War of wits and egos


The aftermath of the conviction

Political landscape of Pakistan is shrouded in confusion and chaos courtesy another hazy decision of the apex court. The drawing rooms are resounding with unscrupulous speculations. TV talk shows are overshadowed by misleading discussions. The whole atmosphere is polluted with the odor of allegations, mudslinging and character assassination wherein the mainstream parties seem to have buried the statue of reconciliation once and for all. It seems as if the politicians were suffering from amnesia for they had forgotten the whole lesson of patience they had learnt from their horrendous past. Moreover, rationality has ever been a rare element in our politics because whenever democracy takes roots in our system, politicians start undermining it under various pretexts and thus pave way for military coups.

The current verdict of the Supreme Court has raised the political temperature of Islamabad to a melting point. On one hand, the government and its allies have dug their heels deep in the ground to face whatever untoward situation may develop in near future as a result of this decision of the Supreme Court whereas, on the other hand, the opposition parties are flexing their muscle to initiate an unprecedented movement to force the incumbent PM to bow down to the court’s decision; nonetheless, they lack a comprehensive strategy to achieve this purpose.

In addition, they are divided and confused. And this fact was evident from Nawaz Sharif’s cliché-ridden press conference for it was a good piece of sheer rhetoric devoid of any substance. Hence, it offered no concrete strategy to expel the convicted PM except some vague statements made by Sharif. Although he announced to launch a massive campaign against Gilani’s defiant attitude towards court, it seemed to be merely a political posturing sans a comprehensive course of action.

His address at Taxila was yet another piece of oratory. He could not provide any convincing solution to the current issue. It is interesting to note that he announced to initiate long march and tender resignation from assemblies as the last resort to compel the government to abide by the ruling of Supreme Court which was a clear cut indication of paying only lip service to this constitutional cum political crisis. So, it was a flop show to say the least. Owing to its dubious track record, PML(N)’s anti-Gilani campaign may prove yet another eyewash as in cases of “Go Zardari Go’’ campaign and “Memogate scandal” it took the lead and thereafter sneakily pulled out for the reasons unknown.

Some critics are of the view that PML(N) has plunged into agitation against the government without much preparation just to keep itself politically alive as a viable option in a bid to reclaim its constituency siphoned away by PTI in Punjab. PTI has responded in a bit mature and responsible manner to the situation at hand. It has decided to be patient till the final finding of Supreme Court of PM’s review petition against his conviction.

However, it has announced its two-pronged strategy of filing a reference in the Supreme Court against PM for his disqualification after his conviction followed by a countrywide campaign against government to get court’s verdict implemented in letter and spirit. JI has yet to come out of its deep slumber and align itself either with PTI or PML(N). Traditionally, it has been an ally of the latter but this time until now it has kept its options wide open. Needless to say, that its role in street politics has ever been very crucial. That is why both the parties are eager to win over JI.

Politicians are trying to catch one another on wrong foot in the wake of recent judgment of the apex court whereas Army Chief, on the eve of commemorating Day of Martyrs, has suggested all institutions to work within their constitutional limits. He reiterated his support for democratic system for it is the only way to keep the country on the road of progress. Actually, he has conveyed his message in a very subtle way to both executive and judiciary to behave maturely remaining in their legitimate bounds. Some critics regard Kayani’s statement beyond his constitutional mandate. However, he has always played a positive role in the resolution of such crises.

As the drama unfolds in near future, the things may get more complicated. In fact, PPP deliberately intends to blow up the matter out of proportion just to extract maximum political mileage out of it. In case PM’s review petition against his conviction is turned down by the full bench of the Supreme Court, PPP will try its level best to malign the Supreme Court by creating an impression of being a victim of media and judicial trial. Unfortunately, Supreme Court and Parliament have been pitched against each other by some adventurists. Had the court given a comprehensive detailed judgment instead of passing a short order in a hurry, the murky situation could have diffused earlier.

In this backdrop, the detailed judgment may clear the smokescreen. Sanity may prevail all around and the ship of democracy may sail through the tumultuous currents of tsunami. Although our past is littered with bitter experiences, yet let’s cling to hope for the best in future. In this war of wits and egos, system should not suffer.

The writer can be contacted at: [email protected]


  1. it is the most calculated analysis, full of political wisdom and the writer's patriotic feelings on the topic valued above .

  2. A beautiful narrative of pakistani politics where one can find personal interests are above all instead of “Grand national interests” however Pakistani politics is sailing towards maturity. The writer’s emphasis upon clinging to hope solely on democratic system is full of political wisdom.

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