In an ironic contrast to Mian Nawaz Sharifs talk about principles, visions and long term plans, the PML(N) leadership below him remains wedded to realpolitik aimed at achieving narrow political gains and unconcerned about the negative impacts this could have on national politics. Rebutting prime minister Gilani, who emboldened by recent talks with PML(Q) leadership, had ruled out the possibility of the change of government through mid-term polls or military coup, Ch Nisar hinted at a third way to bring the government down. He claimed the government could fall even if one of the ruling alliances components was to quit. The third way suggested by Ch Nisar revives the memories of a past one had hoped had been buried for good by an opposition grown mature. Apparently, some of the impatient PML(N) bigwigs are hell bent on getting rid of the government whatever it takes, believing that the ends justify the means. An attempt to unseat the sitting government through an in-house change would once again introduce horse-trading in national politics. The tussle, however, will not remain confined to Islamabad alone.
The constitution no doubt visualizes a vote of no-confidence as a legitimate course to remove the government. However, remembering the eleven-year war between the PPP and PML(N) during which recruiting turncoats was also employed as a tactic, one would advise the parties to shun the option. Among other things, this is likely to lead both sides to the type of no-holds-barred struggle that sapped their vitality and made the common man cry plague on both houses. The unseemly infighting alienated the masses with the result that few protested when Musharraf staged a coup or cared to come out into the streets despite subsequent appeals by the exiled leadership.
Many would acclaim the efforts being made by Mian Nawaz Sharif to work out what he calls a Charter of Pakistan envisaging a national consensus to deal with internal and external challenges. This requires statesmanship rather than politicking. For this, hotheaded leaders from both sides have to be reigned in by the top leadership.