Now there’s Hamza


N-league surprises yet again

Now, how does Hamza muddying the waters help the N-league in its confrontation with PTI? These are delicate times, especially till the Dec8 Plan-C deadline. And it was expected that the government would finally take the lead in offering serious negotiations, and subsequently diffusing the crisis. But now, on top of Kh Saad’s warnings of arrests in Faisalabad, the chief minister’s son has also threatened use of force. Again, it is not as if these are spur-of-the-moment statements. Saad is among the Sharifs’ closest operators, and is routinely employed when a belligerent show of force suits the leadership. And Hamza – being the CM’s son and PM’s nephew – obviously takes cue from the older generation.

So why would the Sharifs want to use the federal railways minister on the one hand and Punjab CM’s son on the other as launchpads for their counter-strategy? Neither has the official assignment of articulating official position. And seeing how the dharnas have focused on dynastic politics – in addition to election fraud, of course – the N-league does not seem to realise that such actions, at the end of the day, only play into their opponents’ hands.

The government is advised to forego provocation for the time being, and concentrate on exploiting the opportunity for talks while there is still time. As things stand, it seems PTI and PML-N are on a collision course and their senior leaders are not going out of their way to de-escalate the crisis. Realistically, there is no way of knowing where things can go if force is allowed to meet force. Of late, the government has formed a reputation of not learning from is mistakes, especially where use of force is concerned. It is hoped that better sense will prevail this time, and another needless crisis will be avoided. Kh Saad and Hamza Sharif must back down. Unless their good offices can help restore balance, they should stick to what they are charged with. N-league must keep these elements in check.