The high stakes poker

  • No results expected in a short while

After offering fateha at her mother’s grave who had come out to confront the once all powerful Gen Musharraf, Maryam Nawaz traveled to Mandi Bahauddin to address a public meeting where among other things she said her father was ousted for demanding civilian supremacy. The PML-N leader is supposed to address party workers in Gujrat today. A number of other party leaders too have been directed to address public gatherings. A similar public contact campaign has been initiated by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Hopefully the government will abstain from putting hurdles in the way of peaceful gatherings.

The top leaders of the two major opposition parties are facing investigations and trials in corruption and money laundering. Some of these cases were prepared and reported to NAB by these parties themselves against one another when they were in power. While there is hardly any institution in the country which can claim immunity from corruption, a perception of widespread corruption has more damaging consequences for political parties which depend on favourable public opinion to come to power. Despite the hopeless performance of the PTI government, the general public is reluctant to respond to the opposition’s call because of the shenanigans of its leaders. What is exasperating is that while these parties are never tired of talking about Charter of Democracy and sometime even about a Charter of Economy they are unwilling to agree on a charter that promises a crack down on corruption, sparing neither political leaders nor those categorised as holy cows.

What goes against the government is Imran Khan’s fixation with sending all his opponents to jail while giving everything else secondary importance. Combined with lack of competence, this is bound to weaken the government with the passage of time. Those supporting the government have decided to subjugate the judiciary and media. While this has lined up the leadership of the lawyers’ elected bodies like SCBA and PBC against those in power, it has also earned them the ire of powerful media houses and the journalist community. This will strengthen the opposition over time. But hoping to remove the government and get jailed leaders out within a short period may not be realistic.