And the government, and country
PML-N is now, without doubt, in survival mode. All its energies are being spent on preservation. Nothing could be worse, from Nawaz’s point of view, than being forced to leave office another time. Especially now, when he had settled all sorts of threats, and there seemed little danger till the next election at least. That explains, to an extent, the premature thrust into election campaigning. The PM is putting quite a bit of time in making speeches (about the same mega projects, threats to democracy, and CPEC) and cutting ribbons. An since a good offence is always an essential part of any PML-N defence, its ministers are not only busy selling its Orange Lines and Mega Projects, but also bad-mouthing the opposition on prime time TV.
For obvious reason, though, the PM hasn’t been nearly as swift on the matter of the Panama Leaks investigation. True, by stalling the process he gives himself more time. But since he’s in such an obvious bind, this strategy also prolongs the uncertainty and hence his agony. And it’s not as if the matter is restricted to him. By necessity a paralysis in Nawaz will breakdown the kitchen cabinet.
That, of course, has a direct bearing on governance – that is, after all, what the government is there for, as long as it can survive. And unfortunately for the ruling party, its bright ideas – mega projects, highways, etc – do not fetch very high governance points. A bulk of the people who vote, considering Pakistan’s demographics, tend to be more concerned with schools, hospitals, drinking water, etc, than Orange Lines and big power projects that do nothing to things like the circular debt. But considering the PM’s present problems, and how the opposition is scenting blood – because of the many times Nawaz and his family have contradicted each other – he can’t possibly be giving winning the next election as much time as surviving till it happens.