ISLAMABAD: We seem to be back to the politics of the 1990s which were marked by intense polarisation and political vendetta. That not only culminated in the derailment of democracy in Pakistan but also left deep scars on the political landscape which continue to haunt the nation. The Sharif brothers enjoy the dubious distinction of starting that drama, in collaboration with the establishment in the 1990s, and now they are trying to do the same thing again. True, the prime minister has been convicted of contempt of court by the Supreme Court but that is not the end of the road. He has the right of appeal and till such time that appeal is heard and a final verdict given, he remains the chief executive of the country, both legally and constitutionally.
The Pakistan Bar Council has thrown its weight behind the prime minister. The Islamabad High Court has also observed that the Supreme Court verdict has not disqualified the PM. In the backdrop of all this, the insistence by the PML-N that the PM has ceased to hold that position is untenable.
The PML-N is alone in this; a section of the media sympathetic to their cause and hostile to the present government has also joined this shameful exercise. Nobody would begrudge the legitimate right of the opposition to grill the government on issues of national importance but it is certainly not desirable to pull the rug from under the PM’s feet with the PM embarking on a foreign visit.
Such summit level interactions are never meaningless as they invariably help to create better understanding and enhance bilateral cooperation between the countries involved besides affording opportunity for exchanging views on matters of global importance. They also help in resolving issues which cannot be tackled through normal diplomatic channels.
Malik Muhammad Ashraf
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2012.
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