Post-judgment and pre-JIT
That the verdict, one way or the other, would trigger a storm was inevitable. That it would push early election campaigns up a notch was also pretty apparent. But that it would get all the pots and kettles in almost all assembles, even while the final nuts and bolts of the JIT are being put in place, calling each other black so strongly is strange; primarily because this level of mutual acrimony cannot be sustained all the way to the vote next year.
The prospect of a PTI-PPP partnership moved, over the past week, from near-impossible to possible to impossible once again. So, the two will not unite even around the matter of the PM’s removal. It seems Imran could go along with electables before the last election, but won’t let politics make bedfellows between PTI and PPP for the next election. There are also sticking points, apparently, that prevent a possible alliance between far less significant JI and PML-Q. The opposition, therefore, is all for ‘Go Nawaz Go’, and from the looks of it all parties are willing to go all the way to pressure the prime minister to resign, but they are not willing to do it from a unified platform, even at the cost of losing the initiative.
The legal community does not make the picture any clearer. LHCBA was quick on the draw, giving the prime minister a week before the mother of all judicial protests. But even if they failed to notice their own lack of respect for the Supreme Court’s recent decision, the impudence was not lost on the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), the swing vote in such matters, and the threat more or less fizzled out even before it had developed. The commotion in Punjab and KP assembles, not to mention fiery outbursts from PPP, PTI and PML-N leaders over the last two days, betrays an urgency, on all sides, to hurt the other rather than strengthen oneself. Yet, as the past has shown, there’s only so long such inflexible positions can be maintained. Unfortunately, the past is also full of examples of our dear democrats learning precious little from it.