THERE are three organs of state; Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. The legislature makes law within the confines of constitution because in a democracy constitution is supreme. The executive has authority to govern the country but within bounds of law without preferences and exclusions. The Judiciary is tribunal of the nation and is the ultimate arbitrator because it is entrusted with authority of oversight and to interpret the constitution. There is no concept of power of people’s vote to indemnify a moral turpitude of an elected leader or misrule of an elected government. An elected government has the right to rule the country for stipulated period provided it remains accountable to law and responsive to needs and aspirations of people.
Out of two landmark decisions of our Supreme Court; disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and barring a disqualified person under articles 62 and 63 of constitution to head a political party and ensuing reaction of Nawaz Sharif and his party on both occasions, two things clearly emerged if seen in above contest. Judiciary has followed covenants of constitution and Nawaz Sharif banked upon a concept never heard or existed in annals of history. It also never dawned on him prior to axe of Panama leaks fallen on his head. Ample proof one could find that nation is smug and ruling elite appears to be in a fix despite hectic efforts to mask their predicament nevertheless, there is one thing common among people and Sharif family/their lackeys that verdicts of no less similar nature would only come against Sharif family.
This is no foretelling because every case against them is an open and shut case. To simple minds, it is quite mind boggling why did he resorted to path of confrontation on implausible pretext, not a palpable realization of good sense. To sophisticated minds, it is no puzzle. Sharif family has nothing in Kitty to fight a legal battle and ruling elite to which they belong to, has no charm to attract people in fair elections. Their credibility is low and their newly emerged foe is high on this score. This may be a decisive factor in a fair electoral tug and pull whose possibility is never as probable as it stands today. Unlike common people, probably ruling elite knows it better. Given conditions, arguably, ruling elite considers path of confrontation only option left for their self-preservation and salvation.
Traditionally, in a technocratic set up or roll back of entire political system, our ruling elite has found a reprieve and safe haven to surface again to continue their act of loot and plunder undiminished. Seeing no such possibilities, they have chosen to quarrel fiercely and contemptuously with those state institutions which could either give them political martyrdom or succumb to their ever mounting pressure not to hold them accountable according to book. In process, pollute minds of simpleminded people about impending judicial decisions against them, being maliciously pre-arranged. Last but not the least, to garner their support in upcoming General Elections 2018.
At disqualification of Nawaz Sharif, our erstwhile ruling elite was visibly shaken and bewildered. The march on GT road was a complete fiasco however, after some smart work, they managed to regenerate the perception that they still remains invincible in an electoral contest. Underlying theme was that Nawaz Sharif would stay as leader of PML (N). With some jiggery-pokery at Parliament, they succeeded to install him as their formal head. Nawaz Sharif is not a spent force. He has the heart and popular support to stand against all odds, stacked against him by conspirators to denigrate his name and good work. He has been punished for serving the people and cause of the country. Truly he is synonymous to national development and prosperity. With his ouster, country is back to downhill. There is a dire need to restore power of vote of people and Nawaz Sharif would champion their cause. The enduring instruments were to kick so much dust and speak a lie so loudly and repeatedly that it finally, appears a truth particularly to hapless people exhausted by hunger, bereavement, injustices, social deprivation and disillusionment. A number of public gatherings were held. Admittedly, these were of relatively bigger size but a tamed section of media was also used to photo shop them even bigger. Media talk shows/ social media were skillfully geared up. Intriguingly bar councils and courts remained quiet and out. No by election was left to chance under state patronage. Lodhran by election was a huge windfall pocketed.
This all set Nawaz Sharif and PML (N) to paint themselves as a formidable force to be reckoned with in next General Elections as people support their pursuits markedly. PM also joined the chorus openly when he hinted to use parliament to advance their agenda. Notwithstanding this, removal of Nawaz Sharif as head of PML (N) in wake of verdict of Supreme Court has exposed cacophony of their assiduously built perception. The verdict has demonstrated clearly that time for sophistry, tricks, manipulation and jugglery of ruling elite has gone. It is no time for confrontation rather a time for realization and sober reflection. PML (N) is a nationwide party and needs to remain in being for collective good of the democracy and country. Contrarily, it would be on their own pearl.
— The writer, retired Lt Col, is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.