Judicial victory for PML (N)


In its landmark judgement in Panama Papers case, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has dismissed the plea of PTI for disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and instead announced formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter further. The jubilation of PML(N) leaders and workers over the majority judgement of the apex court was understandable as the worst case scenario has been averted and the court as apparently delivered a pro-democracy verdict.
What the court has done is in line with the dictates of the law and the Constitution as no one should be punished merely on the basis of allegations and verbal accusations. PTI and some other parties picked up excerpts from Panama Papers, first carried out intensive propaganda campaign through electronic and social media, then opted the course of locking down the Federal Capital and finally knocked the doors of the highest judicial forum of the country. However, it transpired during prolonged hearing of the case that the petitioners had no substantial evidence or proof against the Prime Minister or his family about their allegations of money laundering. This forced the five member bench to observe during final day of the hearing that none of the parties had been able to prove their stance. These remarks clearly implied that the court could not go for a clear cut verdict without first acquiring concrete evidence. Now that the verdict has been delivered it would be in the fitness of things if all parties to the case as well as other political leaders and analysts should not rely on conjectures and instead try to cooperate with the JIT to prove their view points. When the judgement was reserved, all parties and leaders vowed to accept the verdict and now they should practically prove this. There should be no objections to the establishment of JIT as it would have representatives from all concerned agencies and departments including ISI, MI, FIA, NAB, State Bank of Pakistan and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.
The JIT can also co-opt any official, department or agency in its assignment and hopefully its findings would clear the fog and the country would move on the road to progress, prosperity and stability. The court decision has frustrated those forces and elements, which wanted to instill political and economic instability that the country can ill afford at this critical juncture of its history when it is facing challenges on internal and external fronts. Some forces apparently wanted the judiciary to indirectly fulfill their desire of getting to the corridors of powers at all costs. The honourable judges deserve credit for rejecting immense propaganda campaign unleashed by some vested interests throughout hearing of the case and during the period the verdict was reserved. These vested interests gave an impression that the judgement would be a death knell either for PML(N) or for the justice, which clearly reflected that some elements wanted to get decision of their choice from the judges. The five member bench has, however, paid no heed to the propaganda and delivered the verdict on merit and merit alone. Irrespective of what are the findings of the JIT after two months and what final decision the court takes, the tendency of hailing the judgements when in favour and raising accusing fingers when against should be shunned. The court decision has lent stability to the system and now it is also responsibility of the all stakeholders to avoid indulging in blame game. General elections are due next year and instead of relying on leg-pulling of others, we should prove and improve our own credentials.