Questions by Nawaz

OUSTED Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif addressed a big gathering of lawyers in Lahore, where he raised twelve hard-hitting questions over what he called was an unprecedented legal procedure adopted by the Supreme Court hearing the Panama Papers case. The response he received from the legal fraternity to his questions, which he asked one by one, clearly indicated that lawyers, who have the understanding of the law and the Constitution, are not convinced about the outcome of the case.
Nawaz Sharif is understandably under immense pressure as besides his own disqualification, his entire family has effectively been denied the right to participate in the political and democratic process and that too on grounds that are being questioned by majority of jurists and are not acceptable at all to workers and supporters of PML(N). There is growing impression that leaders are sidelined through unfair means and our chequered history confirms this trend. No Prime Minister has been allowed to complete his or her mandated five year term and on different occasions different excuses were used to achieve the same objective – sending elected leaders and governments home. As the methods used were not strictly in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution and the law, the former Prime Minister is, therefore, focusing on sanctity of vote. But there are some relevant questions for Mian Nawaz Sharif as well and he ought to explain these to the people of Pakistan. Democracy means rule of the people and this is done through parliament but MNS himself hardly attended a few sessions of the National Assembly and the Senate despite protests by opposition in the Upper House. No doubt, some crucial decisions like the one relating to National Action Plan against Terrorism were made after taking Parliament into confidence but as a whole no worthwhile credence was given to the institution supposed to be supreme in the democratic dispensation. Similarly, there are repeated complaints that decisions were made by a group of few people – kitchen cabinet and some Lahore fame bureaucrats – and as a consequence there was disillusionment among PML-N’s own ranks. PML(N) is also accused of not giving any importance to other parties despite the fact that their meaningful support could have made a difference for the party and the leadership. Anyhow, now that a particular situation has arisen, prudence demands that the questions being agitated by MNS should be raised forcefully by his team of lawyers before the apex court during hearing of the review petition. And the practice of close rapport with own part- men and other parties should be strictly pursued especially in view of the general election when new alliances would emerge and as things stand today no one would be able to mange things through solo flight.

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