Twists and turns of Nihal episode has begun to be baffling

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Salahuddin Haider

THE drama that began last week with the fiery speech from PML(N) senator, Nihal Hashmi, has started to take new turns twists which indeed is baffling. As an after-thought, or perhaps on misguided advice, the Senator, belong to Karachi, but elected from Punjab, withdrew his resignation from the Senator Tuesday and came to deliver another furious speech before the media, saying that he had been misquoted, and his not going to give up.
He displayed a USB( mini-computer disc) dangling in his hands to say that his 14-minute speech that had caused embarrassment to him, and his party, had actually been distorted to paint him black, and destroy his image as a senior political activist.
A lawyer by profession, Nihal ditched journalists interested in that USB, and left the podium in a hurry, carrying with him the USB, which no one knew contained the text of his speech or was just a ploy for public consumption.
The sea-change in him within less than 72 hours, came after he had succeeded in securing two weeks time from the supreme court to submit his answers as to whether he had threatened judges of the apex court, and the political opponets.
He may also have been encouraged to take a U-turn after the senate chairman remark that unless he himself verified that the resignation he had submitted from the senate membership, was voluntary or was delivered under duress. The second reason was unacceptable as under duress resignations can not be accepted under the rules of business of the parliament.
Whether Nihal is playing on luck, or is really resinous about him, is not easy to determine, but both, his first and repeat action has placed the prime minister in an embarrassing position. True, he could not, under the rules, be asked to resign merely on party leader’s orders, but party has been put in an akward position,
The opposition instantly jumped on the gun, and launched a vituperative attack on the ruling party and its leader, Mian Nawaz Sharif. His party members in the Senate started demanding that he be thrown out for damaging the party image, and that he is not fit to represent the PML( N) in the prestigious house.
Ruling party members raised voices, demanding senate chairman to throw him out of the house, But Raza Rabbani, well versed with parliamentary practices, refused to be drawn into controversy, and announced in unambiguous words, that he can not accept the resignation till its veracity Is certified by the member concerned,
Nihal, after apologizing first for his uncharitable remarks, and after blowing hot and cold, looked furious again Tuesday, training guns on PTI chairman Imran Khan, and his 126-day sit-in of last year. He aid Imran again was distorting his speech, and presenting it in wrong colours. He therefore would await the supreme court verdict which is pending now after the apex court took a suo motto notice of whatever he spoke last week. The language was threatening against judges, and senior officers, working with JIT to find faults with the assets of the prime minister and his family members.
Nihal’s second speech, has generated considerable interest in the public. Opposition leaders like Khursheed Shah, Aitzaz Ahsan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi,Shafqat Mahmood, Imran Khan, all have started firing salvos on the prime minister for what they call “stage managing the entire show” and using Nihal Hashmi to influence judges of the apex court, and the JIT officers who have to complete their enquiry into panama leaks within 60 days. A new controversy has begun in the country but whether it will divert attention from main issue, remains to be seen.