Political wrangling sets off after PM’s conviction


With the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) not at all interested in letting the prime minister step down after the SC decision in contempt case on Thursday, it appears as if the issue of the PM’s fate will linger on for a while with all its consequences for the present political set-up, especially with the opposition taking a diametrically opposite position to the one adopted by the government, raising the spectre of both crossing swords in coming days.
According to some legal and political experts, the verdict is not very clear as to whether the prime minister stands disqualified after his conviction until the rising of the court lasted for just 30 seconds. To the experts, there was likelihood that the issue would ultimately end up in the speaker’s court and that too after exhausting all legal remedies available to the government starting with going for appeal against this decision.
Sources maintained that these legal remedies would provide the PPP government enough time to let the prime minister preside over the next federal budget or announce election himself thereafter.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties, both the PML-N and PTI have committed themselves too early in the day to an extreme position that surprised political leaders outside their parties. PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif announced that for him Gilani was no more the prime minister, advising him in all ‘sincerity’ to step down sooner than later in a damning undertone. But these warnings had little bearing on the PPP strategists who consider the decision ‘faulty’ on legal ground.
In a message loud and clear from the PPP to take on the judiciary, as if to show that the verdict was not received well with the masses, the PPP workers and supporters took to the streets and resorted to violence in some areas in Sindh.
These diametrically opposite positions adopted by both the government and opposition are most likely to heat up the present political set up with all signs of the government and opposition crossing swords in the coming days, causing political instability in the country. The experts expect a lot of political point scoring in the coming days, overshadowing everything else that might serve well to the interests of the PPP.
But analysts said the position adopted by the opposition would not be a big deal for the government to handle or derail the government or the chief executive himself. The experts expect an exchange of firework playing to public galleries and point scoring between the government and opposition.
Politically speaking, the prime minister appeared to have gained in stature after the court rolled out its judgment amid all suspense.
A political leader who was present in the courtroom said that prime minister appeared in high spirit after the decision. It seemed that the PPP leadership was relaxed as if for them it was no problem whatever came their way from SC.
“He survived over four years in the government. Yet he is being convicted towards the end in a case of political nature and not in any case of corruption,” commented a senior political figure in a special session of the cabinet that took place after the SC verdict. The PPP’s allies assured the prime minister of their fullest support in the coming days. This support could be vital for the future of the present setup.