Clearing the way for PML-N
Pakistan’s political parties have reverted to the Hobbesian state of nature where the hand of every man is against every man. The parties were already bracing themselves for the next elections when the Supreme Court announced its verdict in Panama case which acted as a catalytic agent heating up the political temperatures by several degrees. Imran Khan has announced a rally in Islamabad for Friday to demand Prime Minister‘s resignation. The recently elected LHBA office bearers have meanwhile demanded that Nawaz Sharif quit in a week or face lawyers’ movement, little realising that unlike 2007 the lawyers’ community is divided on the issue and no other bar has so far issued a call for the PM’s resignation.
Soon after the Supreme Court decision, Asif Ali Zardari who otherwise stands for conciliation with all lost his composure and opened fire simultaneously on both Nawaz Sharf and Imran Khan. He demanded the resignation of the PM on ‘moral grounds’ and insisted that Pakistan is safe neither in the hands of Nawaz Sharif nor in those of Imran Khan. This led some of the PML-N leaders to launch vitriolic attacks on the PPP Chief. What is more, the next day Imran Khan told audience in Dadu and Badin that Zardari was as corrupt as Nawaz Sharif and he would spare neither. Imran Khan would join his party’s campaign against the absence of civil amenities in Karachi on Sunday. While Zardari turned his gunfire towards the PML-N and PTI, MQM launched a surprise attack on PPP by holding a rally in Karachi against the “corruption, bad governance and biased attitude of the Sindh government.”
While making preparations for the elections which are due within a year, every party is following its own course. While this may not be unusual what is significant is that the parties are burning whatever bridges existed between them. There is thus little chance of a united front against the PML-N which suits Nawaz Sharif. The PML-N is likely to rule from Islamabad for another term in case Sharif is cleared by the JIT. But will he be cleared?