Nawaz Sharif in his labyrinths again
Nawaz Sharif has himself to blame for choosing the advisers who have led him once more to a cul-de-sac. Thanks to them he is again in a situation somewhat similar to the one the government faced in August-September 2014 when it had to be rescued by the Opposition. Imran Khan is demanding nothing short of the PM’s resignation while Nawaz Sharif is adamant on completing his tenure. The matter has landed in the Supreme Court now. The precedent set by the Iftikhar court has given birth to great expectations. How much the precedent is going to weigh on the Jamali court remains to be seen. Meanwhile the government is under pressure from the army to reveal the source that leaked classified information to a newspaper.
The Opposition is not out after the PM’s scalp. However, it too has a minimum demand i.e., an inquiry into the Panama Papers through an empowered judicial commission with ToRs that give primacy to probe into the business affairs of Nawaz Sharif’s scions. The Opposition believes this would automatically implicate the PM. The Opposition would only intercede if it is also allowed to have its pound of flesh. Persuading the PTI chief is no easy job though. Imran Khan would step back from his maximalist position only if he has doubts about the outcome of the case. The issue of the maintainability of the petitions seeking the PM’s disqualification is to come up when the hearing begins on November 3.
It is a sad state of affairs when, to have an enquiry, in four national assembly seats requires months long rallies, sit-ins and lockdowns. The same is happening in the case of Panama Papers. Had the probe into the leak of high level deliberations been conducted immediately, the government would not have faced pressures. Withholding of the decision regarding the next COAS is also leading to suspicions. Unless the government changes its style of work characterised by unnecessary delays and secretiveness, it will continue to face one crisis after another.