Dilemma of Mian Nawaz Sharif – A Catch-22 situation!
Dilemma of Mian Nawaz Sharif – A Catch-22 situation!
Mian Nawaz Sharif and his party is caught in a Catch-22 situation as they wanted compliance of Supreme Court of Pakistan orders in contempt of court case against Prime Minister Gilani but at the same time they were reluctant to launch aggressive campaign for it in the fear that some ‘third force’ would send the whole political dispensation packing and then everything would be on the mercy of these forces when to hold the elections.
The party leadership is gripped in fear that their decisive protest against the government could spin the things in deadlock like situation between the government and opposition leading to the intervention of some third force, which could push the country into another undemocratic set-up for long period.
As the situation on political horizon of the country is spinning into confusion and uncertainty by every passing moment with Pakistan People’s Party leaders under a well-thought-out plan unleashing tirade of criticism against superior judiciary and all those standing by the court it would become even more difficult for Mian Nawaz Sharif to take some decisive step against the government.
Although Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) President Mian Nawaz Sharif came out with strong worded condemnation to the continuation of his duties by the convicted Prime Minister in defiance of the court verdict, but there was a sharp divide in the party ranks, with hawks wanting to come out aggressive against the ruling coalition and send them packing while the doves in the party wanted to deal the situation wanted to adopt wait and watch policy till the time the detailed judgment of the court was issued by the seven-member bench of the apex court.
Political and legal experts closely watching the developments said that PPP seemed to drag the issue in legal complexities to buy maximum time and to defame the superior judiciary the process which was already under way at various levels in shape of public protests against the judiciary and press conferences on the subject by the senior party leaders indirectly ridiculing the court verdict.
Even the Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani himself was seen defying the court verdict and his very speech on the floor of the National Assembly on Friday contained contemptuous utterance as he had minced no words while saying that the decision about his fate would be made by the Speaker National Assembly, who is his judge, and no one else could send him packing as the member of the Parliament.
The demeanour of President Asif Ali Zardari was equally hostile and he had decided to send Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani to the NATO summit in Chicago in May where President Asif Ali Zardari was having the formal invitation from the US President. Before proceeding to America, as convicted Prime Minister, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani would be visiting United Kingdom to attend a security summit.
All these moves were aimed at undermining the superior judiciary and to provoke the political players in the national politics to adopt hostile posture against the government so the PPP government would go in unnatural way providing them opportunity to claim themselves as political martyrs.
Pakistan Muslim League(Nawaz) that after being dubbed as friendly opposition for past four years they were left with little choice but to came out strong and hostile against the ruling alliance and stand by the judiciary and force the rulers to bow to the dictates of the superior judiciary.
Political analysts close to the PML-N leadership said that a good number of party leaders were of the view that PPP wanted their forced ouster from the power corridor so that they could claim political martyrdom and they (PML-N) should not provide them the opportunity by launching some mass mobilization campaign against them.
These saner elements in the party said that PML-N should launch protest against the ruling coalition for their outright defiance to the court verdict in mild fashion and push the rulers to succumb to their demand of holding early elections and pave the way for smooth transition of power to the next government.
The fears of the PML-N that any unnatural ouster of government would involve third force( Military Establishment) to intervene and then things could swing in any direction as there would be no guarantee that any caretaker set-up installed by the establishment or superior judiciary would hold elections within 90 days and would not prolong their rule for 900 days as quoted by a senior PML-N leader who was against ‘hot pursuit’ against the ruling coalition.
In case of some unnatural removal of the incumbent government and prolonging of the interim set up, which could comprise technocrats, the whole blame of wrapping up of the democratic order would be on PML-N.
But on the other hand those who were in favour of aggressive campaign to oust government were of the view that in case the PML-N would continue to play the docile role the other opposition parties would take lead and in next general elections it would cost the party dearly.
They said that it was time for the party to erase the misconception in the minds of general public that PML-N had played the role of friendly opposition since this government came into power and would establish that they are the real opposition in the country by forcing the rulers to bow to their knees in compliance of the superior judiciary orders.
By: Syed Abid Gillani