Sindh: rise and fall in po­lit­i­cal tem­per­a­ture

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Gov­er­nor’s rule in Sindh is out of the ques­tion. Well, the Chief Jus­tice of Pak­istan has made it loud and clear that it will take him two min­utes to undo any such move, also cau­tion­ing that “democ­racy must not be de­railed”. The cau­tion from Jus­tice Saqib Nisar, the CJP, came just as the Fed­eral Information Min­is­ter, Fawad Chaudhry, was set to fly to Karachi to ex­ploit a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity to top­ple the PPP govern­ment in Sindh province that opened up in the wake of a damn­ing re­port by a joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion team (JIT) in con­nec­tion with the fake bank ac­counts case. The re­port ac­cuses the party’s top lead­er­ship, in­clud­ing Co-chair­man Asif Ali Zar­dari and his sis­ter Faryal Talpur, of mas­sive money laun­der­ing un­der a nexus with busi­ness­men and bankers, be­sides por­tray­ing Chief Min­is­ter Mu­rad Ali Shah and party Chair­man Bi­lawal Bhutto in a bad light.

Even though a ‘for­ward block’ within the PPP is very much an op­tion, Chaudhry’s visit to Karachi — that was meant to meet al­lies and like-minded lead­ers for ex­tract­ing max­i­mum sup­port from pro­vin­cial law­mak­ers to out­num­ber the PPP mem­bers in Sindh As­sem­bly and take the driv­ing seat — now stands can­celled. Is it that the PTI has had a sec­ond thought and re­alised that it should not be re­sort­ing to a move which is per­ceived as un­demo­cratic, like a for­ward block within the rul­ing party? Or is it Bi­lawal Bhutto’s warn­ing that “If Zar­dari al­lows us, we can dis­lodge them [PTI govern­ment at the Cen­tre] and [even] send them be­hind bars” which has ap­par­ently put the PTI on the back foot? Or is it an even more vo­cal threat from PPP Sen­a­tor Mur­taza Nawaz Khokhar dur­ing a tele­vi­sion pro­gramme that his party, to­gether with the PML-N, has the num­bers to make change at the Se­nate helm?

What­ever the case, a short burst of ac­tiv­ity sur­round­ing the sit­u­a­tion in Sindh ap­pears set to re­cede, and the po­lit­i­cal tem­per­a­ture set to drop. The fake bank ac­counts case, how­ever, con­tin­ues in the Supreme Court, and does her­ald a trou­bling time ahead for the PPP. Well, if things re­ally turn se­ri­ous for Zar­dari, a change in Sindh can­not be ruled out.

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