Media trials and the public opinion
When mainstream leaders take recourse to constitutional immunity to dodge accountability, they lose moral high ground even if they get away with the excuse. Accusations by political opponents or media trial by governments, both civil and military, did not hurt the PPP’s standing with the common man as much as did the posture that Zardari could not to be made to appear in a Swiss court because this amounted to demeaning the President of Pakistan or because Zardari enjoyed constitutional immunity. Yousuf Raza Gilani lost neither public sympathy nor political support when he was sentenced for five years in jail with hard labour by an Accountability Court in 2002. On getting free he not only won the 2008 election but was also appointed Prime Minister. He lost his office and later his constituency when he pleaded for Zardari’s immunity. Zardari was saved but the party faced a historic defeat in the polls.
Legal nitpicking or constitutional fiats employed to obstruct the ongoing accountability of Nawaz Sharif might save the PML-N chief. But these moves, particularly the recourse to immunity, would damage his moral standing. A public representative has to fight his case both in the court of law and the court of public opinion. In case he wants to remain in politics, the most important thing for him is to ensure that he also wins the case in the latter court also. If he succeeds in that any punishment by a court if law would be perceived by his supporters as a politically motivated act. The sentenced leader would be considered a martyr as Gilani was in 2002.
The contradictions in the statements of the PM and his scions have already raised questions among the general public. They require straightforward answers supported by documentary evidence. Questions have also been raised by the sudden and unexpected entry of a Qatari prince to provide relief to the Prime Minister because his name was never mentioned in earlier accounts of the money trail given by Nawaz Sharif and his scions. The reference to the immunity enjoyed by the parliamentarians would give birth to more doubts and damage the defendant’s credibility.
This Pakistan nation does not understand moral, these money lauders and crooks will rule on this nation forever.
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