package to Pakistan. Even before execution of the expected package, the government had been increasing the prices of petrol, electricity and gas.

The opposition parties are convinced that the new budget, with or without introducing a grand amnesty scheme, would unleash another wave of stifling inflation in the country. That may, at least, force the salaried classes to take to the streets.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman of a very-organized religio-political outfit, JUI-F, had already been motivating his cadres to stage a “do or die” sit-in, immediately after Eid holidays, somewhere in mid-July. He also expects the recession-hit traders to support his movement against the government.

But the PTI government is clearly setting itself to confront the “D-day” and the manner its parliamentary handlers delivered the insignificant-looking agenda Monday evening clearly reflected its fighting mood.