Save democracy

AFTER three hours of his appearance before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing into Panama Papers allegations relating to Sharif family, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif seemed to be relaxed, composed and confident. The statement he read out before waiting media-persons conveyed his upbeat and defiant mood and that he is eyeing general election next year than the outcome of ongoing proceedings of the JIT and consequential verdict of the Supreme Court.
Remarks of the Prime Minister mainly revolved around the theme of accountability of his family, recalling that the process began with the 1972 nationalisation drive of the then Bhutto govt in which his family assets were also nationalised, later Benazir govt attempts to find faults with his family business and finally Musharraf’s desperate moves to incriminate him and the current process that extends to his entire family. However, his usual assertion that puppet shows were being managed from behind the curtain and democracy, constitution and security of the country would be at risk if conspirators keep furthering their specific agendas would remain heated topics of discussion for their connotations and implications. Going by the fact that the Prime Minister and his party had welcomed judgement of the Supreme Court ordering formation of the JIT to probe allegations against the PM and his family members, one is constrained to ponder as to what went wrong that led to public exposure of grievances against the accountability process. We believe that there is a perception that the process facilitates designs of those who want to destabilise government and force the Prime Minister to resign. This is also borne out by the fact that the JIT submitted a report before the Supreme Court bench levelling serious but unsubstantiated allegations of tempering of evidence by some governmental institutions, a charge that complements claim of PTI that no fair inquiry is possible if the Prime Minister does not step down, at least till completion of the investigation. Then there are also questions about the modus operandi of setting up of the JIT and treatment meted out to Prime Minister’s son and some other witnesses and release of a picture of Hussain Nawaz. It is time for all political parties to sink their petty self-centred differences and join hands in strengthening democracy and upholding supremacy of the constitution.

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