Times of great uncertainty


So, what now?


Suddenly we seem to have transcended from a time where an independent judiciary was making great strides towards holding the mighty accountable and contributing to a more democratic society to a time when the Supreme Court’s decision is questioned, rejected, even ridiculed. How does it reflect on the apex court, after all, that the former PM and former PML-N head continues to chair the party’s meetings and have the final say in all important matters despite the disqualification? Did anybody notice how many iqama holders litter the new cabinet? And what about those social media jabs implying that the judiciary was remote controlled? And, even worse, what comes after direct accusations like the ones leveled by Asma Jahangir in her meet-the-press?

Now there is very little order and much chaos. The political mudslinging, pretty ugly in the best of times, is getting even worse. Some, it seems, would like the disqualification precedent to become our political equivalent of the dreaded guillotine of the French revolution. Sadly, very little of the politics, at least till the election, will now be about Pakistan and democracy and much of it will revolve around personal vilification and denunciation of the other.

The first order or business should be restoring order. But who exactly is going to do that? The government, stung by the disqualification, is throwing everything at the wall hoping something will stick. The Court, so far, continues to watch from the side as the N League pretty much rejects its verdict. Anybody else influencing, or trying to influence, the situation would of course be undemocratic and unacceptable. But how well are the pillars of democracy themselves functioning? And, more importantly, how are they serving the interests of the people and the nation? Once more institutions and politicians are at each other’s throat, and once again they have only themselves to blame.