Fomenting a political crisis
IN the wake of continued disagree ment on the TORs for Judicial Commission to be set up to probe Panama Leaks, the opposition parties are now upping the ante against the government and are threatening to launch street agitations. PTI has already filed a reference with the Election Commission of Pakistan for the disqualification of the Prime Minister for allegedly concealing assets and giving incorrect information to the ECP. PPP the other major political party is also resorting to a similar action. From these developments it is not difficult to infer that the opposition parties are bent upon fomenting a political crisis in the country, when it can ill-afford in view of permeating precarious situation.
Ever since the government and the opposition have been discussing the TORs, I have in my writings maintained that the opposition does not want a probe into the Panama Leaks as its own stalwarts are the owners of the shell companies and have myriad of skeletons in their cupboards. They only want to create a political crisis to settle score with the government and therefore would not agree on anything which actually leads to the formation of the Commission. Is it not ironical that all the parties in the opposition who are gunning for the Prime Minister and his family comprise of the individuals in their top echelons who either have a reputation of being corrupt or are also under probe for corruption. Another point worth noting is that all these parties have different political creeds and even have been leveling allegations against each other of being corrupt and shown utter disdain for each other. Their getting together is a political compulsion for them all.
The PPP and MQM are feeling the heat as a result of the successful operation in Karachi by the Rangers. PPP is particularly annoyed over the arrest of Dr.Asim who allegedly has made startling revelations of corruption which one way or the other seem to have links with its co-chairperson. Some of the PPP ministers and leaders in Sindh are also under probe for their links with criminals and target killers. MQM is also not happy about arrest of target killers and extortionists who have confessed their links with party, though the party invariably has been denying those allegations.
PTI, particularly its chairman Imran Khan who has been defeated at every legal forum in regards to his rigging allegations and has seen his dream of becoming Prime Minister through a conspiracy effectively shattered, is a disgruntled man who is bent upon create a crisis in the country staying true to the saying’ neither we shall play nor let others play’. His party has lost almost all the by-elections and also has been badly mauled in the local body elections. But the man is so stubborn that he still keeps on harping on the same tune of rigging and has illusion about his popularity. The popularity of a leader is assessed at the ballot box. The ground realities, though they may be unpalatable to some, are that the PML (N) undoubtedly remains the most popular political party in the country and it still enjoys the confidence of the majority of them who voted it into power.
A close look at the stalemate on the TORs reveals that the opposition parties have been very unreasonable in their approach and their main target has been the Prime Minister instead of all those whose names have appeared in the Panama leaks. They were not ready for any arrangement that ensures across the board accountability. In some cases they have even tried to be the accuser and the judge. These tactics were deliberately employed to create a deadlock and create the impression that it was the government which was trying to avoid the probe and that in view of the government stance, street agitations were a justified option for the opposition. I think only one TOR was enough for probing the Panama Leaks that the Commission should investigate the cases of all those who allegedly own off-shore companies and the legitimacy or other wise of the money invested in them. The modalities to go about the probe should have been left to the Commission which has the powers of a judicial court. The TORs suggested by the government more or less stressed this point quite eloquently. Making so much fuss on the issue smacks of sinister designs. The country actually needs reforms in the system of governance which has inbuilt avenues of corruption and breeds a culture of graft and entitlement.
We have seen such tactics employed by the opposition parties in the past to destablise the sitting governments for their narrow political gains or simply to settle score with it. That surely has been the bane of our socio-economic development. They have been misleading the masses by raising slogan of fixing corruption while they actually worked to perpetuate it. I think the masses have to show understanding of their machinations and not heed their calls for street agitation, which is purely motivated by political vendetta rather than any good of the masses.